How to Replace Rubbed off Numbers on a GE Profile Cooktop

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The numbers on your cooktop help you gauge the temperature.
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The numbers on a GE Profile glass cooktop are there to help you gauge the temperature settings of the control knobs adequately, but they can wear off. Perhaps you've cleaned the stovetop a little too energetically, you used the wrong kind cleaner or you spilled hot liquids one too many times. You may be wondering: could you replace these numbers?

Nope, say some appliance experts. You would have to replace the entire cooktop. That may seem like a drastic solution for such a simple problem — and it is, because there is more than one way to replace the lettering without replacing the cooktop.

You Can Purchase GE Stove Decals

The numbers don't have to match the original styles that came with the cooktop to be useful. But if you're fussy about preserving the original look of the cooktop, you can purchase custom stove decals from an online supplier. You can find decals for most major brands, include LG, Kenmore and Frigidaire stove decals, as well as ones for your GE Profile cooktop.

The decals come in model-specific kits that include all the lettering for the cooktop model in question. All you need in order to get the kit for your GE cooktop is the model number. According to GE Appliances, the model number of your Profile cooktop is either under the appliance, under the rear control knob or under the right front one.

How to Apply GE Stove Decals

The decal kit includes high-quality vinyl decals, as well as instructions for applying them. But if you want an overview of the application procedure before you purchase the GE stove decals, there are two common methods.

The first is the one you would use to apply window decals:

  1. Use alcohol to clean the surface where the decal will be applied.
  2. Mist the area lightly with a soap and water solution.
  3. Peel the protective backing from one side of the decal to expose the adhesive and set the decal into place carefully. Because the surface is wet, you should be able to reposition the decal slightly, if necessary.
  4. Rub the back of the decal firmly with a putty knife or squeegee, then peel the other protective layer, leaving the decal behind.

The second method involves soaking the decal in a solution of dish soap and water. After soaking, you can slide the decal off the backing and place it on the cooktop directly. When the decal dries, it is attached permanently.

Paint the Numbers with a Stencil

An alternative to applying stove decals is to purchase stencils from a hobby store and paint your own numbers, using high-heat spray paint from a supplier, such as Rust-Oleum or Krylon. You can purchase this type of paint at home supply outlets, including Lowe's Home Improvement, The Home Depot and Menards.

The procedure for painting numbers with a stencil is simple. First, wipe the area to be painted with alcohol to clean off grease and oils. Then, position the stencil where you want it and apply masking tape on all four sides to hold it down. It's a good idea to remove the stove knobs and apply two or three widths of tape in all directions to protect from overspray.

Spray a single coat of paint, being careful not to lay it on too thick. Wait about 20 minutes and spray another coat. Wait for the paint to dry, then remove the tape and the stencil. Once finished, clean up any overspray you got on the cooktop with alcohol or lacquer thinner.

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Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.

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