Our home was built in the early 1980s, and I am fairly certain that this washing machine outlet box has been around since then. The spigots were caked with who knows what, and there entire casing was covered in rust and other ick that you can’t make out in this picture.
Although outlet boxes can be purchased and replaced, I did not feel like tracking down one that fit perfectly – I decided I would try to clean and repaint it myself.
Shopping List (I had everything on hand – sweet!):
- Distilled white vinegar
- Paper towels
- Paint thinner
- Scrubbing pad (I used a copper one)
- Rust repelling paint
- White paint
- Paint brushes
- Dish soap, bowl, and water
Remove the washer outlet box (easy enough, right?)
Wash the entire area with soapy water and paper towels. I used Palmolive Pure and Clear dish soap
because it is free of a lot of the gross additives and pretty inexpensive.
Bust out the handy-dandy vinegar and paper towels. Prepare for awesomeness.
Mummify the spigots and box with distilled white vinegar
and paper towel
“bandages”. Remember cleaning pennies in elementary school by immersing them in vinegar? Yeah, it’s kinda like that…
Plug openings around the pipes with dry towels!
Let these bask for a while, remove and wash off with extra towels. You can always rewrap if there is still a ton of rust left hanging around.
and Kleen-Strip paint thinner
, I cleaned the faucets off. I spot-tested the paint thinner on a small, unseen area to make sure that the paint thinner did not remove paint from the faucet.
Scrub the entire area with a tough, abrasive scrubbing pad (I use Libman Copper Scrubbers
) and some good ol’ H2O. Scrub the area until the surfaces are even, clean, and smoothish to the touch. Dry off with paper towels.
It is hard to tell without being up close and personal, but the green gunk is gone from the back of the box, and the rust is not 1/4 inch think any more. Progress is being made, my friends!
Paint the area with rust-repelling primer to ensure that the area does not re-rust again in the near future. I use Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer
; it is the bee’s knees.
Once the primer is dry, apply a liberal coat of white paint. I used Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer
. Allow to dry and apply another coat if needed.
Reattach the washer outlet box’s cover, step back and revel in the fact that you just saved yourself some money and cleaned up your laundry room!
This was truly done while both of my boys napped! I had to slap on an additional coat of paint that evening, but the grunt work was quick and easy.