Introduction: Upcycle Your Kenwood Chef

Picture of Upcycle Your Kenwood Chef

Turn your 70's ick into retro chic..

I had an old 1970's Kenwood Chef still in good working condition. The only problem was that the old school 70's Brown no longer fitted in our kitchen. (It look horrible even way back in the 70's..)

But this is the age of modern technology and retro modding and upcycling and all things DIY. So off to the hardware store.

Materials Needed:

1 can Primer.

Take note : Some brands will stick to plastic, for others you will need a plastic specific primer. Make sure you contact the suppliers to enquire otherwise your paint will just peel off.

Take note : Buy a white primer if you can. You will need less coats to achieve the colour you want than with grey primers.

Colour paint (s).

This turns the item to the colour you want. I bought two as I wanted the silver/red combo

Trim Colour - Silver

Main/Body Colour - Red

1 can of clear laquer

This is to protect your paint against scratches. Idea stolen from car manufacturers who does the same with you favourite automobile's paint.

Take note : Do not make the same mistake I did. Use paints from the same brand only. Mixing one manufacturer's primer with another coat could cause peeling or other problems.

I chose the Red Devil Aerosol Paints as it had the deep, rich red I was looking for. It ended up a good choice as it was an easy paint to work with.

I used Glue Devil White Primer (it also sticks to plastic) with Glue Devil's red, silver and clear to finish.

Sanding paper in a range of fine grits 80, 200, 800 etc

Masking tape


Star/philips screwdriver

Sharpie or similar pen

Soap and water

Patience and perseverance

Step 1: Step 1: Deconstruction

Picture of Step 1: Deconstruction


First clean as much of the machine with luke warm water and dishwashing soap.

Dry the machine

Take apart

Step 1:

Remove all the loose covers that conceal the attachment points.

Keep those covers in a box

Undo the 3 star/philips screws in the large drive point (Where the liquidiser attaches)

Keep all the loose parts in box

Step 2:

The large plastic top cover can now be removed. Take it off.

The next two parts are tricky. The brown layer consists of two parts.

To remove the front (mixing bowl side) part you need to pull of the red trigger button located just above the bowl.

Remove the two screws holding the part in place - see picture.

Step 3:

Second brown trim can now be removed from the back (motor side) of the machine.

It needs to be lifted from the cord side and wriggled over to the other side in order to be removed.

Take your time.

Step 4:

Wash all the parts again. Use lots of hot water and soap. Work in all the corners taking care not to scratch anyting.

Let it dry properly.

Take Note : Any residual dirt will cause the paint to peel

Step 5:

Clean the rest of the machine - you will find a lot of flour in the mechanical parts. Blow out and clean with damp cloth. The fabric bits can be carefully hand washed in hot water and soap. Rinse and dry.

The machine in the pictures had been cleaned before the pictures were taken. The reality will be a lot more dirty.

Re-grease where necessary.

Step 2: Step 2 : Paint!

Picture of Step 2 : Paint!

Preperation is the key. Set up a working area in a well ventilated room but beware too much airflow as wind can carry dust and dirt.

Assemble your parts and paints.


Lay out the parts you need and prime all of them.

I did not bother to paint the little red button.

The "eject" and power dial buttons I could not remove. Those stayed on the machine and was painted "in situ"

- Update- I later found I can pull off the "eject" button

To get a good finish you need to prime, then sand and then prime again until the finish is as smooth as possible.

Take your time between layers. In spite of manufacturers' recommendations I kept 24hrs between coats.


Repeat the process of painting, sanding and painting with the colours you want.

If you are going two-tone like I did, plan ahead and make sure you know which colour goes where.

Clear Coat:

Though not strictly necessary, I did this as it works on cars too. Besides - this gives you that lustrous "deep" colour finish.

All is in the details - work carefully and with patience. The more care the better the result.


Painting too many layers and you could end up with parts that no longer fit each other.

Test fit between layers.

Some Parts are permanently attached and have "never visible" sides. Paint these (in)sides as little as possible.

Step 3: Step 3 : Assemble and Enjoy!

Picture of Step 3 : Assemble and Enjoy!

Refer to the deconstruction for assembly instructions.

Ejector button woes:

You might find that the machine refuses to catch on closing and that the ejector button seems to be broken.

There is a metal shaft that is moved by the ejector button. This shaft needs to be rotated into the right position to catch a curved bracket. Rotate the shaft until it catches and holds the machine in place. Fiddle until it works.

Assemble :

Assemble your new machine and enjoy! Bask in the admiration of your friends and family, impress your wife / girlfriend with your manly skills. Amaze your husband / boyfriend with your mechanical aptitude.

Clean with a luke-warm soft cloth only.


grannyjones (author)2016-05-04

i wonder if this will work on my Kitchen Aid. It is a hideous almond color, and I was looking at some gorgeous samples of custom automotive paint.

Lourensd1 made it! (author)grannyjones2016-05-04

I had a quick look at the brand. Not well known in South Africa and very expensive over here. They certainly are available in a range of colours, but I guess the Almond was a "safe choice" at the time.

Given the large surfaces and the cost of the machine, I would consider asking a automotive repair shop / spraypainter / panelbeater to paint it for me.

Getting a car/fridge perfect finish at home is lengthy and difficult for the inexperienced.
Not visible in the pictures, but mine does have some small blemishes.

Either way - you could try for a two tone look with the top and the base in different colours but - the cost of the automotive paints might prevent this.

If your machine is still an older all metal machine, you could also consider having it powder coated or anodized for a totally modern finish. Some metals and plastic parts do not stand up to the treatment and wasn't an option for me...Enquire at your local providers to find out if you can. It will take some work but be worth it. Powder coating is a very durable finish too as it is heat bonded to the metal.

Whatever you decide, please post pictures and enjoy your "new" machine. I love the new look of mine.

grannyjones (author)Lourensd12016-05-04

My hubby was a professional painter--automotive, custom motorcycles, factory paint line, AND ran the paint kitchen. My only problem will be keeping him from going totally overboard. "No, honey, no lace stencils, please; but maybe a little iridescent flip-flop."

Lourensd1 made it! (author)grannyjones2016-05-06

Wow - you are privileged to have such a husband. Go for it! Iridescent paint...
It seems pimping kitchen appliances could be a business venture.. Found some flames on the internet.

And post pictures please! I can't wait...

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