Sunday, August 26, 2012

DIY: KitchenAid Mixer Makeover

The KitchenAid mixer.
I have been wanting one of my own for quite some time. It's like the swiss army knife of the kitchen appliance world.

Since they have come out in so many colors and styles - I have been eyeballing the fabulous paints and finishes with glee, picturing myself and my KitchenAid.

Earlier this year, I had the fortune of having a friend gift me her old KitchenAid mixer - I was excited!
But there were a few things that needed to be tweaked on this mixer to make me love it like I had imagined in my warm, fuzzy daydreams of me and my KitchenAid happily whiling hours away in the kitchen together.It wasn't the mixer I wanted, but I wasn't going to disregard a perfectly good, working KitchenAid just because it was in need of a new paint job and some cleaning! That's just a waste of money!

I forgot to take a "Before" picture in all the excitement of finally getting a chance to get to work on my KitchenAid's makeover.
So a brief description will have to do - It was the classic, traditional white KitchenAid. Being a used KitchenAid, it had flour and stuff caked on it and a splotchy area on the base where the white paint had been stained.

Needless to say - it, at the very least, needed a good scrub down. But I have always said that I wanted a KitchenAid that was not white.

Hence - The KitchenAid Makeover!

Picture the used white mixer I described...
Here's what it looks like now!!

It's now a fully cleaned, two-tone hammered-finish metallic gray and black gloss like-new mixer. 
My KitchenAid. 

And here's how I gave my mixer its makeover:

Step 1: Unplug the mixer.
Step 2: Remove back panel, attachment connector cover, bowl stand base-plate, and mix speed/logo plate. 
Step 3: Clean the entire mixer and I mean, entire. When I lifted the base-plate for the bowl - it was scary. It took me over half an hour to clean under there. It was some crazy sticky stuff - I used a lot of Dawn on that. 

Here are some pics. The screws are pretty easy to find and loosen - I had no troubles. 

I also removed the black plastic screws to clean the flour and gunk that had gotten under there. Be warned there is a spring under those screws and it will spring out if you're not careful. In case that happens to you and you need to reassemble the screw assembly, this is what it looks like properly assembled: 

Step 4: Sand the painted surfaces of your mixer. You want to sand enough to disrupt the glossy finish. This will help the new coats of paint adhere to the surface. Don't forget the cover for the back panel!

Step 5: Use painter's tape to cover any portions you don't want painted like the control knobs, the silver accent above the mixing arm, the mixing arm itself, etc. Also cover the exposed wiring on the back of the mixer. I cut the zipper part off of a sandwich baggie and used the tape to secure it. I also covered the screws on the sides of the top portion of the mixer as well as on the base of it. I wanted to maintain that from-factory look by keeping the silver screws on the bottom unpainted. I covered each with tape and the cut the excess tape off with a knife. 

Step 6: Whether you are painting yours two-tone like I did or if you are painting it all one color, be sure to cover up the portion of the mixer that is not being painted while you paint the opposite part. For example: If you paint the top first, cover the base while you paint it. And vice versa. If you don't do this, when you go to paint the portion you didn't paint the first time, the part that is already painted will be dusted with another coat of paint - disrupting that smooth, glossy factory-like finish. 

Step 7: Paint the first portion of the mixer! 

A note about paints to use: There are appliance epoxy spray paints that are specially formulated to look just like the factory finish. I used this on the bottom portion of my mixer. For the top of mine, I wanted something more unique. Those appliance epoxy paints only come in common appliance colors (white, black, almond, etc.). The unique colors like red, orange, green, gray - those aren't available. However, any oil-based spray paint will do the job. Isn't that fabulous?? In case you didn't know - the majority of spray paints are oil-based. If they are not oil-based they will be marked as such. This opens up literally hundreds of colors and textures! I chose the Rust-oleum hammered finish gray paint for my top half:

Step 8: When finished, peel the tape off of the covered items and remove the covering for the base - to prevent the tape from being sealed onto the mixer once the paint dries. 
Step 9: Allow to dry completely. 
Step 9.5: Paint the back panel cover and allow to dry completely. 
Step 10: Once the top half (or whatever part you painted already) has dried, cover it. Also, wrap up the cord and cover it in a plastic bag. Tape up cord where it sticks out of the bag and meets the mixer so that none of the cord is uncovered. Tape the bagged cord so that it hangs up off of the base and the floor, taped to the covering of the top portion of the mixer. This will prevent the cord from disturbing the paint on the base by touching it. 
Step 11: Paint the remaining portion. 

As you might have noticed, I decided to change where the gray and the black paint met on my mixer. When I started I forgot that I wanted the color to change at the mix speed label so that above it was gray-silver and below it was black. I remembered this and taped off the mixer appropriately and painted over some of the gray-silver from my first painting session. No harm, no foul. ;)

Step 12: Once the paint has begun to dry a little, remove the tape and the bag from the mixer, carefully. Be sure to prop the cord up so that it does not touch the painted surfaces while it is drying. 
Step 13: Allow to dry completely.
Step 14: Reattach all pieces that were removed in the beginning. 
Step 15: Enjoy! 

Now, I'm sure some of you will want to find a way to recolor the cord to match (I know I wanted to do it). But you can't just spray paint that too, unfortunately. Because the cord is flexible and because of its material, spray paint won't stay adhered to it. You'll need to purchase a sort of dye to recolor the cord material - I've read about vinyl dyes doing the trick in other applications - but it seemed like a lot of work for me, just to repaint the cord. I'm fine with it being white. But in case, it really bothers you, there are options! I just did a quick google search about it, I'm sure you could dig something up with more detail. :) 

Now my KitchenAid and I can truly say that we belong together. :) 

Here's hoping that I've inspired you in some way or helped you make something you have into something you love. :) 

Happy DIY-ing!
Stay excellent!
- Jenny -

Sunday, August 5, 2012

DIY: Hand-painted Highball Glass

I've done a lot of hand-painted glass for gifts the past few years. The first project was very simple - just the WSU Cougar logo on a wine glass with the word "Mom" on it for my mom (obviously).
I've since gotten a little more ambitious. My most recent project, a highball glass, was my most elaborate yet.

I really enjoy doing hand-painted glassware as a gift - I think it's a thoughtful one that can be customized to any individual and any occasion! There are literally hundreds of ways to implement this gift idea; it's fabulous. Not only is it thoughtful, it's a gift that won't break the bank, but still is a quality gift with meaning and love in it. What's to hate?!

So here's the scoop on DIY hand-painted glassware, specifically this hand-painted highball glass gifted for a 21st birthday.

Step 1: Find a piece of glassware that you'd like to paint.
The great thing about this is that you can find quality, plain glassware all over the place for very reasonable prices (like, seriously affordable). For example: I have painted three beer steins for friends (I'll show them at the end of this post). I got the glassware at Walmart and all three were quality pieces (heavy weight glass, no chips, stars, or cracks) and all were highly affordable. As for the wine glass and for this highball glass - I found them at my local Bed Bath and Beyond in the clearance section. This is a great place to look for single glassware items. BBB doesn't sell single pieces often, because glassware is mostly sold in sets - but when a set has a piece break, they sell the remaining pieces as singles. It's much less expensive to buy as singles and the pieces are very nice. Both the wine glass and the highball glass were lonely pieces from a broken set and were sold for less than $3 each.

Step 2: Buy some paint!
I use a brand of glass paint called Air Dry PermEnamel by Delta. It has worked fabulously for me so far and what I love about this paint system is that it is all air dry and the resulting painted glassware is dishwasher safe and oven/microwave safe up to 350 degrees F. Isn't that awesome?! There are three steps to their system: 1) the surface conditioner 2) the PermEnamel paint and 3) the glaze. I bought my paints at my local Michaels for about $6 each for the paints and a little less for the conditioner and glaze (I don't quite remember the prices exactly...). It's a bit spendy at first, but I have had my paints and glaze for almost 3 years now and I still use them! The only thing I need to buy more of is the conditioner - I had a little spill... :P So I think it's well worth the investment! I've done five gifts with my paints already. (Not pictured: my black paint.)

Step 3: Prep the glassware.
Remove all price stickers and other stickers that may be on the glass. Wash the glassware (I use Dawn dish soap) and dry it completely. Sounds easy enough - but sometimes those stickers can be little monsters...
For example:
As you can see in the picture on the left, I tried to peel the sticker off of this highball glass and it didn't work out so well. But as the photo also suggests - I used sticky out by Elmer's to help me with my problem. You may have seen me use this product to get gum out of my living room carpet. It's a great product. I just dribbled some of it on the sticker until the sticker was soaked (it took less than a teaspoon) and used a kitchen scrubby and it came off with no sweat and no residue! Perfect.

Step 4: Condition the glass. 
Next, use the Air Dry PermEnamel Surface Conditioner to prep the area that you will be painting. To conserve my conditioner, I just apply it to the areas I plan to paint. I use an ordinary paintbrush. Let dry completely (only takes a few minutes).

Step 5: Paint it!
Now, the fun part - paint! I have free-handed some designs and also utilized stencils. I print my own stencils and use them as references. It is important to note that glass is often a curved surface so stencils don't work perfectly. My advice: paint with them as best you can to get the shape reference. Then remove the stencil and perfect the image free-hand. Also utilize other painting tricks like using tape for straight lines and using toothpicks for fine lines and lettering. Also, with this paint, you can scratch it away and remove it for mess-ups and detailed edges.
Have at it and have fun! Here are images from my painting of the highball glass.
Allow the paint to dry for at least two hours before moving on to the next step (or whatever is recommended by the manufacturer of the brand of paint you are using).

Step 6: Glaze it!
Next, you want to glaze the painted designs. I chose a glossy glaze because I wanted my images to have a  sheen similar to clean glass. After your paint has dried, apply the glaze to the designs. I only glaze my designs. I'm sure you could glaze the entire piece (provided you conditioned all of the glass) but, I like to avoid the occurrence of brush strokes as much as possible, so I only glaze designs.

Step 7: Allow to dry completely. 
For the Air-Dry PermEnamel system, the glaze must set and dry for 10 full days before it is dishwasher-safe and microwave and oven safe up to 350 degrees F. I will caution, however, that though this paint system claims to be dishwasher safe, all painted glassware and ceramic, whether store-bought or hand-painted will maintain their finishes longer if they are hand washed. Almost all of my gifts were gifted before the 10 days were up. I simply notified the receivers of the time span - no biggie! ;)

Step 8: Admire your work! 
It's so fun. Like I said before, this highball glass was the most elaborate. I included a recipe for a mixed drink that could be served in the glass, the "Shark Bite" and a design that is meant to be seen through the glass bottom. Behold!

I hope that I've given you a new idea for a DIY gift. I think it's a fabulous way to celebrate a lot of occasions and, like I said before, it is a seriously versatile idea.

Below are photos of some of my other hand-painted glassware gifts!
Have a great day!
Stay excellent.
- Jenny -