An Old Refrigerator Gets a New Look With WALLPAPER! **UPDATED - 2018!

7 Materials
4 Hours

My old refrigerator worked fine but the white enamel began to show signs of rust and was becoming more and more difficult to clean. So I bought beadboard wallpaper, added some wood trim and added some handles. I love the result! Someday I will buy a fancy stainless steel fridge but until then, this will be just fine.

This is was my original refrigerator - dated and rusting. Yuck!

The BEFORE - complete with paper and magets and clutter. I removed the wood look (lol) handles with a screw driver. Every fridge is different and my screws were on the top and bottom of the freezer door - they came off very easily. Just look at your own fridge and I'm sure you will find the screws holding the handles on.

Here is the headboard wallpaper - it is not contact paper - it is traditional pre-pasted wallpaper. I followed the directions as if I was putting it on a wall. I washed the surface, painted it with white primer and simply put the wallpaper on the surface. I then added wood trim which was 1/4 birch underlayment cut into strips. I then painted it all white.

Here is the birch underlayment wood trim to give it a more custom look. I didn't used nails because I didn't want to damage the fridge. I glued it on - I had to apply pressure for a few minutes and I used a LOT of the Power Grab but one it adhered it was AWESOME. I was quite excited!

Here is a close up of how I added the pull knob on the freezer. I used an anchor and added a screw to it. Then once it was in and sturdy, I used a hack saw and removed the head of the screw. Then I simply screwed on the traditional cabinet pull know. I bought a rosette at Hobby Lobby to make it look more finished.

I used PowerGrab by Loctite. It is like a Liquid Nails but I find it to adhere a bit better, no smell and cleans up really well with soap and warm water. Use a good size bead all the way around and then hold it in place for about two minutes to make sure it adheres.

I bought inexpensive pulls at Hobby Lobby and simply spray painted them silver to match the other hardware in the kitchen.

I drilled a hole into the metal fridge and used plastic anchors to create a screw hole. I then simply attached the lower handle with screws. For the freezer, I used a headless screw and screwed it into the anchor and then screwed on a door pull. They are very sturdy! -)

Here is the final result! It looks SO much better!

It really blends nicely I think.

UPDATE - June 2-2018! The fridge has held up SO well! I simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. The cabinet in the original pics shifted on the wall so I decided to update the area with open shelving instead. But the fridge still complements that wall.

I know some people were quite direct saying they didn't like that the fridge didn't match the cabinets. LOL - I personally don't like the cabinets very much and it would have been difficult to get this to match. But I do have other bead board accents in my kitchen so it actually blends in very nicely with the rest of the kitchen. But everyone has their own tastes - if not the world in which we live would be VERY boring! Have a wonderful day! And thank you SO much for the kind words and compliments - they truly make my day.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 50 questions
  • Lori Lausch
    Lori Lausch
    on Mar 11, 2019

    You said that you glued the wood trim to the refrigerator. Why do I see screws through the wood trim?

    • Tracy W
      Tracy W
      on Apr 13, 2020

      Ha - yes the first piece I screwed on because I couldn’t get the glue to stick - I was being impatient and stingy with the amount of Powergrab. Once I tried it again, I realized I didn’t need the screws.

  • Ellen
    on Apr 12, 2020

    The project sounds and looks easy, but would like to know, just how difficult really, is this to do, for someone who has no skills???

    • Tracy W
      Tracy W
      on Apr 13, 2020

      Hello - my Dad taught me all about DIY growing up - but this really is pretty easy. The wallpaper is super easy - just take your time and measure. The store will cut your lumber for you into the sizes you need and then it’s just glue and go. You’ll be surprised at the skills you actually have! Good luck! 😉

  • Lainie
    on Apr 12, 2020

    Would this also work on an older metal cabinet style washtub?

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