Monday, June 20, 2016

Making an Ugly Refrigerator Work for Me

So, this is about how I created a big problem for myself.

 It starts with us moving into our house without a refrigerator. It ends with having a refrigerator I can finally live with 3 years later and only $9.00. Here it goes.

When we first moved into our house we just needed to get a refrigerator in here immediately. We moved from an apartment and the previous owners took their fridge, so we had to find a solution better than the cooler sitting in the kitchen with all of our food in a heap inside. Yeah. Also we didn't have money to buy a fancy new one. We were overwhelmed, tired and just needed somebody who could bring us a fridge on Labor Day, of all days. So we found a cheap (I thought temporary... ha) used refrigerator that the guy could deliver straight to our house. It was a big black side by side fridge. Not my favorite, but whatever. It was temporary until we could save and get one we actually thought about and bought with some purpose........ Ha.

So fast forward 2 years and I was sick of the big black hole in my kitchen. I busted out some primer and latex paint (dumb. Don't do this.) and I just willy nilly started painting the fridge. I didn't even bother pulling it away from the wall. I just wanted to see if it would work. This is a sign of a lunatic. If you find yourself doing this, ask some questions. Mostly ask yourself what you think you're doing and if you can live with a peeling, half painted fridge for a year. Probably not, right?

...... What in the world. I lived with it like this for a long time. I mean. Too long. I can't believe I let anybody see it like this, but over the time it looked like this, I don't even know how many people saw it. Like, everyone. And now all of you guys. Haha oh my. Yeah, don't be like me. 

My main problem was I didn't know how to fix it. I could strip it, but I didn't want to do that in the house with those chemicals. I mean, I was pregnant last year people. Okay, also I was pregnant and had other things to worry about. The big issue was the handles. Everything else seemed to take paint okay, but I tried to paint the handles which was the worst. idea. ever. The paint all chipped and rubbed off and looked atrocious. As you can see in pictures I voluntarily put out there. My word.

Finally I solved the problem and took care of it.

I got out the primer, primed everything twice, then used the same paint I have been using on the cabinets; Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint. It's enamel based, so it dries much harder than a latex. It still wouldn't solve the problem of the handles, so I decided to wrap them with rope to cover the portions we would handle the most, where the paint tends to rub off.

I found some pretty rope at Michael's. I bought 2 for $9.00. Which, you know, is about $991 less than a new fridge. So Phil is happy. :) 

(Sorry for some of these pictures; I used my phone because well... It was right there and I was being lazy.)

I just used a hot glue gun to secure it as I wrapped it around. 

I started the glue and rope in the back so you wouldn't see where it begins.

After gluing it to the back and securing it, I started gluing on the front because it was easier and there was less danger of burning myself. You don't see the glue at all, so it works fine.

I used my glue gun on high heat, which I almost never do after a glue blob to the leg incident, but I wanted to be sure this would be super securely bonded to the handle. The only problem is I had to hold the rope down a little longer while the glue cooled each time I did a row. I also made sure I was pulling the rope really tight each time, so the rows would be close together and you wouldn't see the chipping handles in the gaps or anything.

I also made sure to finish it off in the back too, so you wouldn't see the end of the rope in the front. I left the tape on the ends of the rope too. You could remove them, but I figured they would be helpful in preventing fraying.

The other problem I ran into was that pulling the rope through rubbed some paint off in places:

So I just patched those really quickly, and it was done! Easy! And it only took 3 years to get this done..... :)

Don't worry. Those cabinets will get done... some time... :)

SO much better, right?! 

Before and After:

I mean. I don't even know what to say about that before anymore haha. I am a mess. But at least we have a lovely-looking fridge where a hideous monster used to be! I really like the white, and the added texture of the rope is super cute in here! Success!

Hope you have a Happy Monday! We are getting over a stomach bug, but as soon as everything is back to normal, those cabinets are going to get owned. :) 

*I am not affiliated with Michael's in any way. Or Sherwin Williams. This post was sponsored by Phil and his refusal to buy me a new fridge while this one still keeps things cold. ;) 


  1. What a great story! I wish you had a pic of the fridge before you painted it. That thing about enamel being a harder finish than are smart! Never thought about that before, but it makes good sense! - Aunt KJ

  2. just browsed your site for first time .... your great idea for bed corners hit home, I ordered same on immediately, got free shipping too!! can hardly wait for them to arrive. thanks, Ann on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada


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