Sunday, March 4, 2012

My $15 Stove.

We've done a lot of work to this house since we bought it.. but there's certainly a long way to go. We have a "wish list" a mile long of things that need to be replaced or updated. Each room has it's own list.
For the kitchen, replacing appliances is a major one. Our cabinets have been redone, we replaced the counter tops, we venetian plastered the walls... but those ugly almond appliances still sit, laughing at me every time I want to have a nice kitchen.

Well new appliances aren't cheap.. and we have plenty of other things that are also not cheap that need to be done. So the priority list gets a little blurry.
The other day while I was exploring the hardware store the other day, as I occasionally do.. I found this:

It's a high heat enamel, stable at temperatures up to 1000degrees for recovering grills and things... and also for recovering your stove!
For $15 per can, I HAD to try it.. if it worked, it would be the miracle my kitchen needed. If it didn't turn out so great, it would at least not be almond anymore. what a terrible color!

So I cleaned my stove to death. I mean SCRUBBED IT. With a Brillo pad.. see the discoloration on the seam there in the picture? that's where I SCRUBBED THE PAINT OFF. Invest some serious elbow grease into this, folks.. cuz dirt is even grosser when it's painted on.

The wall finishing guy, Mack, was here while I did this, and he recommended sanding the rusty gross parts.. but I don't listen, and I was excited to get started, so I ignored him. If you're the type that cares about a perfect finish then maybe you should sand it.. but my stove is set back into the cabinets in such a way that I'll only ever see the top of it, so I don't really care so much about the sides anyway.

I used a small rolling brush to give it a once over on the flat surfaces, and I got under the edges really well.. and then I realised that I couldn't put the stove top down or the paint may cause it to dry and get stuck shut. Fortunately I had a very large pickle jar JUST within reach, so
The paint is super runny, because it's oil based. This is good because it kinda levels itself out and so you get fewer marks from the brush. But it's also bad because if you're not prepared you'll have a drippy mess on your hands.

I recommend starting at the highest point and working your way down. On the sides, paint horizontally one row at a time with a slight overlap to clean up the drips from the previous row.

In less than 20 minutes, it looked like this:

The flash on the camera makes it look almost chocolate brown in color, but I think that's just because it's wet. There were a few hard-to-reach places and I went to grab a small craft paintbrush (the kind that come in kids watercolor sets) to touch up while the paint was still wet.

Because the paint was so runny, it settled into some of the lower points at the side of the stove top. I gently dipped my craft brush into that to use for touch ups. No sense wasting paint! plus, it helped get rid of the excess in those areas.

But speaking of wasting paint - it seemed pretty silly to even worry about that, because this was how much paint was leftover after my stove was complete:

That's right - I bare used an inch worth!
So for $15 I could have probably repainted 8 stoves.

The finished product is not perfect, but it's infinitely better and, for a stove that was going to the trash otherwise, who cares?
That woodgrain on the back control panel looks SUPER UGLY now... but we'll be taking care of that shortly.

Here's my advice if you want yours to be perfect:
- Set up a dust-free zone... My house is not one. I probably should have done it outside and made a tent of tarps around it while it dried. Oh well.
- Leave the pooled areas alone, and do not use the excess from them to touch up other areas.. you can still see the brush strokes in those spots after it dries.
- Have a pickle jar handy - or something to hold the stove top up.
- Also have a sponge/craft brush to get down into those little areas that your roller can't get into.
- Tape the areas you DON'T want painted VERY CAREFULLY. Since the paint it really runny, if there's a wrinkle or a bump in the tape it will easily let paint in, and I got a few bad spots because of it.
- Do this on a dry, sunny day. Humidity in the air will make the paint take longer to cure, and could mess up the finish.
- Plan on not using your oven for a couple days. I did this in the afternoon and the paint was technically dry by midnight, but it wasn't quite "set".. I don't know how to explain it, but it just wasn't ready, and I didn't want to risk it.
- Have a shop vac and floor scrubbing materials handy.. you would not BELIEVE how nasty the spaces under/behind a stove get. So gross.
- Wear gloves. It took 3 days and multiple washing with mechanics pumice soap to get MOST of the paint off of my hands - still not all.
- Be aware that this is NOT water soluble paint.. DO NOT RINSE YOUR BRUSHES IN THE SINK. I made the mistake of going straight to the sink and trying to pull the roller brush off the roller while it was underwater, which made the paint go all over my hands and then turn to a mess (hence the taking 3 days to get off my hands) You need a solvent made to clean oil based paint.
- Do a thin coat without worrying about coverage, and then a second coat to cover. There's not an issue of coverage on the first coat, but there are a few spots that need touching up, and the finish will be more even if you do a second coat instead of just a few spots.

So that's it. Yay new stove!

One thing I will add - there's still some wood grain on the control panel that we're going to change.. we're planning on finding some stainless steel contact paper and cutting it to fit those little spots. I'll post a picture of that here as well whenever we get it done.


  1. Awesome idea! I too have wanted to replace my ancient stove but as always, moneys an issue. I'll definitely have to try your method out, just not sure what to do with the "control panel".....

  2. wanted to update - it's been 8 months, and I'm not in love with my stove. some of the paint has scraped a little, but more importantly, there's still a bit of a brownish tint to the black.

    Still, it's way cheaper than a whole new stove... and i still have a TON of the paint left. I wonder what I could use it on?

  3. I would love to do this but ... I have a white flat-top stove. sigh. And I would have liked to have red.
    I'll keep dreaming!

    1. Thanks for your comment Marie, sorry this doesn't work for you!

    2. What about high heat automotive paint? I have seen it in red, blue & green

  4. This looks great! I bought the paint to cover my GREEN stove (ugh) - Question for you -the can says recommended for wood stoves, not stove tops. Is that due to scratching reasons??? my green stove can't get much worse though!) -Is yours holding up to cooking and the heat? Is it safe? Thanks for the inspiration.. I've been nervous to try until I saw yours! -Melanie

  5. How is it holding up now? I have an almond colored stove I'm wanting to try this on?

  6. You can also use High Heat engine spray paint. It comes in all sorts of colors and works great! (mine's orange)

  7. They make appliance paint for ALL appliances in black white and brushed nickel at walmart for under $4.00 a can

    1. I have to fix something in my RV that a prior owner did. He used regular spray paint on the stove and the area around the burners discolored to pink from the heat. Can this withstand cooking heat?