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

Tracy W
by Tracy W
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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  • Sandi McClary Sandi McClary on Apr 13, 2021

    Super cute, great step by step directions..... Love this!!!

  • PamPam PamPam on Apr 13, 2021

    I think this looks awesome. I also have a refrigerator that works fine, but has rust spots and looks awful. I see you first posted this project a few years ago, but I am just receiving it now. A couple of questions: is it still holding up well, and can the wallpaper be pasted directly on the refrigerator without the underlayment. Thank you for your answer.

  • Juliette L Juliette L on Apr 14, 2021

    Love the compact layout of your kitchen! Nice projects, too.

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