A New Fridge for $15!

Well… not exactly. The $15 I speak of was for this can of magic:

Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy
Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy

Worker of miracles! You see, when we moved in, the appliances were in rough shape. The stove downdraft didn’t work (more on that later), the dishwasher racks were all rusty and gross (again, more on that later!), the garbage disposal is fine as far as I can tell (??), and the fridge – well, it was a mess. And still is, to some extent. The seals on the doors are barely hanging on, all bent in crazy ways and hemorrhaging cold air. Most of the bottom racks are cracked/hanging on by a thread. But the worst thing, in my mind, was the fact that its exterior was super rusty and just gross looking.

So, I painted. This did nothing to fix the interior problems, mind you, but having a shiny *new-looking* white fridge goes a long way towards making me think this puppy can last another couple years.

The process was straightforward, although more challenging than it needed to be. The paint needs a certain temperature & humidity range in order to cure properly, and since I’d read that the paint smells awful I wanted to do this outside. Our weather is unpredictable here, but one morning I saw 0% chance of rain all day and figured this was my best shot! We moved the fridge just a little bit out from its spot and… it wouldn’t fit past the island. Just 1″ too wide. Trapped! Drats!

I resigned myself to having to paint indoors (boo) but just as I busted out the painter’s tape and plastic sheathing, it started to rain. Darn you Cleveland weather!!! I can’t imagine how annoyed I would have been had we been able to move it outside only to have it rained on.

I removed the handles and bottom grate from the fridge (these would need to be painted as well), temporarily took out the lower cabinet next to the fridge so I could have more room to work, and finished hanging up my smell barrier so I didn’t stink up the whole house.

This was the worst part of the whole process...
This was the worst part of the whole process…

I scrubbed the fridge with lysol wipes, lightly sanded the whole fridge with a 150 grit sanding block, wiped it all down with a microfiber cloth, and it was ready for paint.

The directions say to roll it on in thin coats with a roller, so I used a 3″ roller and had no problems. The epoxy is nice because it rolls on kind of bumpy but then smooths itself out relatively quickly. It’s very forgiving paint.

After a couple of coats (letting the first one dry for a couple hours) it was looking mighty fine:

Hot mama!
Hot mama! (Before putting the handles back on)

Granted, this wasn’t a miracle fix and couldn’t save the couple places where the fridge was dented, but this made a HUGE difference for us. Before, the white was a bit yellowy, but having it bright white makes it feel clean and happy somehow.

Other Projects

I mentioned above about the dishwasher and the stove, and I figured for completeness’ sake I should give a quick update on those, too.

The dishwasher was scratching up all our new dishes with its gross, rusty, severed tentacles… I bought some “universal” end caps on Amazon to put over the broken-off rack parts, but they were WAY too small. Back to the drawing board – I bought these instead and they were perfect. Skeptical at best about how the nail polish looking stuff would perform, I was a quick convert. If you’ve got rusted out bits on your dishwasher rack, I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s been a month now since I applied a couple coats, and I haven’t had a scratched dish since. Plus, the included caps were actually big enough for our dishwasher!

The stove was a bit more of an ordeal. The Home Depot installer wouldn’t disconnect our old one for us because the connection was in the basement, not above the kitchen floor. We called a plumber out and it was a good thing we did, because we ended up needing to move the whole gas line in order to fit the new range. Not cheap, but it’s a one-time deal and it’s all done. The new range looks and works great, and we couldn’t be happier with it:

Ooooh shiny!
Ooooh shiny!

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