How to “HIDE” A Dishwasher

This is a post all about a white elephant.  Not the Christmas party kind and not the circus kind.  It’s the kind in a room.  A kitchen actually.  And did I mention it wasn’t an elephant at all but a dishwasher?!  No?  Let me tell you all about it.

Our landlord so kindly installed a new dishwasher in this little house for us before we moved because we are first-world, spoiled peeps who can’t not have a machine that does the dirty work for us while we wrangle four kids post-dinner.  *eyeroll*

So awesome, right?  Right.  So, now we’ve got one and we’re SO thankful because, as you probably know, it really does make life just a little easier.  Well, I got a few comments on how great the dishwasher looks painted after the big kitchen reveal and those words were music to my ears because that’s what I wanted everyone to think.  But, listen.  I am not inconsiderate enough to think I should go and paint a dishwasher that isn’t technically mine.  But I really hated how it stuck out of our pretty green cabinets like a rowdy toddler at Mass.
  IMG_8042I sent the above picture to my sister right after I finished “tiling”.

I had to do something.  I came up with two options.  One, I could cut a piece of super thin plywood or wood veneer to fit right over the front of the dishwasher (minus the control part), paint it the cabinet green, and glue some magnets to the back so that it would stick right to the metal of the dishwasher (the bottom 3/4 is metal).  Or, I could cover the metal part of the dishwasher with contact paper, paint the contact paper, and simply remove it when we left!  That option meant I could cover the sides of the door so the entire dishwasher (minus that control part again) could blend in.  But I just didn’t know if the contact paper would really come off without ruining the metal.
I did cut a small piece of contact paper out and gave it a coat of paint while I was in the process of painting the lower cabinets just to experiment and, after trying to remove it a week or so later, it came off with no problem.
  dishwasha (1)
I still was nervous though.  So, I enlisted the help of friends via Instagram stories and Sarah gave me the confidence I needed to go forth and paper it (she had covered something in her classroom one year and the contact paper came right off at the end of the year).  I was about to set sail when I remembered I had this removable wallpaper* in a closet that I bought last year at Dirt Cheap.  My intention was to cut some letters out of it to decorate the kids’ wall with (still haven’t done that…ha!), but it’s serving this purpose too.  Since the removable wallpaper is made with the intention of removal, I figured I’d use that instead of the contact paper.  Though if I hadn’t had the wallpaper, I wouldn’t have hesitated to use the contact paper. 

The wallpaper wasn’t wide enough to cover the whole dishwasher in one piece so I cut a smaller piece to cover the bottom first.  The stripes made it easy to cut in a straight line.  I covered the bottom first so that I could overlap the top piece on the bottom instead of vice versa.  This way, if I had any water drips (inevitable), they’d run over the seam and down instead of hitting it and sitting on top of it.  Make sense?
  dishwasha (5)

I cut the paper a little wider than the dishwasher so that I could grab my x-acto knife* and cut the excess off the sides, leaving me with a perfect fit.

dishwasha (2)

       dishwasha (3)

dishwasha (4)
I covered the bottom kick plate (technical term?  I know not…) of the dishwasher even though there are a couple of screws on it that make the wallpaper stick out a little.  I’d rather have a couple of barely noticeable bumps down there than a long white panel sticking out…

Just a quick note about the wallpaper install itself.  I opted NOT to use windex because I wasn’t sure how the windex would affect the metal and I didn’t want to take a chance.  And I will tell you this, I can see why people hate this wallpaper if you don’t use the windex trick.  I did this myself (though it’d probably have been easier with two people) and had a ton of air bubbles I had to get out by unpeeling and resticking a thousand times.  There are still a couple of small bubbles but thankfully, they’re hidden with the paint.  The process was painful though.

Once the wallpaper was on and trimmed, I painted it.  This is after one coat:

dishwasha (6)
I wish there was some way I could hide the control panel more but truthfully, it doesn’t really bother me.  I could wallpaper it too and just cut around the knob and vent but that seems a little too tedious.  I think we’ll just live with it until/unless a large wind of motivation blows this way.

Regardless, we both really like our dishwasher as part of the lower cabinetry vs. the elephant in the room.IMG_8962pix


Wallpapering (or contact papering) it and then painting the paper was a great way to hide it temporarily!  Time will tell how it holds up but so far, it’s been almost three weeks since I painted it and there is nary a scratch to be seen even though Gianna has, on multiple occasions, shoved the step stool up against it to get to whatever she’s not supposed to have on the counter.

I have to admit, this whole project got my wheels turning.  Imagine the possibilities!  You could wallpaper and paint or just wallpaper any appliance!  How fun would a green/blue/blush pink washer and dryer be?  ;) 

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*affiliate links included in post

how to blend in a dishwasher


  1. It looks great! I would not have guessed that was painted wallpaper. Speaking of landlords, you've probably addressed this and I missed it, but was your landlord on board with this remodel? It does look 200% better! If I was your landlord, I would give you a free month off rent for all your hard work! Just wondering if you negotiated to be able to do all this or if you just plan to lose the security deposit or what.

    1. Hey tarynkay! I haven't really addressed it much besides the post when I announced we'd be renting again. :) The future of this house is a little uncertain at the moment - chances are it's going to get remodeled so we are good to update it as we wish. A free month sounds awesome! Haha! Luckily, we were offered to rent this house for very little per month so to kind of "thank" the landlord for the opportunity, we're fixing it up a little. :)

  2. Great job. I love your helpful project.

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