Basement Refrigerator Makeover – Before and After!

2 Materials
3 Hours

Lodi did a refrigerator makeover a couple of weeks ago and I can’t wait to show you the before and after! Our basement refrigerator is a solid 30 years old (at least) I grew up with this refrigerator and remember poignantly the awesome day when my mom got a brand new one and this one was retired to “beer refrigerator” status. When she moved she asked me if I wanted it and I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Our basement has been slowly coming along but, not long ago, this was a totally unfinished space I often used for painting and staining if it was cold outside.

I learned a hard lesson about wood stain while building  our sofa table down here.

You can see from the above pic that this space really was TOTALLY UNFINISHED so I wasn’t careful much at all when I was applying wood stain to our table.

Not a big deal on the concrete floors…

Apparently though it was a HUGE DEAL when it came to our old refrigerator.


Honestly I saw the splatters and just planned to wipe it up at some point… I wasn’t concerned. It ate through the finish on the front of this poor refrigerator like a virus! It looked diseased lol.


I felt terrible about it!

Meanwhile with us hacking away at completing the basement (living space completebathroom complete and closet complete) its been bothering us a lot because we like to spend time down here now.

The kitchen and basement stairwell are still unfinished and I try real hard not to “hop” around the house with what I’m working on so I was waiting to do this when we tackled the entire kitchen.

Lodi couldn’t stand it anymore though and declared he was giving the refrigerator a makeover one weekend.


Lodi first gave the front of the refrigerator some much needed attention with sand paper, giving himself the best surface possible for a new coat of paint.

He started then by taping off all the chrome with blue painter’s tape. Then he sponge painted the entire front several times over a couple of days. He used Rustoleum in high gloss white and, because its an oil based paint, it does take awhile to dry.

When I first came down to the basement to see how it was going I declared my Lodi ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.

We do not have work lighting down here, we have mood lighting down here… Terrible for what he was doing.

So, he just replaced one of the Edison bulbs with one of  the LED bulbs we have waiting to be put up in our garage this spring.

What a great idea!

I still feel real bad for what I did to this poor old refrigerator and, goodness knows, it will never look brand new no matter what we do to it however, Lodi really did a great job.


Resources for this project:
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Rick Taylor Rick Taylor on Mar 14, 2022

    Is Lodi a Viking ?

  • Gail Yoder Byrne Gail Yoder Byrne on Mar 14, 2022

    By sponge painting, did he use a sponge brush and brush it on or dab it on with an actual sponge? I couldn't tell from the description how he actually did it.

  • Sidney Rippy McLaughlin Sidney Rippy McLaughlin on Mar 16, 2022

    My fridge is fine, but like yours, the plastic around the ice/water dispenser is yellowed and it bugs me. Does anyone have ideas to fix that part?

Join the conversation
5 of 22 comments
  • Carolinagal Carolinagal on Mar 15, 2022

    Thank you for sharing, great job!

    Another possible way to improve an old refrigerator's appearance is to apply contact paper. I tried it on my beat up, old, hand me down fridge we keep in our mud room. It worked great and has stayed on for years without any issues.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 16, 2022

    Keep going Grandma - I can't wait to see what you 'renew' ncet!