The Easiest & Fastest Dishwasher Update Ever

Happy Friday guys! Since the first three days of this week were full of bigger updates (like this craziness, our desk haul & overhaul, and a bunch of showhouse progress) it felt nice to switch gears and knock out a few smaller updates at the end. It’s always refreshing to bounce from broad planning stuff – like office layout debates and showhouse furniture arrangements – to focusing on a few quick tasks (like yesterday’s mirror switch). And thankfully this update couldn’t have been easier.

Remember our lovely almond dishwasher?

As you know, we’re planning to replace our appliances during a full kitchen renovation down the line, but I heard an almost-sounds-too-good-to-be-true tip from a few of you that I had to try. Urban legend has it that appliances like these often have removable panels (i.e. the almond colored part) that can be flipped over or painted. So the other day I did some exploratory unscrewing.

With three screws removed on the side, I was able to pop off a thin metal trim piece.

And then, lo and behold, out slid this removable panel. The best part? The backside was white!

When I pulled it out entirely I realized there were actually two separate panels in there, and each one was double-sided. Which meant I could snap this side-by-side photo of the original cream-colored panel and the bright white one next to it for comparison. The color that you see on the dishwasher behind them is just some sort of cardboard backing that was in there.

On the backside of the cream panel was this mustard option that would’ve been… um… an interesting choice. I couldn’t resist holding it up just to freak John out.

Predictably, I put the white panel in, reattached the side panel, and stepped back to take pictures – ready to marvel at how much better it looked. Except I didn’t like it. Sure, it was white like the shelves and the upper cabinets, but among all of the dark lowers it just kinda of called more attention to itself.

The backside of the white panel was black, so I removed the panel again, flipped it over to the black side, and tried again. MUCH better.

It’s still not the prettiest dishwasher there ever was, but for the 10 minutes and zero bucks, I’m glad to have banished a bit more “almond” from the room – and it definitely helps the dishwasher blend in a bit more with the surrounding cabinets. You could even spray paint the panel a color before sliding it back in (red for a retro kitchen?) or buy a sheet of stainless steel at Home Depot and cut it to size with metal snips if you’re going for the stainless look. Lots of possibilities…

The best part is that something about that easy switch kicked us into high gear in the kitchen again, because we’re currently working on:

  • Removing our broken trash compactor to add something that’s a lot easier on the eyes in its place

  • Finally redoing the counters with concrete (holy cow, it’s messy – but such a dramatic change)

Has anyone else flipped their dishwasher panel? Or updated their appliances in other ways? We’re still really happy with our updated fridge, our secondhand range hood, and our microwave in the pantry – so our last remaining almond eyesore is the stove. Have you ever used Ardex on counters or taken out an old broken disposal? Kitchen updates are usually disruptive since it’s such a busy room, but it’s so nice to enjoy them when they’re done.


As a little Friday bonus, here are four fun projects, chats, or questions going on over on the Forums. We also announced this week’s giveaway winner, so you can click here (and scroll down to the Rafflecopter box) to see if it’s you.

by mjeagleson by CraftyJen by TheThreeofUs by Vegas


  1. HeatherM says

    Yay for kitchen progress!
    It looks like that would be a very frustrating place for a dishwasher- like the dishwasher would constantly bang into the other cabinet when opened. Do you have any issues with that?

    • says

      That’s a really good observation. It doesn’t hit those cabinets when it’s open, but it does block them from opening since it’s in the corner. I think we just moved in and didn’t really think about much in the kitchen (other than blanket “this room needs so much work” thoughts) and after living with it for a while we’re used to it. But the placement could definitely be improved! In our first and second kitchen we had one near the sink (very convenient) but they didn’t block cabinets in the same way. One plus is that the corner cabinet it blocks in this house has party servingware and lesser used items like a griddle, so we don’t usually unload things from the dishwasher that have to go into that cabinet and lament that it’s block (most things come out of the dishwasher and go right on the floating shelves for the most part).


    • Ann says

      We had the same dishwasher location problem in our pre-remodeled kitchen. The most frustrating part for me was having to set the dishes on the counter, close the dishwasher and then load them into the cabinet above. I couldnt reach the cabinet with it open. The solution was to get rid of the peninsula and put drawers next to the dishwasher. Now I slide silverware into the top drawer and the dishes into the second drawer. No heavy lifting!

    • says

      My dishwasher has the same arrangement in a corner. It does hit anything, but I can’t open the cabinets it blocks. I keep the kids plates, bowls, and cups in one of the blocked cabinets. And all our normal plates, bowls and cups are in cabinets above the dishwasher do we can’t reach that either when it’s open. Not that big of a deal really though. I just unload everything onto the counters then close the dishwasher and put it all away. I’ve been doing it for six years and I don’t care that much to change it.
      My fridge placement. That will need to change one day! It’s against the wall so I can’t open it all the way on that side.

    • Martha says

      This is the kind of comment that makes me wish there was a “like” button for comments! I always wish there was one so J & S could know there are multiple people with the same opinion without having to read a million comments.

      SO EXCITED to see how the concrete works out!!!!

    • Dena says

      Me three! I have been waiting for the counter top concrete details since it was first mentioned. I think it looks so cool. Can’t wait for the details!

    • says

      Me too!!!! Have been wanting to do that in our nasty old kitchen, and can’t wait to see how it turns out for J & S.

    • says

      I don’t think we have even looked into it but we don’t mind spending money on stuff like that (we pay Rafflecopter fees to use that service). Does Discus make everyone sign in though? We’ve heard some folks prefer not to do that, so we didn’t look into it. John just mentioned that he heard if Discus goes down it’s a headache because all comments disappear. Anyone else use/like/dislike it?


  2. Meredith says

    This totally reminded me of the Price is Right game “Flip Flop”. Do you want to flip the dishwasher cover? Flop the cover? Flip AND flop the cover?

    …Clearly it’s Friday. :)

  3. Sarah says

    I can’t wait to see the counters and find out how you did it. I’ve been wanting to do mine for a while and just wasn’t sure how to and if I would like it. Your kitchen looks amazing!

  4. says

    You guys are seriously master’s at thrifty flips in that kitchen! Black = much, much better. You’re killing me with that teaser shot on the concrete – can’t wait to see that rocking your counter tops!

  5. says

    I just finished our Ardex concrete counters last week. So far, I am loving it, but its only been a week and still need to finish the backsplash to really appreciate it. We also put in a huge single bowl and 10″ deep kitchen sink….LIFE CHANGING!

  6. Katie says

    I’ve noticed this week that you seem to be posting earlier in the morning than usual — is that your new schedule or just something for this week? Just wondering!

    • says

      With showhouse stuff in high gear (lots of running around, meetings, site-visits, etc) we’ve been trying to get the post up earlier, just to get a jump on things.


  7. Lindsay says

    Someone once told me that you can buy thin stainless at Home Depot or Lowes that can cover the front of a dishwasher. I’m assuming it’s either some form of backsplash or contact paper… I have yet to find it but I hear it’s super inexpensive and would turn any dishwasher panel around in a matter of minutes! :)

    • says

      Yes, we actually found some for a project we’re trying in the office! They sell big sheets that would just need a metal snip to cut them to the right size and you could slide it in.


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