DIY: Painting an oven

EATREALFOODNovember 13, 2011

Please explain best paint/method for painting a free standing range. I refuse to replace a perfectly working Magic Chef, but I am really rough with it (cast iron pans).

My husband swears that I will replace it while he's away but I will not. $$ is flying(flying !) out of my passbook account fast enough !! yes, me and your grandmother both use a passbook account(no debit card, no checking acct, CC only for leverage with returns or to keep track of the large expenditures. Maybe I should post this on the household finance forum...

thanks for any ideas.

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There is no DIY method for painting a range and not have it look like a 4 year old did it. Even a pro would have a hard time doing this because of the need for the specialty paint. It has to be heat resistant as well as durable for use. Any old autobody shop couldn't even do it. You have to acid etch it and spray it with the high heat powder coat and then fire in the oven to cure it. It cost a client $500 for the door and back plate on a stainless (no acid etch) GE Cafe range to have it done in red, and that shop is no longer in business. If you were talking a valuable antique or a high end product like Viking, it might be worth it to find a shop in your area, but it is totally not worth it for your Magic Chef. Put it up for sale on Craigslist and see what someone else is selling. You can find lots of white or black ranges, but very few stainless.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:22AM
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As usual just another DIY project discussed on the internet that won't work( should be edited). I did know that you need heat resistant paint, and it requires curing(that's why Bluestar etc. charges addit. for non SS) and I wasn't about to use wall paint which would peel..I'm not looking for a professional job like your client. I just was curious if anyone else had done this and what the outcome was. Fortunately there are a lot of DIY kitchen designers out there, maybe someone has tried this. Thank you for the information.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:11AM
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I used a two part epoxy paint on a cast iron corner tub. Brushed it on and looked really sharp. It lasted five years. I believe it was Krylon. Didn't clean the inside enough (soapscum) is why it failed, the outside still looked perfect.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 9:06AM
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Hendricus, a cast iron tub is completely different from a stove. For one thing, it's cast iron. That's a completely different material that requires completely different coatings. But the biggest issue is that an oven gets hundreds of degrees hotter than a bathtub and thus would require a completely different coating even if both the oven and the tub were made of the same material.

Eatrealfood, it sounds like the outcome is... it sucks. Don't waste your time and money. You have a problem you're trying to solve, but this isn't the solution. Could you explain what exactly the problem you're trying to solve is? What part(s) of your range looks bad, and why?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Circus Peanut


I'm always game for a DIY project that the pros think isn't doable -- all the KDs here told me my roofing copper countertops were unthinkable, but 3.5 years later they still look marvelous and are exceedingly functional.

I suspect that many folks who don't regularly do DIY aren't as familiar with experimentation as those of us who are used to trying things out. I completely understand the spirit of innovation - it won't look like a brand-new stove, but with some exacting preparation & technique it can look pretty nice. If it doesn't work out, so what? You can consider a new range at that point.

CAVEAT: I'm assuming you're considering recoloring the front and sides, not the actual top heating surfaces, which would be a much dicier proposition.

To fix some chipped patches on my vintage stove, I used a specialty high-heat porcelain paint - I'll try to track it back down for you. It was fairly pricy though, not sure you'd want to use it for your entire stove. It worked fine, although I was unable to exactly match my 1949 white tone. I would recommend using any color other than white for best coverage if you go this route.

There are other 'ceramic' coating types, such as specifically formulated stove paints for antique stoves, although those come in limited color palette. They're good to a thousand degrees or so. They make a gloss topcoat for them that simulates kitchen range enamel.

You could also try engine paints made for the automotive industry: Eastwood makes an engine paint that comes in a number of colors: Red engine paint.

Good luck and make sure to report back!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 1:31PM
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"Even a pro would have a hard time doing this because of the need for the specialty paint."

"I used a specialty high-heat porcelain paint"

Advertising BS.

Porcelain is basically a layer of glass on metal.

No paint is even close, and no home oven gets hot enough to fire porcelain.

It starts out as fine silica and coloring agents that are applied and dried, then fired at many thousands of degree.
The silica melts and ten harden to from the coating.

The 'porcelain' paints attempt to match color and have enough build to make a smooth surface.
they do not have the the heat resistance that was originally present, and WILL discolor with heat and age.

You can then apply another thin coat and hope it still matches the color.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Circus Peanut

Yes, brickeyee, we are well aware of this. I should have put "porcelain" and "ceramic" in quotes. The kind of coating I used (I am trying to locate the brand name) took infrared curing to set it hard, therefore I assume that these are variants of epoxy that have proven to stand up as well as can be expected to heat.

Nobody expects that a coating treatment will look, act or perform as well as an actual porcelain/enamel surface.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:34PM
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The previous owner of our home painted the harvest gold cooktop and wall oven with white paint. Before we bought the house, the white paint had already been removed from the cooktop (but I know it was painted at one time because I've seen remnants on an underpiece). The wall oven has scratches where the harvest gold shines through.

I have no idea what kind of paint they used or how long is was done before we bought the house (10 years ago). The wall oven didn't look too bad and the paint doesn't bubble or anything like that related to heat. But it does scratch off. So your iron pans will probably scratch off the new paint. IF the previous owner did use appliance paint which I have seen at Home Depot, I would say it won't last long on the cooktop surface.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 5:15PM
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Just an idea...

Here is a link that might be useful: article

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 5:49PM
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In 1987, I had a guy or company 'electrostatically' paint our copper appliances which were a refrig, double oven, electric cooktop and dishwasher. They went from copper to white.

Anyway, it took a complete day. For 7.5 hours, he completely covered everything else in the room, floors, walls, parts of appliANCES, etc. And then in the last half hour, he sprayed some fancy kind of paint. It worked. And it lasted until around 2003. The ovens and cooktop started peeling but the frig was perfect until our 2011 reno.

It cost $500. So worth it

It was called, iirc, electrostatic paint or spray paint. Done obviously on premises.

I have no idea whether this is still done

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:11PM
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Thanks for the comments...I just need to paint the back black where the clock/timer is and the sides. Not going to bother with craiglist to sell/replace it.
it was just an idea...

westsider-sounds like you lucked out. That paint application lasted a long time.
"Nobody expects that a coating treatment will look, act or perform as well as an actual porcelain/enamel surface." my words exactly circuspeanut!

I'm not trying to make my beloved(refurbished)sturdy, freestanding range---NON double convection w/ built in rotisserie infra-red broiler wall oven look like a brand new one, just wanted to jazz it up a little...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:45PM
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The sides of my 1965 Frigidaire Flair range were originally turquoise, but painted off-white by a previous owner, probably 25 years ago. I have no idea what they used, but the off-white paint still looks fine (I can only see the turquoise by peering back into the seam where it slides into the countertop.) Kinda wish it was still turquoise, though (if you're gonna go, go big!) The cooking surface area around the burners is stainless, so no issues there.

I am another one of those "let's try it" DIY types. My husband and I had a blacksmith shop for many years, so I'm pretty comfortable with experimenting with paint finishes on metal.

I think your recent mention of only wanting to paint the sides and the back where the clock and timer are makes a big difference. There are high-heat paints designed for painting metal fireplaces and cast iron stoves, designed to withstand temps to 1200 degrees. I'd probably buy a spray can to try it, myself. Here are a few links I've found, if it helps. You might also email the companies with specific info about your intended use, to see if they have any concerns. I do this frequently and they usually answer.

Thermalox Stove Paint

Stove Paint By Jim

I think it would be great if you'd post back after trying it, as circuspeanut mentioned. You might be a big help to someone else considering the same idea. As someone who likes to think "outside the box" I am always tickled pink when I find someone posting in detail about unusual things they've tried (tips hat to circuspeanut!)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 10:53PM
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As an interesting aside, we always found the heat-resistant black spray paints, like the one remodelfla posted, were really tough paints. One of our basic bread-and-butter products were triangle dinner bells (you know, the "come-and-get-it" iron triangle, that Cookie rings in the cowboy camps?) I always used heat resistant or BBQ black spray paint on those; not because anyone would heat up their dinner bells...but because it was one of the few widely available spray paints that could withstand being beat to heck with an iron bar without bad chipping.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:02PM
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THANK YOU mudhouse
Turquoise blue was what I was thinking of trying to find ! :)
Hey what's the worst that can happen, the oven will hate me and not heat up fast !
Do you still sell any cowboy bells, my husband (and city neighbors)would love that if I used it a supper time. Ha! He wanted to buy a gong to hit when wants tea(his is quirky Irish humour)
all the best.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:53PM
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No, we have retired from those adventures (which hopefully should leave me time to deal with the 60's kitchen wrapped around my range?)

Hopefully the areas you want to touch up are far enough away from critical cooking surfaces to let you have some success. I do find some companies will give you honest advice about how well their product will work for your application, if you can just get someone to answer your questions. Hope you have good luck.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 1:30AM
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