Upcycle Your Kenwood Chef




Introduction: 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

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Step 1: 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!

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!

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.

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2 Discussions


Question 2 years ago

I am looking do this on my kenwood.
Can you tell me how well it has lasted? Also I would be wanting to paint the three white area and leave the black, so would you suggest plastic primer on the top part and then what primer for the two bottom metal parts once I've stripped them down?


Answer 2 years ago

Sorry I missed the email somewhere.

The paint on mine still looks good and unblemished. But we treat it well. Going on 2 years thus. Cleaning is done with a damp cloth. I would not recommend putting parts in a dishwasher or the basin along with dishes.

I never painted the bottom metal parts. The paint was still looking good so I kept them as is.

I would think that a universal primer should be applicable over the base coat. Most manufacturers recommend sanding the old coat lightly to "key" the surface.
Buy a primer that is the same brand as your top coat.

Stripping the bases could get tricky as you need to remove gears, the electric motor and wiring. I would just mask and paint.

Glue devil states that their paints do not need a plastic primer but some other brands do. Get the best advice you can from the shop that sells the paint or call the manufacturers yourself. The better the information the better the end result.

Be prepared to experiment. I started the plastic painting on the smallest brown lid to see what the paints will do. Only after getting good results (It took a couple of tries) I started on the rest.

Good luck and post pictures!