When Jordan and I bought our house, appliances weren’t a huge concern of mine. As long as they worked, I was happy. With our house came quite the mishmash of appliances, and the only real problem was a cosmetic one — all of them are black, minus the fridge, which was white. We decided to buy our own range and microwave in black and stainless steel, but that still left a white fridge, sticking out like a sore thumb. Since the fridge works perfectly fine and there was no point in replacing it, I decided to take on a challenge and paint it.
It’s amazing what a little paint can do. For about $20, I was able to transform the fridge in just four hours. And it really wasn’t a challenge at all — it’s actually pretty easy!
Step 1: Sand the fridge.
Our fridge is textured, as most (non-stainless steel) fridges are, so first, we needed to sand all of the surfaces that would be coated with paint. This helps the paint adhere better to the fridge, and gives it a smoother finish.
Step 2: Remove the dust.
Step 3: Tape.
My dad and Jordan ended up removing the seal and the handles before we began painting, but I still taped up the inside of the fridge and the hinges, to avoid getting paint on any of those parts. I learned early on in my DIY experiences (just a few weeks ago ) that you cannot get away with buying cheap painter’s tape, so make sure to use a high-quality tape that is sure to go on and remove easily.
Step 4: Protect the floor.
This is an obvious one, but make sure to put down drop cloths and/or cardboard underneath the fridge and surrounding areas. It’s best to use an oil-based paint (we’ll get to that in second) when painting a fridge, and oil-based paint will ruin your floor if it spills.
Step 5: Paint the sides and the top.
Using a black gloss oil-based paint, paint the sides and top of the fridge. Oil-based paint will dry with a harder finish than water-based paint, and will be much more durable for a high traffic area like the kitchen. Unfortunately, oil-based paint can make a mess because it cannot be cleaned up with water — you have to use mineral spirits. For this reason, we decided to use a roller and a paintbrush that can be thrown away after use. It’s also important to make sure that you paint in a well-ventilated area. The combination of acetone and oil-based paint is enough to make you feel light-headed pretty quickly. I chose to only paint the top and sides at first, because I wanted to use something else for the doors.
Step 6: Paint the doors.
After painting the top and sides, I let the fridge sit for about 20 hours so it could dry. I didn’t want to risk scratching the sides while painting the doors. For the doors, I wanted to do something fun and different, so I decided to use chalkboard paint (if you don’t want to use chalkboard paint, you could continue to paint the doors with the oil-based paint)!
Using a small roller, I rolled the front, sides and top of the doors. Don’t get discouraged by the first coat — it’s normal for it to look splotchy.
Since the paint dries so quickly, I only had to wait about 20 minutes before applying a second coat. And then, because that didn’t cover quite as nicely as I would’ve liked it to, another 20 minutes before applying a third coat. Third time’s a charm when it comes to this paint — I was so happy with the way it turned it out!
You could paint the entire fridge with chalkboard paint if you’d like, but it would require three coats on the entire fridge, and I’m not sure the sides would be as durable. The nice thing about the oil-based paint is that it is very forgiving, has great coverage, and it only required one coat.
To avoid any unnecessary chipping, let the fridge dry for a couple of days before moving it back in its spot and testing out your art skills on the doors.
Mine is drying right now, but I can’t wait to try it out in a few days! If you try this project, let me know how it turns out!
Would you consider painting your appliances?
What’s your favorite DIY project?