ISSUE 19  |  Working It

DIY: Painted Office Equipment

May 13, 2014 3:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

Yesterday we featured the white-washed offices of Totokaelo, a fashion and design empire in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Today, we’re highlighting owner Jill Wenger’s DIY approach to ugly office supplies and electronics: “I paint everything white so it goes away; there are so many better things to look at in the room.”

To tackle Totokaelo’s vast new office, Jill collaborated with Dan Morgan: “He’s a friend who is willing to whiteout whatever appliance I toss his way. He’s done my flatscreen TV, fan, and a handful of other electronics. No breakages of electrical issues to date!” she says. Read on for her primer on how to whiteout appliances.

N.B.: Paint at your own risk–we suggest trying Jill’s approach on old printers and other equipment that won’t break the bank. 

Photography by Michael A. Muller for Remodelista.



Step 1: Begin by covering up the working components of the machine with air-tight, taped-down plastic wrap.

Step 2: Working in sections, apply Cardinal Air Dry Acrylic Enamel, a paint designed for use on metallic substrates, such as galvanized steel and utility equipment. After the first coat, test your equipment before continuing with the second (and, of course, recover up all the working parts before respraying).


Step 3: Using Cardinal Lacquer Aerosol–designed for touch-ups and repairs of business machines and select plastics–touch up any uncoated sections, again covering key components of the machine (such as the LCD screen, shown here).

Step 4: Fill in hard-to-reach corners and crevices with the white Sharpie marker.

Above: In the Totokaelo offices, even the pencil sharpener is coated in glossy white paint.

We’re fond of paint as a DIY solution. Have a look at some of our previous featured projects: The Copper Pipe Curtain Rod for $35, A Painted Canvas Tissue Box Cover, and Easy, Colorful Switch Plate Covers. And on Gardenista, see DIY: Envy-Inducing Planters (Spray Paint Is Involved).