In our renovation of my friend’s galley kitchen we were planning for two major appliances in the budget. The fridge and the stove. They had to buy a microwave but there was no cabinet over the stove for a mounted microwave to be mounted to, so they bought a counter microwave. (Microwaves that are mounted attach to the wall AND the top cabinet.) This dishwasher was, at first, in the budget to replace:
Are you noticing that is an under-the-sink microwave? These are used when you want to maximize your counter space. When you open the dishwasher you see you don’t have as much top space because its built to be caved in so a sink can fit on top. All the plumbing for the sink is to the cabinet on the right. Debbie and her husband, at first wanted to move the dishwasher out from under the sink. That
would have been an easy fix if they were getting new cabinets and counters but that was not in the budget. You can kind-of see here in this picture that these cabinets are one unit.
Here is why we could not move the dishwasher with these cabinets.
- Old cabinets were built-in one large unit. Now when we build homes, we purchase different cabinets and put them all together. To move the dishwasher, we were going to have to cut down part of a huge cabinet unit. We did not have the tools for that, nor did we want too.
- Not only would we have to cut out a cabinet we would have to reconstruct a sink cabinet. A new, in-stock cabinet would not fit visually with these old cabinets. We did not have the tools, time, budget, or skills to reconstruct a new sink cabinet and doors to fit.
- We would have had to get new countertops. The ones they had were in good condition and they had not put this expense in the budget.
- Long term: We Googled “under-the-sink” dishwashers and found many options. They cost a little more ($600-$800) but it could be replaced when the time came a few years down the road. We just wanted to make sure it was possible and the internet and a call to Sears confirmed it was.
- Short term: Debs and her husband were hoping to get all their appliances on Craigslist or on clearance (a.k.a “death row“) This was not possible with this type of appliance…well, possible but rare. A few added expenses in the budget after they started renovating halted the budget for this, so I suggested spray painting it.
I noticed the screws on the side of the dishwasher, so we unscrewed them and the wood paneling…
and the creme plastic thing came right out.
I spray painted them both with appliance epoxy spray paint (availabe at any hardware store).
I wanted to spray paint the black part to white. I actually went down that road and was thinking I could paint the plastic part surrounding the nobs (see below).
I think it coud be done but you have to disconnect electricity. I probably would have decided to go for it if it were my dishwasher, but it wasn’t. My mistake would be expensive for them so I decided not to risk it. After two coats of the spray paint dried, I put it back together and this is what we got.
Yes, its old and someday will be replaced but it is now its a little more cohesive.
There are lots of ideas to jazz it up.
- You coud cover the pieces with fun contact paper.
- You could replace the pieces with stainless steel sheet from Lowes or Home Depot. You would have them cut to size and then just slide them in.
- You could spray paint it with chalkboard paint. You could write yourself messages “Drying” or “Needs to be Cleaned” or just fun messages. Your toddler could sit and doodle as you cook dinner.
- You could replace the pieces with shower board. I used shower board to make dry erase boards like the one in my laundry room. Now your washer is a dry erase board.
- You could cover it with wall-paper remnants.
- You could try fabric. I would pick Oil Cloth because its wipeable. (Alon of table-cloths are made from oil cloth.) The cool thing is that you can buy this iron-on stuff that makes any fabric oil cloth.
- OR – you could embrace its uniqueness as one of my readers suggested. Its fun to work a kitchen around something vintage.
The possibilities are endless. Never-the- less, I think we accomplished what Debbie wanted. She wanted it to blend in. It did not here:
It was much more cohesive here:
I hope this inspires you to rehab your old dishwasher before giving it the boot.
Thanks for Reading,