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How to paint a microwave

Updated February 21, 2017

If you love your microwave oven but wish it were a different colour, or you've changed your kitchen decor and the microwave no longer matches, refinish it with paint. The process you use to accomplish this depends on what material the microwave's outer case is made of; metal, plastic and vinyl are ill-suited for paint adhesion and will reject a new finish without specific preparation. Abrade plastic and vinyl components of the microwave to encourage adhesion. Pre-treat metallic microwaves with a special acidic base primer, or the finish will eventually flake.

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  1. Wash the microwave with a water-based degreaser, using a coarse brush. Use rags to rinse the appliance. Dry it, using clean towels.

  2. Abrade the plastic or vinyl microwave exterior to encourage adhesion by scouring it with 180-grit sandpaper until the surface has a slight grit. Do not sand metallic microwaves.

  3. Protect parts of the microwave that are to remain unpainted by covering them with masking paper and painter's tape. Set the microwave on a dust sheet.

  4. Coat the prepared plastic or vinyl microwave with an acrylic latex spray primer. Use a metal self-etching spray primer on metal microwaves. Maintain 8 inches between the microwave and spray can nozzle as you apply. Allow three hours of dry time.

  5. Coat the primed microwave with epoxy appliance spray paint or acrylic spray enamel. Maintain 8 inches between the microwave and spray can nozzle as you apply. Allow three hours of dry time.

  6. Warning

    Don't use latex paint on kitchen appliances, as it will not remain durable. Do not paint directly over an unprimed microwave or the finish will peel. Be sure to maintain 8 inches between the microwave and spray can nozzle, or the finish will sag.

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Things You'll Need

  • Water-based degreasing cleanser
  • Plastic brush
  • Rags
  • Towels
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Dust sheet
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Masking paper
  • Acrylic latex spray primer
  • Metal self-etching spray primer
  • Epoxy appliance spray paint or acrylic enamel

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.

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