Project: DIY Stainless Steel Dishwasher

This project made me want to break out my Zoolander Blue Steel model pose.
It’s THAT epic.
Okay, well maybe not epic, but I saved a heck of a lot of mulah and that is impressive in and of itself.
During the whole planning process when our house was still in blueprint phase, Robert and I had a meeting with our builder to discuss where we wanted to spend our very small extra sum of bonus money to put into upgrades. We chose the features that we knew we couldn’t DIY without hiring contracting work and the features that would add the most value to our home. We chose upgrading to the full luxury master bathroom, adding arched doorway openings, and specialty lighting that would require a pro electrician. All of the other things could be done later with some extra effort on our end. The last thing on our minds was upgrading to stainless steel. An extra $1000 just to have a stainless steel finish on my appliances? I’d rather have a giant garden tub. But I found a way to cheat the system!
Meet this handy dandy stuff called faux stainless steel contact paper. I’m not going to lie; this took some patience, but the end results were pretty good considering the supplies cost all of $8.00.

DIY Stainless Steel Dishwasher
Supplies Needed:

1 Roll of Stainless Steel Contact Paper
All Purpose Cleaner
Dry Dish Towel
Measuring Tape
Credit Card
Cheesecloth/Thin Washcloth
Pricking Pin
Step 1:  Clean the surface of the dishwasher with a grease-fighting solvent. (I used 409.)  Dry with a clean cloth.
Step 2:  Measure the length of your dishwasher, then add 2 inches to the measurement.


Step 3:  Unroll the contact paper, steel side down, and use a measuring tape to mark the length needed according to your dishwasher measurements from step 2. I had to use two strips of the contact paper since the width of the paper wasn’t as wide as the dishwasher door itself. And there is a bit of a grain to the stainless steel that, to me, looked better running vertically.
Step 4:  Peel back about an inch from the backing of one of the cut contact paper lengths. Line up the edge of the paper to the bottom of the button panel, leaving two inches hanging on the side to wrap around the edge of the dishwasher door. Once even, stick the edge of the partially peeled contact paper to the door.
Step 5:  DO THIS PART VERY SLOWLY. Pull the paper side down and away from the stainless steel sheet and, using a credit card wrapped in thin cloth (such as cheesecloth to prevent scratching the surface), smooth out the steel a little at a time making sure to flatten out any air bubbles as you work your way down the door.


Step 6:  Wrap the edges around the bottom and side of the dishwasher door, squeezing out the air bubbles with the credit card.
Step 7:  Repeat steps 4-6 with the second cut length of the contact paper to apply to the other side of the dishwasher. Overlap the second piece of contact paper just slightly over the first one you applied.
Step 8:  Using a pin, poke any air bubbles still visible in the contact paper. This will release the air and allow you to flatten the bubble.
And that’s it! Instant stainless steel dishwasher.
I will warn you that this contact paper matches better to the brushed stainless steel finish. I have a Whirlpool fridge, and this paper matches fairly well. I’ve had this finish for about a month now, and it has held up very well. I can wipe it clean when I need to, it doesn’t show hardly any fingerprints, and it looks like stainless steel. Granted, the real deal might look a tad better, which is why I’d give this four stars. Still, it’s worth trying. And if you mess it up, no biggie. It can be removed.

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    1. Oh my goodness, this was one of my very first DIYs ever! Haha I bought the contact paper on Amazon. It’s held up great since I did it a year and a half ago.

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