Yesterday I noticed a very special mixer pop up in our Tumblr feed.
If only it had the glass bowl!! You know, like it was invisible;) Anyway, I was struck by the quality of the paint job especially since I'd recently seen someone have their mixer customized and the work was especially sub par. With a little backtracking, the image seems to originate from the KitchenAid Brasil Facebook page, where a few more nicely painted mixers are also featured. From the page, there was this:
Já pensou em ter na sua casa uma batedeira Stand Mixer com estampas exclusivas e divertidas? Conheça a nova coleção “My KitchenAid” da batedeira mais famosa do mundo, com 7 estampas adesivas que levam ainda mais arte à casa dos amantes da marca. Elas estão na nossa loja, localizada na Alameda Gabriel Monteiro da Silva, 1.241, em São Paulo. Telefone: 11 3081-6105.
A quick run through the Google Translate tells me this is in fact NOT a paint job! It is a new series of stickers that are available at the KitchenAid store in Sao Paulo. And indeed, one of our commentors on FB brought up the trend of applying decals to your mixer. This inspired me to post here and offer some advice for the process.
First, you have to understand that the reason the Wonder Woman mixer looks so good is that it is professionally photographed! The lighting is perfect, the mixer is as clean and polished as it can be, and the shot is most likely manipulated in Photoshop to make all the colors really pop. That is why I thought it was paint right off the bat. Fooled me!
Second, decals, even the best ones, have limitations. Mainly, they can peel and degrade. Seek out the highest quality decals, not a set of scrapbooking stickers you get on sale at your local Michael's. If it's as thin as tracing paper, you're gonna have problems. A simple Google search finds a bunch of people selling decals sets designed for your mixer. I can't tell if the sets featured on the Brasil page will be available elsewhere, but it seems likely for the future. Brasil could be a test market.
Third, prep and finish! Before applying, dry test the decal to make sure it bends and curves around the mixer in a way you like. If you have any tattoos, you know how important it is to wrap the sketch around your arm etc. to make sure it doesn't distort in any odd fashion. Make marks if needed to assure you then apply it in the same way.
Clean the surface really well!! Don't use anything that will leave a residue that can settle in-between the adhesive and the surface area. Acetone would be great if you have some as it works well on metal and dries fast. Once the decal is applied, I would highly recommend finishing it off with a durable clear coat. Two to three layers even to give your new look both a shine and the toughness to stand up to the rigors of use. Your local hardware store or paint shop can point you in the right direction.
I am a hockey coach and before that a hockey goaltender. I've been seeing paint jobs and stickers both good and bad on goalie masks my entire life. The clear coating process is key to ensuring it will stand up to abuse. From the look of the Wonder Woman job, I would bet they coated it. It makes it look finished and protects from the stray nick of a spatula;)
While decals can look good and are definitely affordable, a high end paint job can give you the exact look and personalization you desire. The downside, it's pricey. Like I said, hockey goalie. The paint on my mask was over $1000. Even simple quality paint schemes are $500. And I emphasize "quality."
Don't let just anyone with an airbrush touch your mixer!
You need someone who has the skills and experience of the proverbial hockey mask or racing helmets. Look to painters who work on motorcycles or do intricate autopainting and pinstriping. The bigger your ideas, the more experience your artist should have.
Now, if you're just looking for a solid custom color, any reputable auto paint shop should be capable and the price will be more affordable. This can also be a first step to adding a base to adhere your favorite decals too. Really, your only limited to your imagination.
Now, keep in mind, what you like is what you like. This is just some pointers based on the idea of having as clean and polished a graphic as possible on your mixer. If you like the rough texture of an acrylic daisy, then by all means go for it! I think the idea of customizing the gear you use everyday is a great one, so whatever makes you smile while you bake is a good thing.
Anyone have any other tips and tricks, leave 'em in the comments or better yet, any pictures we want to see what you've created! Have a great day cakers!!! - Mic