How To Paint Your Refrigerator And Change Its Look – It’s Actually Easy

Everyone knows you can paint furniture to give it a fresh new look but did you know you can also apply the same technique to reinvigorate old appliances? You can paint your existing refrigerator and make it look completely different and that’s a great way to update it if it’s old and ugly or to make it match the color of your kitchen. Of course, there are a few things that you need to know before actually starting to paint your fridge.

There are a few things to take into consideration and to decide whether or not this is really a good idea in your case. Once you’ve made up your mind and you’re ready to start, that when you should follow these steps:

Move the fridge and prep the area around it

Before you actually start to apply the paint, you need to carefully and patiently get the fridge ready. That means moving it away from the wall or any other furniture pieces and appliances. You also need to take out the food inside the fridge and the freezer. Unplug the fridge.

It would be ideal to move it to a well-ventilated area if possible because all types of paint give off toxic fumes. Taking the fridge outside or on a deck also makes it easy to clean afterwards. If you’re painting it indoors, make sure you cover up the floor and any surfaces around the fridge. 

Clean the exterior of the fridge

This part is important because any stains or grime will leave marks and will stand out even more once you’ve painted over them. Go ahead and put a drop cloth underneath or around the fridge and start cleaning it with soap and warm water. Make sure to clean the edges and corners as well. Then let the fridge air dry and don’t use a towel or anything else to dry it because that leaves lint behind and messes up the paint. 

Sand it

Once your fridge is nice and clean you can start to remove the gloss. Use sandpaper (medium grit) and carefully go over the entire surface that you want to be painted afterwards. This process helps the paint to adhere better and is necessary if you want the new paint to look good and to last.

There’s no need to take off the existing paint. Only remove the glossy finish. After you’re done, clean it with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust. 

Cover the handles and seals

The next step is to use painter’s tape to cover any areas that you don’t want painted. This includes the handles, seals, hinges and any displays and other features your fridge might have. Make sure the tape is nice and secure and doesn’t easily come off during the painting process. Of course, it would be great if you could remove the handles altogether to make it easier to paint the fridge and to get a smooth look. 

Apply primer

This step is not always necessary as you also have the option of applying a two-in-one paint that contains primer instead. However, the primer is always necessary whether it’s a separate step or not because it helps the paint to adhere to the fridge and to look smooth and even. I

f you opt for the separate primer strategy, apply a coat, let it dry, then go over the surface with steel wool to get rid of any bumps and speckles. Wash the fridge and let it dry, then apply another coat of primer. 

Apply paint

This is the part where you have two main options: spray paint or a roller. In each case the technique is different. If you’re using a roller, open the can of paint, stir it and then pour some into a tray. Then take a foam roller, dip it in paint and apply a coat all over the fridge, let it dry, repeat, let it dry and apply a third and final coat. You’ll also need a thin brush which you’ll use to paint the corners, edges and other hard to reach areas which you can’t cover with the roller. 

If you’re using spray paint, make sure you shake the can first. Read the labels and make sure you shake the can as instructed, otherwise the color of the paint might not be the one you actually want or it could have a bad consistency. Then go ahead and apply several thin coats, allowing the paint to dry in between and getting rid of any bumps or speckles if you notice any.

Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours. Also, don’t forget to also paint the inside frame of the fridge. This also applies if you’re using a roller instead of spray paint. 

See how others painted their fridges:

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

Here’s a great example of how repainting an existing fridge can help to make the kitchen look better as a whole. This makeover which is featured on younghouselove shows the whole process of painting an almond-colored fridge and getting it all white to better match the kitchen cabinets. First the fridge had to be moved outside on the patio which wasn’t easy but made everything after that a lot easier. Then the whole surface was lightly sanded and then cleaned after removing the handles. Then special appliance epoxy was applied with a foam roller and a brush was used for the smaller and tighter spots. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

The tutorial from addicted2decorating explains how you can paint a fridge or a freezer and give it a completely new color and a new look. In this case it wasn’t just the paint color that was changed but also the handle. The new one fits better with the dark nuance and the new style. An interesting little detail in this case is that the plastic seal around the door was not taped off prior to applying the paint. That was intentional because of the dark color. As a result, the outside of the seal is now the same color as the rest of the fridge and the inside has the original color. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

In case you’re wondering how it would look like if you painted a white fridge and made it black or dark gray, here’s a perfect example. Although originally this fridge looked nice, clean and had a uniform white color, it didn’t really stand out and didn’t fit the style of the kitchen. After the makeover it has a more modern and elegant look thanks to the dark color and the matte finish. This right here is chalkboard paint which is really cool because it means you can use chalk to write things directly onto the fridge. Check out all the instructions on littlehouseonthecorner before starting this project. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

It may very well be the case that you have a pretty old fridge that got an unflattering patina over the years. Painting it is a really good way to make it look brand new again. Check out how amazing the transformation from athomewithashley and let this makeover inspire you. As you can see, the fridge didn’t look great originally. After cleaning it, sanding it and prepping it, things already started to look good. Here’s the list of supplies that were used for this project: cleaner, soft pink chalk paint, gold spray paint, a paint sprayer and clear wax. The new color is super chic and stylish. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

You may be familiar with those cool retro-looking appliances from Smeg. They look beautiful but they’re also quite expensive. You can still get a similar style and look for your existing fridge without breaking the bank if you choose to repaint it. Go ahead and pick a nice retro color. Something light and pastel would look great like this lovely blue featured on apieceofrainbow. The handles were spray painted gold which suits the new theme and complements the fridge in a really cool way. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

You might be thinking that painting a fridge sounds nice but only applies if you want a bold color or one that appliances don’t usually come in. That’s not the case. If you want your fridge to have a stainless steel finish that can be done at home and it wouldn’t be too different than the other makeovers we’ve mentioned so far. There’s a detailed tutorial on southernhospitalityblog which explains all you need to know about painting a fridge with liquid stainless steel so check it out if you’re interested in doing something similar. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

The idea of a chalkboard refrigerator seems really cool, especially because it means you can write down recipes, lists and various other notes onto the fridge which is very practical in the kitchen. Unfortunately fridges don’t usually come with chalkboard paint on them. Still, you can quite easily change that. Go ahead and get some chalkboard paint in a color that you like and that suits your kitchen, then prep the fridge, sand it, remove the handles, prime it and finally paint. Several coats of paint are needed and you can’t really write anything down immediately after the paint has dried so make sure you give it plenty of time to dry and cure. Check out prettypurpledoor to see how the transformation is made. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

It’s also very tempting to want to paint the fridge in a really bright and bold color. It may seem like a scary decision to make but it would be worth the risk if you choose a color that you really like. Have a look at the transformation featured on cozycrookedcottage to see how this fridge went from being white to having this vibrant turquoise nuance all over it. It definitely stands out more and it’s a focal point for the entire kitchen. 

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

Also check out how nice this black fridge looks now after it’s been repainted. Here’s what was used for the transformation: magnetic primer, chalkboard paint, a small roller brush, an angled brush, a painting tray and painter’s tape. Using chalkboard paint is always fun especially if you have young kids. They could have fun drawing and writing things on the fridge and you could use its surface too to put down notes, grocery lists and so on. For more details and inspiration, head over to thehandmadehome

Before and after refrigerator paint tips

Painting your existing fridge is still a good idea even if you don’t want to drastically change its color and go for a completely new look. You could paint the fridge and use the same color as in its original design. When you’re done it won’t look much different but it will look very fresh and new once again. This will also be a good opportunity to really clean it and perhaps even reorganize the interior or add some finishing touches to make it a bit more practical and interesting. Check out rainonatinroof for more details on how to paint your fridge.