I was recently tasked with painting the inside of a microwave. And in doing so, I was quickly confronted with the realization that not just any type of paint would do. You see, there's a lot going on in the microwave that I wanted to ensure remained a safe environment.
As such, I needed to find a microwave-safe paint that would allow for just that. So today, I wanted to share my findings with you to ensure that you have a safe experience. If your microwave cavity paint is peeling and you'd like to restore it, join me as I detail what you need to do.
What Kind of Paint Can You Use inside a Microwave?
If the paint is cracking or peeling in your microwave, repainting is a viable solution rather than buying a brand new unit. With that said, not every type of paint is suitable for this project and requires some prep. For a successful repaint, here are a few steps to ensure optimal results.
Prepare Your Work Area
Before selecting the right paint, you need to prepare your work area. It is important to unplug the microwave and prepare the interior surfaces for repainting before doing anything else. To remove debris like peeling paint, dirt, and grease, simply dip a sponge in soapy water, squeeze out the excess, and use it to clean the inside surfaces.
Disinfect the Microwave
Wipe the outside surfaces to ensure the disinfection of the entire microwave. Finish with a dry cloth or paper towel to reduce drying time. If any paint is peeling off, remove most of it by hand with medium-grain sandpaper, then follow up with a fine grit to smooth it out.
If there are rust stains present, this procedure is also sufficient. However, you can also use steel wool to clean the sanded parts to prevent rusting of the affected area.
Using the Correct Paint
There are two types of paint that can be used to coat the interior of the microwave. Both are available in brush and spray. The best type of paint is spray paint because it will save you a lot of time and effort. Brush painting, on the other hand, is handy for small spot repairs.
You can find paint that is safe for microwave use at most hardware stores. You just need to make sure the store has the correct type, as some paints may contain materials or particles that are microwave-sensitive rather than microwave-safe.
As such, these paints can release toxins that would otherwise contaminate food in the oven. To avoid this potentiality, I recommend that you ask someone for assistance in choosing the best brand to paint the microwave.
Painting the Interior of the Oven
First things first. Never spray paint when the interior of the oven is still damp or greasy. Wear rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a protective mask when using spray paints to avoid health risks.
Begin by testing a small area of paint to make sure that it adheres to the interior surface. Once the paint has dried, you can run the oven at a high temperature for about a minute to see how it reacts. To do this, place a cup of water inside and turn it on.
Test the Area
After removing the cup of water, touch the inside walls of the oven to check that the paint is no warmer than the other surfaces in the oven.
After making sure that all the preps are complete, you can start painting in the microwave until you have completely covered the surface. Try to avoid spraying too much in one area, and work to keep your paint job as even as possible.
How to Avoid Smudging
To avoid smudging the paint, you can apply it in more than one coat. Just make sure the surface is dry and that you have sanded and wiped it clean between each coat before moving on to the next. Simply apply the paint evenly to all surfaces and wait for it to become completely dry before using the oven.
I also recommend that you let it dry overnight with the door open. Make sure that you don't close the door, as this will prevent airflow from entering the microwave, thereby slowing the drying time. The next day, touch the paint to check that it is ready to use.
Can You Paint the Inside of a Rusty Microwave?
Absolutely. In fact, you can paint a microwave oven (see best retro ovens here) that has been scratched, developed rust, or any other type of cosmetic damage. That said, you'll need to make sure that you first remove as much rust as you can before proceeding with microwave cavity paint.
Once removed, you may paint to cover any defects or damage within the interior of the oven, with both brush-on and spray paint applications.
Is Enamel Paint Microwave Safe?
Yes. Most paints that are used for painting microwaves are made of enamel. Furthermore, these paints are specifically designed to withstand high-heat temperatures.
Is It Okay to Paint the Inside of a Microwave?
The short answer is, it depends. If food splashes in a microwave and is not cleaned immediately, it can bake on the surface of the microwave and harden, creating what is commonly referred to as a "hot spot."
The Dangers of Hot Spots
These spots get hotter than the rest of the inside of the microwave during the cooking process. In doing so, they can damage the paintwork in this area of the microwave. Sharp utensils can also scratch the paint on the interior walls. Because of the color of the inside of the microwave, the hot spots that form in a microwave can cause other problems.
Places where food is baked on the surface or where the interior paint has been scratched by a utensil can generate sparks when the microwave is switched on. What's more, the peeling paint poses a potential fire hazard.
To avoid these sparks, the inside of the microwave must be smooth and clean. As such, prevention is the best course of action when it comes to chipping paint in a microwave. You can stop paint peeling by always removing spills or splashes from inside the microwave as soon as they occur.
Remove Loose Paint
You should also use fine-grit sandpaper to help remove the splinters of paint hanging inside the microwave to prevent further peeling. The microwave can only be used when the peeling is minimal. Just be mindful that scratched areas can rust over time if not repainted.
I found that I had excessive paint chipping in several large areas of my microwave. It was rusting all over the place, so it was better to just buy a new microwave. If, however, your microwave isn't as bad off as mine was, you can proceed with using microwave-safe paint.
This was the recent problem that I was faced with. Having never painted a microwave oven (see best microwave ovens under $200 in this post), I was in the same position you're in right now. And after trying it first-hand, I can safely say that you can repaint inside the oven.
Just remember that you must remove the rust before attempting to paint the interior cavity, whether you're using brush-on paint or spray paints.
How to Repaint the Inside of a Microwave
If you want to completely repair your oven with microwave-safe paint, you must remove the rust before proceeding. After all, one of the main reasons to repaint a microwave oven (see top microwave ovens under $150 in this review) is to prevent further rusting.
Start by separating the microwave from the wall to avoid power failure. Then, clean the interior to remove any loose paint, dirt, or grease. Wipe the inside with a dry cloth or paper towel and lightly sand the area that is peeling.
After completion, the inside of the microwave oven may be painted. If you cannot find a suitable color to match your unit's interior, ask an employee for assistance. It may be easier to buy a spray paint version of home appliance paint, but if it is suitable for microwave ovens, it should work.
Test and Dry
First, test the color on a small area. Next, apply the paint and let it dry completely. Then, turn on the microwave with a cup of water inside. After removing the water, the painted area should not feel hotter than the rest of the oven. After painting, let the microwave oven dry in a ventilated place for at least 24 hours before using it.