I was actually going to trade up to a new fridge. But this one has been super reliable, and there’s really not anything wrong with it other than being unforgivably ugly. So, why not give it some new life and some creative spark using some chalkboard paint? I gotta say, I am happy with the results. So if you’ve got a reliable old clunker like mine, consider sparing it from the trash heap a little longer and save yourself some money by not buying a new one. Here’s what mine started out looking like:
Pro tip: Longer light pressure strokes give a smoother and more even paint finish.
Time involved: 2-ish hours.
Difficulty: Not difficult.
Things you’ll need/supply list:
latex goves (optional)
masking tape (I like the 3M green or blue tape)
1 pint of chalkboard paint (This was just enough for 2 coats. If you think you’ll need more, buy the extra quart or pint and return it if not needed). I used Rust-oleum as pictured below.
Follow these 10 steps, and you’ll be the proud new owner of your very own chalkboard-paint fridge creation.
1) Wipe the fridge off using a houshold cleaner such as 409, or simply use a rag with a dish soap solution.
The key idea here is that you remove any oils or grease that would inhibit the primer from adhering in the next step. Be sure to get all surfaces that you intend to paint.
2)Lightly sand the surfaces with a 220-grit-or-higher sandpaper.
The purpose of this step is to simply rough up the surface and add what is sometimes called “tooth” for the primer to grab onto.
3) Wipe the surfaces again to remove any dust from step 2.
4) Mask any door seals or hardware that you do not want to paint.
In this step, I also removed the handle as I intend to replace it with a wood version.
5) Apply the first coat of Kilz or other suitable primer.
I like to begin by using a small brush to get all the nooks and crannies. Then I’ll go over it with a roller to remove any brush strokes and get a little smoother surface.
Here’s the primer I used:
6) After the first primer coat has been applied, wait 20 minutes for it to haze off. Then apply a second coat if needed.
This is a good time to clean the brushes and rollers using a garden hose or the kitchen sink. Just don’t splash it everywhere if you’re indoors.
7) Ok, time for the fun part. Make sure your paint tray is CLEAN (Pro tip: line it with tinfoil for easy cleanup), and fill it part way with the chalkboard paint.
Begin your initial coat with the brush to get all the trim and hard-to-reach areas. Then go over the rest with a roller to get a smooth finish. Let the paint haze over for about 20-or-so minutes, and add a second or third coat, if needed. You’ll need to clean the tray and brush again or wrap them in air-tight plastic so they don’t dry on you.
Here’s what it looked like after 1 coat of the Rusteoleum chalk paint:
And here it is after tow coats:
8) Let the paint harden for a few days before you draw on it.
A general rule for telling if it’s hardened is – when you don’t smell the paint smell as much anymore, it’s probably dry.
9) Find an awesome design and have fun drawing on your new chalkboard paint fridge.
Last detail: if you pulled your fridge out for this project, use a vacuum to clean out the dust and cobwebs that accumulate on the coils. This will make your unit cool more efficiently and use less energy.
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