If you are lucky enough to have a KitchenAid mixer, most would say you are lucky enough. The originals were all a very basic white. White goes with everything. White is practical. Practical is good. Then you see all of the colors they now come in. Green Apple, Boysenberry, Tangerine, Watermelon, Pear, and Grape all sound more like a stroll through the produce department than a mixer color palette, but it’s true you can get all of those colors and more. As much as I wanted a beautiful Ruby Red mixer, I am practical. I see how well my 15-year-old white mixer still works and know why people will spend $300+ on one of these beautiful machines. They are well made to last decades. There is no way that I am going to spend $300 or even $250 (if I do a little internet searching) on something that I already own that is working fine. That’s when I stumble upon a story about someone who has successfully painted their beloved mixer using spray paint and spar urethane. I read about her process, I look at the pictures, I say to myself, “This could be you!”
That’s when I think of the Serenity Prayer and think how I had accepted my white KitchenAid mixer as something that could not be changed and suddenly I’m praying for the courage to change something I can! And it did take courage to wrap my head around what I was about to do.
The first step was taking off as many of the easily removable parts as I dared. I was then surprised at how dirty it really was, but it’s kind of like what happens when you have to move the refrigerator.
After scrubbing it with Ammonia and getting every bit of grease and grime, I then taped off every part that I didn’t want to paint. I covered the end piece with plastic wrap and painter’s tape to protect the motor. Once that was done, a light sanding all over with fine grit sandpaper was necessary. This step took a bit of courage for sure. The glossy white surface was being intentionally dulled. No looking back now!
Using a lint free cloth, I wiped it free of any dust. I chose Rust-Oleum’s Merlot as my color, I wanted something between Bordeaux and Ruby Red in KitchenAid colors and that looked about right. I set my mixer up in my parents’ basement on a large sheet of plastic by the wood pile. Please for the sake of your health and the health of others, do not set this up in your garage next to your husband’s new truck, overspray is a very serious problem. Spray painting, although not a science can be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before. Holding the can the correct distance away and also not spending too much time in one area will help avoid runs and getting the paint on too thick. Multiple lighter coats are better than a heavy coat. I ended up doing 3 light coats to make sure everything had received enough color. Follow the directions on the can to make sure you are allowing enough time between coats. Don’t forget to tip up the “head” to get underneath, no one likes tan lines.
After you’ve achieved the perfect saturation of color, you need to start the process of spraying the spar urethane. I used Helmsman Spar Urethane gloss in Interior/Exterior. Make sure that you chose a gloss finish if you want the shiny look, (you can get satin finish for a more matte look). You will need multiple coats and will do a light sanding between coats. I did 5 or 6 coats (actually my mom did a couple for me). You want to make sure that you are getting a good barrier to protect your color.
It was so fun to take all of the painter’s tape off and put all of the pieces back on. I’m so happy with my results. It only cost me $13 in materials and I still have paint and urethane left over for another project!