Trash Talk

So rewind two-ish years ago when I made the move into our present home, I never would have guessed that certain things would become impossible to live without. Now, what do you think that is? Washer and dryer? Dishwasher? Master bathroom? Or even more fundamentally a roof and running water? Nah. None of those. Although they are pretty awesome. I’m talking about our trash compactor.
 Okay, okay I am being a little dramatic and sounding very much like a first world problem kind of girl. I am very grateful for all the wonderful things that I have and try to live a simple life, but I have most definitely fallen head over heels in love with our trash compactor. The way it strongly smashes down all of our waste into a tiny (and heavy) little square of trash…kind of gross yet kind of awesome.  With the composting and recycling that we do and with no trash service at our door (a choice because we are cheapskates budget conscious people) we can use one bag of trash for 2-3 weeks. We actually get kind of a rush when the bin looks full and then we push that little dial and here the “grrr..gog..” push of the compact working hard. Then we eagerly swing that baby open to see 50% – 75% more room appear. Seriously. We have even been known to show off the compactor skills at a party. Now I can list on my resume, “Party Skill: Trash Compacting”. No…too far? We sound a little crazy? Probably. Excellent.
Anyways, the purpose of this is not to make you install one in your kitchen (which you should) but to show you the mini-makeover we gave the trash compactor. Just a way to show our love to this wonderful appliance. Not that we didn’t love its pea green complexion…no actually we didn’t. It especially didn’t go with our other black appliances. So I found this guy:
 Black appliance spray paint. Genius, I say! I snatched it up (oh only about a year ago too). Obviously spray painting in the house is a no go, so we first had to extract the compactor from its resting place. The bin was pretty easy to do. It’s on wheels, and I wheeled it right out. The top panel though was hooked into place and into our electricity, so it took some careful extraction. The hubby did a fine job on this step. It really was just unplugging the connections that were carefully marked.
Then came the lovely job of cleaning a trash compactor. And while we had it out, cleaning all in and around it. I think I grumbled like I have never grumbled before. Who likes cleaning up garbage? It was necessary and at the end of the day made me feel pretty great. So I used some pretty heavy duty cleaning supplies and then some isopropyl alcohol to really get it clean.

So after all was cleaned, I had to do some minor taping. First I taped the back off to ensure no paint messed with the electrical aspects. Then I had to tape up the lovely faux-wood paneling screen. With the dials and writing on it, we decided to keep that clean for now. Finally I had to tape off the bottom of the bin, which is actually something you step on that will make the bin open for hands free garbage dumping. This thing really gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Duh duh duh. Ready to go, or so I thought. I read the directions as I was shaking it, getting ready to spray, and it said to lightly sand the item you were painting. So just when I was giddy with my finger on the spray bottle, I had to go and sand it. Then I had to clean it with the alcohol again. Thankfully Eric reminded me that it is all in the prep work. It really is, too. Don’t skimp on the prep work if you want a lasting result!
Finally, I was able to get my spray paint on! Word of the wise, make sure your finger isn’t in the way of the stream. It makes it come out gloppy. Ask me how I learned that one, eh? Make sure to do thin, even coats. Have a pattern to your spray painting too, so certain areas don’t receive more paint than others. You may notice that later. Here it is all painted after two coats and a 24 hour period of waiting in our basement.

Now here it is installed:

I was thrilled with the result. Thrilled I tell you! The black matches all of our other appliances perfectly and makes them all fit better together. Now some of you may ask why we left the wood paneling background? We actually like it. It adds some character and reminds us that we are fixing up an older home. We aren’t going for perfect. We are trying to make our home us, with some funk. Like my husband says, “I don’t want to live in a perfect house. It is the flaws that I end up loving.” So wise. There are probably different degrees of flaws that he loves and then others he couldn’t live with (like broken stuff) but I totally agree. The flaws and the little eccentricities make a home feel lived in and have special character.

Here we are again for a before and after:

One of my favorite and easiest updates yet! I totally recommend the appliance paint too, especially if you have older appliances. It is such an easy and inexpensive face lift! What have you been painting recently? It’s definitely one of my favorite tricks of DIYing!