It’s really funny. Well, not funny haha.
But last Sunday’s post talking about my kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers and choices turned out to be one of my favorite posts ever, even though I feared the opposite.
You see, what happened is that there was a mix-up about what day I was going to see Alvin Ailey (who were absolutely fabulous BTW). I was told that it was Sunday, but it wasn’t Sunday, it was the Saturday matinee.
This gave me a lot less time than normal to create the post and in my mind, I feared that it wasn’t going to be up to snuff. But clearly, the time it takes to produce is not necessarily an indication of a post’s value.
Good lesson for me.
But where the value lies, in this post, is mainly in the dozens of fabulous comments I got from you guys about kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers.
And it also helped me from making a pretty whopping mistake! I’ll get to that in a sec.
So, what I thought would be great would be to do a round-up of your ideas and expand on some of them with links to sources, to have them all in one handy spot. And also discuss some of the pros and cons of each method.
A lot of us want alternatives to stainless steel and/or our appliances are old and we can’t afford to get new. Or it comes in white, but it’s the wrong white. Or we don’t want to see a big drink of solid anything.
Lots of issues.
I’ve decided not to get into HIDING the fridge because I think that needs its own separate post.
But before we get into the kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers, a word or 50 about stainless steel.
As we’ve been drilled ad nauseum, the general buying public desperately wants, needs, covets stainless steel appliances.
Although, based on what I hear, that just isn’t true!
But, since we tend to doubt ourselves, it means that we’re out there buying stainless steel appliances even though we don’t really want them. Or at least not all of them.
But, in some kitchens, stainless does look great.
Gray kitchens, primarily. Or kitchens with a good amount of gray in them.
All of the appliances need to match each other.
Match is not a word in our vocabulary except in rare instances. ;]
Appliances need to coordinate, not necessarily be exact clones of each other.
After all, the appliances have three completely different functions.
Why are we expecting an appliance which reaches temps of 500 degrees (Fahrenheit) to look the same as an appliance which reaches freezing temps? And then another which throws detergent all over the dishes to get them clean?
- Budget. That’s a big one.
- Permanence. Do you own your place? If so how long are you planning on staying?
- And finally kitchen size and configuration.
All of these are important considerations when deciding the best method. And I can’t do that for you because all of the parts need to hum along together. But maybe you’ll get some ideas that will get you as excited about these new options as I am.
Here are the possibilities when considering our kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers
Painting an appliance is an obvious choice, but proper preparation and paint for the type of surface and desired effect are very important.
- Is it a DIY project? Well, it depends on how proficient you are and the process. But in most cases, it is best to spray the fridge.
If it’s done at an auto body shop, of course, the fridge needs to go there. I would use one that I am familiar with who you know will do a good job or get references. And be prepared to spend a bit of $ to have it go back and forth.
- But… if your fridge works fine but is aesthetically a total train-wreck and money is really tight, you can paint it yourself.
Here are some examples where the homeowners painted their fridge with good results. The links will take you to the exact post where you can read more about their process.
This is the before. They painted it a white closer to the cabinets. And you can see that it’s a big deal. It is not easy to paint kitchen appliances. This couple is very hands-on and I bet if they had to do it over again would have tried one of the upcoming options over this one. You can see the finished product by clicking on the link.
This is a very cool kitchen! I love the black fridge in this setting. However, I’m a little confused by the order of things as I see a streaky mess when she’s putting on the handle. (please click on the link to see the process and what I’m talking about) And I can’t follow how she got that handle to stay put. I guess that it’s one of those things that one has to be there. You cannot drill into the fridge door! She doesn’t, but just so you know.
She used chalk paint in the end and it’s supposed to be matte, but I see a sheen. Not saying it’s bad. I love it! I would’ve preferred the smaller black handles on the cabinets so that the fridge handles look more special, but that’s just a little nit-picky thing. Really fabulous kitchen!!!
Whatever you do, please, please do not paint your textured fridge a super shiny black.
Eegads!!! Frat party horror show!
All things being equal, it is probably always the best move to do something that can be easily changed. And that leaves any kind of paint off the table.
And if it’s the range door that’s needing to change, of course, it has to be able to withstand heat.
I found a video and it’s pretty interesting.
At the beginning, he says that it’s “easy.”
After watching the video, I’ve concluded that it’s anything BUT easy. However, it’s a crappy green stove that’s probably at least 40 years old. And it does look a LOT better. But it’s not easy to do this.
Leaving the range aside for a time, a very attractive option for the refrigerator makeover is to use some sort of wallpaper.
But can we say that this is a DIY job?
I think it depends. If you are the skilled, coordinated, patient type, then perhaps.
If you’re like me who is ten thumbs, impatient, easily frustrated, then I would have a pro do it.
These days there are zillions of self-sticking wallpaper which are also easier to get off if you decide you want to change the pattern/color or restore it to its original for some reason.
OR, you could have a paper hanger come and apply any wallpaper.
Can it still be removable? Not sure about that, but speak with your wallpaper guy or gal. There might be some options. I did see something with cornstarch I think. But can’t recommend it since I don’t know anything about it.
I found numerous refrigerators that have been enhanced with wallpaper. Some great and some not-so-great.
First of all, I would wallpaper the fridge ONLY (with a pattern) and none of the other appliances or it’s going to look a little precious.
Here are some ideas and sources for cool wallpaper to cover the fridge.
Above is a darling small kitchen from the blog from Hygge and West.
My only issue is the cabinets. I long for them to be a whiter color, similar to the walls which looks like Decorator’s White, perhaps. Another option, would be to add a tinted glaze to the paper.
In any case, if doing paper, please be sure that it’s wipeable, preferably scrubbable wallpaper. If not, then what you can do is send it to a place like Custom Laminations and they will put a plastic coating (ask for matte lamination) on it for you. The paper will be a bit stiffer, but also better protected. You can do this with fabric too. But it needs to be a flat fabric.
And the side of the fridge should either be papered or painted. But otherwise, love this charming little kitchen.
This is from the website of Hygge & West. They have an incredibly charming collection of gorgeous wallpapers and self-sticking wallpaper tiles
The tiles are only 24″ x 24″ so maybe not the best because there would be a lot of seams, OR maybe easier to work with if doing it oneself.
But here are some of my favorite normal wallpapers from Hygge & West, many of which also come in the 24 x 24 self-stick tiles.
I like this one for the fridge from Young House Love. It complements the blue walls nicely. And I think that it suits their style.
Most of these come in other color-ways as does this soft shell-pink lovely.
This one is fun and sophisticated. I could see it in a city apartment, perhaps.
Here is a sampling of a few that I love from Anthropologie. Please click on the images to go to the product page.
Another option that is one that is my favorite for kitchen appliance and refrigerator makeovers are vinyl coverings that they use on cars and signs.
Elsie from a Beautiful Mess also had the fridge clad in this vinyl material that is for cars and signs, primarily. It even can go on the outside of a building. You can read more about it on her blog and see a pic of how fabulous the fridge looks.
This one has me terribly excited for many reasons.
- they can withstand high temps
- relatively easy to apply
- and one of the most compelling reasons is that they can be ordered in any Pantone color there is! So, you aren’t limited to a certain set of colors.
This source has the coverings that can be ordered in any color. They might be wholesale; but there’s a number to call for more info.
If all of the appliances are stainless steel and you only want accents of stainless, I would do vinyl on the door only. And most likely vinyl for the dishwasher. The fridge could be vinyl or a cool wallpaper.
Paint, I would generally reserve for really old appliances. Have a reputable pro do it outside the home.
You do not want to spray inside your home, unless you can create a little sealed off spray area and please always wear a mask!
Update on my appliances.
I canceled the range and microwave, because at this time, I’m not sure, but I’m seriously considering an induction range.
For the fridge,
I would so do this mermaid wallpaper from Hygge & West. (yes, I know that’s horrible English, but I need to fit the part.)
And below are two mock-up possibilities for getting rid of the stainless steel.
The Mermaid Fridge using Hygge & West wallpaper (and a little paint)
This version would use a vinyl skin and then a custom Overlay from Overlays. The handles at the bottom are faux and glued on. But the bottom needed something. The overlays are really wider than drawn and are white like the fridge. And they are about a 1/4″ thick.
I love them both. Can I have two fridges? haha
Which one do you like best?
BTW, yes, I would need to cover up the temperature thingy. I don’t need a temperature thingy.
Who knew that kitchen appliances could be so complex?
(note at 1:20 AM Wednesday. I welcome your kind comments, But if you have the urge to bash me over the head with insulting words, please refrain. My heart thanks you.)