Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY Paneled Refrigerator

 They just don't make 'em like they used to.
Houses...furniture...appliances...almost everything "old" that's not technology related is built sturdy and built to last. So I was definitely hesitant to throw out and replace our old fridge, even if it was a white blob of an eyesore.

 This is what our refrigerator looked like a week ago...

 It's a trusty whirlpool, hasn't given us any problems, and came with the house, which makes it OLD. I couldn't stand the instant outdated look it gave but couldn't see getting rid of a great fridge to spend a small fortune on a new one, that would inevitably go out in a couple years, my luck. 


After updating our cabinets, island, and pantry doors, it looked even more out of place. I love the look of a built-in cabinetry refrigerator, like this one in Paula's kitchen:
 

And this paneled refrigerator from bhg

  

I used that picture as inspiration and decided that it would be super easy to get a similar look on my existing fridge, instead of replacing it. Now, it's still the same working fridge underneath but looks like a custom match to our cabinets!

I measured the perimeter all around the fridge and added the width for 3 horizontal pieces in the middle. Adding a little bit for waste, I came to 30 linear feet of trim. 
I picked up these thin, pre-cut pieces at Home Depot in the lumber section, one aisle over from molding. I could have used a curved molding with some dimention too, but I liked the flat paneled look these would give. 


I looked at appliance paints, but coming only in black or white, I didn't think I'd be able to get the color to match. I decided on oil-based paint by Rustoleum that is appropriate for metal and withstands temps up to 200 degrees. Only the front and sides would be painted. I was sure I'd be able to achieve the right color by mixing almond and white. I wanted a semi-gloss finish that wouldn't be too shiny but would wipe clean, so I mixed the the flat and gloss, since they didn't have semi-gloss in the right colors.


I cut the pieces to size and used Liquid Nails and tape to hold in place. FYI, I love the "Ultra Quick Grip" Liquid Nails I just found. No more sliding around and waiting so long to dry.
 

I caulked all the seams and filled in every gap and crack. 

  

Then painted the entire thing, first priming with Zinsser's Oil-Based Cover Stain primer, then top-coating with my oil-based rustoleum mixed paint.  I applied just one coat of primer and let dry an hour, then 2 coats of paint, leaving 24 hours for the paint to dry in between. 

The last step was to take some Dark Walnut stain to glaze and antique the cream fridge so that it matched the finish of our cabinets.

Remember the before...


And here's the after!

 

It blends in so much better now! I'm still debating replacing the handles with some nice iron hardware (because no project is truly ever finished.) but I'm not sure how these remove. The pieces take up the entire length of the fridge and I think they are glued because I didn't see screws on the back, so I'm not sure how to go about it. Whatcha think?


Sean was definitely skeptical when I tried to explain my plan. 
"I just don't see it."
I tried pictures. Then hand motions and demonstrations. Everything short of a power-point presentation. 
Then finally said, "Oh, just don't worry about it."
He went out of town for wiffleball. 
And was blown-away upon returning.

Success!

Close-up:

Bonus: Since the center part is not actually paneled with wood, and simply painted, magnets still stick like before. 
 So, is it done? Or should I try to remove the handles and replace with some nice hardware bars?
Help!

Much Thanks,
Katie

34 comments:

  1. Wow! I found your blog on Pinterest! I love the look of the new refrigerator! It is gorgeous! I like the handles how they are, but a nice metal finish or something similar to your handles/knobs on the cabinets would be nice too! Great job!

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  2. So kind, thank you! I agree...I want new handles but still don't know how these handles remove because there's nothing holding them in place behind. I'll have to keep thinking!

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  3. Congratulations on an awesome Makeover! We're trying to come up with a way to use old pallets and/or crate wood to disguise our fridge when I found this.....you did great!

    TXCyndyB

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  4. This is one of the most amazing makeovers I've ever seen! I hope your fridge keeps running for years!!!

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    1. That makes two of us! Thank you so much:)

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  5. This is so WOW I'm pinning it! Well done.

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  6. Wow! You did an amazing job! My husband painted our old fridge black several years ago. I asked him about the handles, he said he doesn't remember removing our, probably taped them off. He said there is likely a plastic piece on the face of the handle that pops off and the screws are hidden underneath.

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    1. Oh thank you so much for that piece of advice. I will check it out!!

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  7. I think your creativity in this makeover is AMAZING! If you replace those handles, please be sure to post the change. I would love to see. (And just so I don't miss out I am signing up to follow you!)

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  8. Just paint the handles!! I love it, may use the same idea on mine which is about 20+ years old too!

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  9. I came over from BetterAfter blog. What a great idea! Looks fantastic!

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  10. Gorgeous! You are one talented and inspirational lady!

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  11. You could contact the maker of the frig and ask them how the handles are attached, you would have to supply the model number. Or ask lowes in appl area. But even if its an older model they all makers can tell you how about the handles incase you would need to replace with a new one. I wish I would of done that to my frig when I painted my cabinets that color technique 10 plus years ago. Since our frig went out down in basement we moved it down there and bought new stainless. I love ur creative idea. Genius. Good luck. I'm sure you will find a solution :)

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  12. A Store called Lee Valley has lovely replacement fridge door handles, check them out.

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  13. A store called Lee Valley sells lovely fridge handles that are intended for updating and replacement. Check them out on line.

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  14. This looks so great! I am so impressed! Way to go girl!

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  15. Wow! So impressive! I think the handles are fine as is, they really aren't noticeable amidst those gorgeous panels. I see that you did this several months ago, how's the paint holding up?

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    1. It's super durable...no change since the day it was done. I spray it and wipe it down to clean like I did before.

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  16. looks awesome- i also saw this on the better after blog :)

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  17. looks awesome :) saw this on the better after blog and shared with a friend who has the same problem with her fridge... love it!!!

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  18. AMAZING!!!! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. !!!!
    I stumbled on this somehow today thru Better/After... I am blown away..,
    Fab, Fab, fabulous... Great job! I will remember this one to copy someday....
    On my way to pin it... : )

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  19. I LOVE this idea! We have the same set up for our refrigerator, I may have to try this.

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  20. How did you paint the fridge? With a brush?? Would love to do this. Your kitchen is beautiful.

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    1. roller for the large surfaces and brush for the cracks and touch-ups. Thank you!

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  21. How did you paint you fridge? With a brush?? I would love to do this. You have a beautiful kitchen!

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  22. What texture was you frige to start? Did/do you have the veins running through as with most friges? This is a wonderful job.!

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  23. What texture was you frige to start? Did/do you have the veins running through as with most friges? This is a wonderful job.!

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    1. It was like a speckled type texture. Thanks:)

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  24. You can get the specs on sears web site in appliances. I have the same fridge but with a convenience hatch on the right for beverages. There is a small cover at the top and bottom of the actual handle part that pops off to reveal the screws holding them on. Great job!

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  25. I found this blog today when I had the same idea. Very useful, and it well help trying to describe the plan to my husband. I lol'd at you trying to describe it to your husband because I know I'll have the same problem :)

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