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Paint old appliances with stainless steel paint
How to Paint a Stainless Steel Fridge
Everything you need to know about painting old appliances with stainless steel paint

You can turn your old fridge into a modern fridge by painting its surface with stainless steel paint. In this way, you can keep an old fridge that works well without having to give up on the beauty of a modern stainless steel fridge.

In fact, stainless steel paint is superior to store-bought stainless steel fridges for several reasons. Magnets will stick to stainless steel paint but won’t stick to some modern stainless steel fridges. And unlike their modern counterparts, old fridges painted with stainless steel paint will not smudge or reveal fingerprints, and they are easier to clean. You can turn your old fridge into a modern stainless steel fridge, then use stainless steel paint to modernize the rest of your kitchen from your toaster to your light fixtures.

Follow these steps to turn your old fridge into a modern stainless steel fridge.


Sand your fridge gently with P-320 grit sandpaper, both sides and back. This will remove any chipped paint, rust stains or debris that stuck to the surface. Then wash the fridge surfaces with soap and water and dry thoroughly.


If you don’t want to paint your old fridge handles, remove them by prying or sliding the cover off the ends of the handles to reveal the hidden screws. If you can’t remove the handles, tape them off, as well as any other areas you don’t wish to coat with stainless steel paint, like the rubber seal on your old fridge door, or the plastic grill on the bottom.


If your old fridge is made of plastic, use waterbased primer to prime the fridge before starting to apply the stainless steel paint. Examples of waterbased primers are: Kilz 2, Zinnzer's Primercoat2, Zinnzer's Bullseye 1-2-3. It’s possible for some parts of your old fridge to be made of metal and some of plastic. You can find out which is which by placing a fridge magnet over the different parts of your old fridge. The magnet will only stick to metal.

Apply the primer in straight vertical strokes in the same direction that you will use when painting the stainless steel paint a little later.

Prepare the Stainless Steel Paint

Stir your stainless steel paint very well. Stainless steel paint is actually made from microscopic stainless steel fragments. Stirring the paint well distributes these particles evenly, to give your old fridge an even stainless steel finish. Pour the paint into a paint tray, or use a small brush or roller to dip in the paint can and saturate your large roller as you apply the stainless steel paint to your fridge.

Painting Basics

Keep the fridge cracked open to prevent the seal from sticking to the wet stainless steel paint before it dries. Always saturate your roller or brush before you press it to your old fridge to begin painting it with stainless steel paint. Begin with the edges on the top of the fridge, then paint the sides and finally the front.

First Coat

Apply the stainless steel paint with the saturated roller working in sections. You can turn the roller from side to side or up and down over the section until the entire surface is covered in an even layer of stainless steel paint. Next, with a foam brush, create straight vertical strokes from top to bottom all along the old fridge surface to create an even stainless steel finish. Use a wide, hard foam brush that permits you to press firmly on the stainless steel paint. This will erase the pattern left by the roller with clean, symmetrical lines.

Common First Coat Problems
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 © Inventive Home Improvement, 2011