Wednesday, November 28, 2012

$4 Fridge Makeover: How I spent Thanksgiving Weekend

This is the fridge that came with the house.  Well, it's one of them, there's another, larger, un-stickered one in the mudroom (also white).  I didn't hate the stickers.  I liked the sentimental idea of a family chronicling their travels and interests over the years in the room that is the "heart of the home" for so many.  I think they ate most of their daily meals at a round table in the kitchen and it just seems super homey.  And there was some sadness in removing them, like removing part of the history of the house.

It took about an hour to remove the stickers using a couple razor blades, then another 20-30 minutes to get the adhesive residue, sticker bits and associated dirt off.  I also removed the Whirlpool plaque and the handles.

Our other appliances are black and the white just stands out so much against the cabinets and we don't want to buy a new fridge right now, especially another one small enough to fit the cabinetry.  So, what to do?  Thought about painting it until I saw the wood grain contact paper in the bins with the clean contact paper that I used for faux etching the cabinet glass!  Faux bois fridge?  Now, that would be both fun and funny!

After scraping, washing and drying, I drew a plumb line to match my seams.  One roll would not be wide enough to cover the whole front, let alone wrap around the side of the doors.



So the line is not actually plumb, it's square to the fridge's top which is not level.  I figure if we ever bother to level it and if by some miracle the contact paper is still worth keeping, I'll want the grain to be plumb then.


Then I cut the contact paper into pieces long enough to cover the door from top to bottom and also wrap around the top and bottom edges.  The faux plumb line is placed so the width of the paper will reach it as well as wrap around the side of the fridge doors.  Then I applied the contact paper matching a factory edge to the plumb line and smoothing with a tool used for applying one-time, self-adhesive stencils and probably used for vinyl decals.  After the first was on, I matched another factory edge of a cut piece of contact paper to the existing piece and just kept doing this until the doors were covered (4 pieces, 3 rolls of Dollar Tree contact paper).

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There is just something about the dorm/hotel fridge vibe that tickled me.  However, I didn't like the remaining white so I also removed the grill at the bottom and the hinge cover at the top.


I mulled over what to do with the handles, grill and hinge cover.  Paint, but what color?  We decided on black to play on the idea of iron.  I then disassembled those pieces as much as possible and scrubbed them really well, then let them dry over night.

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You can see here that I also did the top & sides... at least where they show.  Ahem.  I had one more roll and some scraps from covering the doors, so I used those to keep the white from standing out so much.  I didn't do anything to the door gasket, so it's white, but meh.  It's a tongue-in-cheek fridge rehab, for crying out loud!



Annnnnnnnd done.  Probably.  I've toyed with the idea of applying faux or dummy iron-looking strap hinges for an old-timey, country look, but haven't been hit by satisfying inspiration as to how to accomplish that.  Plus, I'm kind of diggin' on the fact that I only spent $4 on this project!  I already had the spray paint (the Fred Meyer house brand in "semi-flat" black) and all the tools and cleaning supplies, so all it took was four $1 rolls of contact paper (yes, it was Contact brand and everything).  When I painted the various parts, I also painted the Whirlpool plaque, but I haven't reinstalled it.  I kind of want something funny there, but I haven't found just the right thing yet.

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OK, that white strip between the doors bugs me a little bit, but the truth is that neither Eric or I actually see it unless we are opening the doors, because it's below our standing line-of-sight.  And yes, those are bloody hands on the front door in the background, still there from Halloween.  Those silicone window clings are a hassle to take down and put away so I'm procrastinating.  Besides, red is such a cheery xmas color!

What's next? We're narrowing down on a back splash solution, so we're getting close replacing the wallpaper with something that suits us better.  YEY!   

And finally a gratuitous dog-photo-bomb!

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UPDATE: $4 DIY vs. $85 Store Bought: You be the judge.



6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, pretty lady! What need is you can also use the fridge to gorge! :)

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  2. Oh my gosh! LOVE it! You did an amazing job and I think the 'new' fridge fits in perfect with the house and the state.

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    1. Thank you! My last two places had stainless steel appliances and I gotta say that I'm pretty much over it. They look nice just as long as you don't use them. They get so smudgy and the cleaners for SS attract pet hair! I knwo there are smudge free versions and oil-free cleaners, but... meh. I'm moving on. To what, I'm not sure, but still.

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  3. Oh Gosh I LOVE it! I've seen contact paper used to update chronically sad bathroom cabinets but this is genius. Pinning it immediately.

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    1. Thanks so much! Given the cost and the minimal hours to achieve such a different, I'm pretty pleased with it. I just hope it holds up well! Maybe I should sock away a few dollars' worth of extra Contact paper. ;)

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