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Painted Refrigerator DIY Project

Decorating on a Budget (featured column)
Submitted by Cindy Bailey

My Old Reliable refrigerator was purchased in 1989 and it still works fine, but like me, it was beginning to show its age. I tried to think of different things to disguise the chipped paint on the front, it but I'm not that talented of an artist and also was afraid the paint would just chip off.

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Anyhow, I love the look of red spatterware. I own several pans and other items with this look and have sponge-painted wooden trays and shelves to match and have always been pleased with the end result, so I decided to try it on the fridge.

Sponge painted tray

The best thing about doing this sponge-painting is, if it starts getting chipped, just get out either the red or white paint and your sponge and camouflage over the nicks!

We are Empty Nesters, so we don't have too much kid art, so I opted to move the magnets around the side and keep my door somewhat bare. Those little magnets, esp. on the kids' homemade magnets, are what chipped up my paint in the first place. Advice from an old lady: tack their papers to a bulletin board instead.


Good quality white enamel paint, such as Rustoleum or Krylon (or use whatever color you want)
Good quality red enamel paint (or whatever your chosen color is - country blue would also be nice, whatever matches your decor)
Varnish or Polyurethane, optional
Small paint roller with sponge roller
Sea sponge
Paper plates, newsprint, masking tape

Painted refrigerator DIY project


1. Remove door handles. Just 3 screws in mine!

2. Clean the door well with TSP. Rinse and dry well. If it's rusty or badly chipped, you may want to sand it off.

3. Tape off the edges.

4. Roll 3 light coats of enamel on the door. Dry for at least an hour between coats.

5. Pour out red paint onto paper plate.

6. Wet sponge and dip in paint.

7. Remove excess paint by tapping loaded sponge onto newsprint until you get the look you want.

8. Tap sponge onto prepared door, twisting and turning to give it a random look.

9. Repeat until you get the desired look.

10. If there's too much red, for example, dip another sponge in white and tap it lightly over the red. You can keep going back and forth with colors until it's the way you want it!

10. Varnish if desired.

That's it! Just make sure you keep some of the paint for future touch-ups. And of course, by all means sponge some other items to match your new door, such as wooden trays, photo frames, etc. You could even sponge red on some white curtains and a tablecloth. Maybe I'll try this myself and let you know how it goes!

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