A client of mine lives in a studio apartment in Queens. His space is very industrial -dark gray ceiling, metal cubes for a coffee table, and he even poured his concrete floors to add to the industrial look he is going for. So, when faced with what to do about his out-dated white appliances, we decided to paint his fridge instead of getting him a new one! There are a few products out there that promise stainless steel like finishes because they contain real stainless steel pigments! I tried Rustoleum’s Stainless Steel appliance paint. They can promise a “single application,” and although that is far from the truth, the outcome is pretty good if you have the patience for several coats. In the end, we took an old 80’s apartment sized fridge and updated its look for the cost of a can of paint.
4″ roller tool
4″ foam roller (later on in the project I switched to a regular roller)
Rust-Oleum’s Stainless Steel paint
Black spray paint (optional)
Phillips head screwdriver
We started with an all-white fridge. The product states that if you’re painting an appliance, there is no need for primer. I decided to follow the instructions, but I wonder if that’s why I had to apply 3-4 coats.
Next step was to clean the outside of the fridge thoroughly. I used a simple solution of vinegar and water. It removed a lot of the old grime that can bury itself into the little grooves of the fridge.
Next, I opened the product and poured a little into a paint tray. This is very stinky, so wear a respirator if you can’t haul your fridge outside!
Remove the doors. Different fridges will require different tools for this step; I had to use both a wrench and a Phillips head screwdriver. I put all the hardware to the side.
I removed the white handles and, instead of painting them stainless steel as well, I decided to paint them a glossy black. I set them aside to dry.
I was finally ready to paint. The product contains real stainless steel pigment, so that’s pretty cool! It’s very stinky paint, so if you can’t haul your fridge outside, make sure you wear a respirator.
I started with my brush and trimming out all the smaller area around the open spaces.
After attempting just to cut the paint, I decided to tape it off first and then paint the smaller areas. I wanted to see how meticulous I could get with this paint job; I didn’t want it looking sloppy.
After two coats, this is what the fridge looked like. Since the instructions said it was an “easy single application,” I was shocked to see it look this patchy. I decided to switch from a foam roller, as the instructions called for, to a regular roller. After I made this switch, the paint went on much better. Hard times also took a while, so take that into account.
After about 4 coats, I put all the hardware back on, put the doors back on the fridge, and got ready to step back and take in handy work!
I put the handles back on and it looked great!
The result is pretty spot on!