Chalkboard Fridge




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Give an old fridge a functional facelift!

Our refrigerator died recently and a friend kindly gave us an old fridge to use while we save up for all new appliances.

While the new-to-us fridge is great in the sense that it doesn't make dying animal noises in the middle of the night, it wasn't much to look at, having collected several scratches and scorch marks over its long life.

I remembered seeing a chalkboard fridge on apartment therapy, and decided to give it a go. Painting the fridge turned out to be an easy project that my partner and I were able to accomplish while our son took an afternoon nap.

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Step 1: Clean the Fridge

Thoroughly clean the fridge.

Odds are it is disgusting, but even if it looks clean, you'll want to make sure there is no dirt or grease on any of the surfaces you will be painting.

We vacuumed up the dust and crumbs and then washed the inside and outside with wet rags and kitchen cleaner.

Step 2: Remove Trim and Doors

Remove any unwanted decorative trim.

Our fridge doors featured some faux wood trim that we were able to peel off without much trouble as it was only held in place with some sort of adhesive.

Remove the fridge doors and handles (if possible).

Most fridges have doors that are easy to remove, so you can switch them to open on the right or left side, depending on your kitchen. Usually you just need to pop off the hing cover and then unscrew the bolts holding the doors in place.

Our fridge, however, has power running to the door for a temperature-controlled butter dish, so the doors and handles were not designed to be switchable. We considered cutting the power cable to the door, but decided instead to leave it connected and simply paint the door while it was lying in front of the fridge.

Step 3: Mask Off Areas Not Being Painted

Cover anything you do not want painted with painter's tape.

Since our handles were not designed to be removed, we carefully covered them with masking tape. We also taped over the gaskets and inside edges of the doors.

We used newspaper, held in place with more masking tape, to protect the inside of the fridge from paint.

Step 4: Paint

Follow the directions on your paint can.

We used Krylon chalkboard spray paint and are really pleased with the results.

We applied several thin coats of paint after thoroughly shaking the can, and then let it dry. It was dry to the touch in 15 minutes, but we allowed it to fully cure for 24 hours.

Remove the masking tape and put the doors back on.

Enjoy drawing on your newly painted fridge!

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9 Discussions


3 years ago

Really really lovely project!
Just a question: you don't need to sand down a little bit before painting? My fridge has a glassy surface.. so I was wondering if it would be necessary..

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

If your fridge has a smooth glassy surface, sanding it will probably help the paint adhere properly. Ours was already pretty scuffed up and I wasn't very concerned about the paint job lasting a long time since we hope to get a more energy efficient fridge in the near future.


3 years ago

Clever and visually appealing.... well done.


3 years ago

WOW, I love it! It seems so obvious *now*.

Do you have to take the whole fridge to the grocery store with you if you write the list on it? :P

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

Snap a picture with your cell phone on your way to the store and it's like carrying the fridge in your pocket!


Reply 3 years ago

Ha! This is going to make me sound dumb, but I honestly didn't even think of that. I was thinking you could transfer it to paper. Also, you could use white board paint instead if you're not into the chalk dust (but are more into the fumes).


Reply 3 years ago

I've had no trouble wiping it down with a wet cloth. The part of a fridge that needs to be cleaned the most often is the handles, which I have left original.

Depending on where the fridge is located, some people might be concerned about chalk dust, but you can opt to use a dust-free chalk.