Transform an Old Fridge

2 Materials
2 Days

A client of mine lives in a studio apartment in Queens. His space is very industrial -dark gray ceiling, metal cubes for a coffee table, and he even poured his own concrete floors to add to the industrial look he is going for. So, when faced with what to do about his out-dated white appliances, we decided to paint his fridge instead of getting him a new one! There are a few products out there that promise stainless steel like finishes because they actually contain real stainless steel pigments! I tried Rustoleum's Stainless Steel appliance paint. The can promises a "single application" and although that is far from the truth, the outcome is pretty good if you have the patience for several coats. In the end, we took an old 80's apartment sized fridge and updated its look for the cost of a can of paint.
transform an old fridge, appliances
MATERIALS: 4" roller tool 4" foam roller (later on in the project I switched to a regular roller) Angled paint brush Paint Tray Rust-Oleum's Stainless Steel paint Black spray paint (optional) Phillips head screwdriver Wrench Respirator
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 1: We started out with an all white fridge. The product states that if you're painting an appliance there is no need for primer. I decided to follow the instructions, but I wonder if that's why I had to apply 3-4 coats.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 2: Next step was to clean the outside of the fridge thoroughly. I used a simple solution of vinegar and water. It removed a lot of the old grime that can burry itself into the little grooves of the fridge. STEP 3: Next I opened the product and poured a little into a paint tray. This is very stinky, so wear a respirator if you can't haul your fridge outside!
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 3: Remove the doors. Different fridges will require different tools for this step; I had to use both a wrench and a Phillips head screw driver. I put all the hardware to the side.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 4: I removed the white handles and, instead of painting them stainless steel as well, I decided to paint them a glossy black. I set them aside to dry.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 5: I was finally ready to paint. The product contains real stainless steel pigment, so that's pretty cool! It's a very stinky paint, so if you can't haul your fridge outside, make sure you wear a respirator.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 6: I started with my brush and trimming out all the smaller area around the open spaces.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 7: After attempting to just cut the paint, I decided to tape it off first and then paint the smaller areas. I wanted to see how meticulous I could get with this paint job; I didn't want it looking sloppy.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 8: After 2 coats, this is what the fridge looked like. Since the instructions said it was an "easy single application" I was shocked to see it look this patchy. I decided to switch from a foam roller, like the instructions called for, to a regular roller. After I made this switch, the paint went on much better. Dry times also took awhile, so take that into account.
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 9: After about 4 coats, I put all the hardware back on, put the doors back on the fridge, and got ready to step back and take in handy work!
transform an old fridge, appliances
STEP 10: I put the handles back on and it looked great!
transform an old fridge, appliances
The result is pretty spot on!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 36 questions
  • Kathy
    on Aug 6, 2018

    What did you do about the interior? Did you just leave it white? How does the white seal look with your new color.? You did do your own custom color, didn't you? I have all beige appliances in my kitchen , which I really didn't mind, except for my dishwasher has a black front and stainless trim. I want to paint the front of it so it will match. My built-in microwave died and i had to replace it. But it seems over the years they changed the color of beige, because AFTER it was installed I noticed a slight difference in the colors. But it's gonna stsy the was it is. Now I have to get some one to match by the color for the dishwasher.

    • Kco32800195
      on Dec 15, 2018

      I'm going to paint my fridge. I plan to change the rubber seal to match the paint color. As for the interior, I'd leave it alone.

  • Sheree Cunningham-Muse
    on Aug 7, 2018

    What was the " regular roller " that you used for the final coats ?

  • Aileen
    on Aug 9, 2018

    Any scratch’s yet? How does it look when wiped down?

Join the conversation

3 of 145 comments
  • Cele eveland
    on Nov 29, 2018

    Really would like to see the answers to the questions that came in!

    • Mar40383523
      on Mar 5, 2019

      ja I would like to see the answers also to those questions. I am in Germany so I can still wait.

      No I don't have a answer either.

  • Judy Ward
    on Apr 9, 2019

    I also waiting for answers to the questions.Updated photos as well would be great.Thank you

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