You may be right, Anderson, about changing faceplates. You can actually buy new ones from most manufacturers. Company I was with used to rebuild some commercial washers, and we always ordered new plates. We actually after awhile had a company make us faceplate stickers with our name on it also. Machines looked like new. However, you still in te end have old machines. Old technology. and alot of maintenence to keep up. You never did one, but bearing jobs on old machines are neither fun nor cheap to do, even if you do work yourselves. Thats what you can expect with old machines.
I have seen alot of these laundromats over the years - too many to count. If you do get an old one, person who owns might be ready to get out and you get cheap. Infrastructure is there, you might have to overhaul / or buy new equipment. You get the lease, probably wouldn't be too tough to get a manufacture backed loan. However, now you have an equipment payment, rent, water, electric, Gas, and insurance payments every month. If the location is not as advertised, you might be in trouble. Don't forget - most people wont give up a goldmine so if they are selling, you have to question why.
One owner, who now owns a laundromat, sat in a parking lot for 3 weeks and monitored any stores he was considering buying. He did this for several laundromats over the years. He counted people in, saw how many clothes they were bringing in, and logged it. Several of the stores did not match what the owner was telling him. The one he bought, they also exaggerated the amount of business they had weekly. He got a good deal, did alot of promotion and advertising, and now is doing pretty good. He repairs most stuff himself. If you are looking to buy an existing store, this is a must or you might (read probably will) get screwed. I know of one owner who was "juicing" the machines with quarters trying to show a potential buyer how much machines were making. Ended up getting sued.
Not trying to discourage you, but just laying out facts. I have had many opportunity's to buy laundromats, but never did or will. I guess I have seen too many bad things and not enough good things about owning them. But, that being said, with the right location, price and good customer base, you definatly can make money. But all the ducks would have to be lined up, so to speak.