Rust-Oleum stainless steel paint overview

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Can this aged, off-white stove relic be transformed into a sleek stainless steel beauty? When I heard about a product designed to mimic the look of stainless steel appliances, I was eager to see if it worked – it just seemed a little too good to be true. Could this paint make devices stand out a bit more, or perhaps look a little less worn out? Less almond anyway?

For this test, I bought Rust-Oleum’s stainless steel, which retails for about $30. The box promises that it is made of real stainless steel and that it is a one-step transformation. The first thing to know: although it comes in a box, this product isn’t actually a “kit” – it’s just a can of paint and you buy everything else a la carte. It comes with a stock list and you can get everything you need from an average home improvement store.

After reading the instructions, I ran into my first problem: the Rust-Oleum kit covers most appliances, but it’s not recommended for stoves or ovens (besides other surfaces like wood or plastic). oops. But! There are others on the market: Giani makes two different kits: one for stoves and dishwashers, and one for refrigerators. So read before you buy and make sure you’re using the right product for the job. I pushed on.

Before you start painting, remove any removable parts you don’t want to cover. It helps to take before pictures so you know where each part goes, and you can easily replace everything when you’re done.

The stock list calls for sandpaper, but the instructions don’t mention it in the steps. They only say: 1) wash the device with soap and water and let it dry completely; and 2) roll the paint onto the surface. I’ve done my fair share of painting metal devices, and always find it best to roughen the surface slightly with a sanding stone so that the paint adheres better. So even though the directions on the box didn’t say it explicitly, I decided to sand just one side of the stove anyway, as a test, and then compare it to the unsanded surface.

After sanding one side, I wiped the entire surface of the stove with a degreaser, then with dish soap and water.

After it dried completely I taped off any areas I didn’t want to paint. (I think stainless steel looks really nice contrasted with black, so I decided to leave any black portion unpainted.)

To start, I used a small foam paintbrush to paint along small or tight spots that couldn’t be covered with a roller. The instructions say you should apply a few thin coats first, so I tried not to make the first coat too thick. Still, those early moments were a bit of a nail biter: everything was thin, streaky, and looked awful. in the beginning.

Keep in mind that this is quite a messy and incredibly smelly process, so be sure to wear a mask or respirator while painting and paint in a well-ventilated area.

Tip: If you buy your paint from the hardware store, ask them to shake it for you first.

Once that was done I covered the sides of the stove with a mini roller made for super smooth finishes. (If you’re going to spend the money on the kit, don’t skimp and get a cheap roller! Buy the best you can afford.) At this point, the rolled surface looked a little better, but you could still see streaks.

I waited an hour for the next coat, and that made all the difference. As the layers build up, the streaks fill in and the surface becomes very smooth and dull. Rust-Oleum suggests applying an optional coat of acrylic sealer at the end for a glossy finish – a great idea as it would add not only a shine but an extra layer of protection to the surface.

After the last coat was completely dry, I removed the tape, put the stove back together and took a step back. My first thought was that it looked like a DeLorean. But “hey, that’s not too shabby!” followed soon after. Overall, I was quite impressed with how it looked.

I let the stove dry for 24 hours, then went back and attacked it with cleaning products, paper towels and sponges. They all went surprisingly well. Then I got really nasty and got down to it with my thumbnail. First I scratched the surface that was not sanded before painting: the paint came right up. Next I scratched the sanded side: same thing, paint came right off the surface. It was a bit of a disappointment and I can’t imagine what it would look like after months of use. But again, with an additional clear coat, it may take a little longer.

This product is not a panacea for old, outdated or mismatched appliances, saving you thousands on shiny new stainless steel models. While the end results look impressive, it might be best used as a Band-Aid or short-term solution…until you can upgrade to something better. The Rust-Oleum product is easy to apply, but it is also a messy job. And after repeated use with kitchen utensils, scratches and bumps will undoubtedly appear. If you decide to go for it, take the extra step of applying a clear coat to better protect it.

Have you tried this? If so, what was your experience?

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