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 I couldn't stand the instant outdated look it gave but couldn't see getting rid of a great fridge to spend a small fortune on a new one, that would inevitably go out in a couple years, my luck.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.
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?