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How to paint a fridge

Transform your fridge with a lick of paint

How to paint a fridge

Are your white goods looking a bit worse for wear? Are you bored of your plain fridge and fancy a pop of colour in the kitchen? If your budget is tight, then avoid buying new appliances and consider transforming them with a coat of paint instead. It only takes a day or so and you’ll save a lot of money. Plus, you can choose exactly the colour you want to fit with your interior style! Hot pink fridge anyone?

This hack is particularly great if you love the retro kitchen look, but don’t have the budget for a new retro fridge-freezer or have a very specific colour in mind

A fridge before and after painting

How to paint a fridge


Step 1

First, cover the area underneath and around the fridge with dust sheets to protect flooring from dust and paint drips. Using a sponge, soap and water, clean the surface thoroughly. All wax, oil and grease should be removed.

Next, rub the fridge with an ammonia-based cleaner. Many household cleaning solutions contain ammonia (although you can use one-part water and one-part white vinegar instead). Mix the cleaner with water and sponge all over the surface, then dry it with a lint-free cloth or leave to air dry. Use a steel wool scourer to remove any remaining encrusted food and debris.

Now the fridge is clean and dry, you will need to sand it to provide a ‘key’ –  this is a surface that paint will more readily adhere to. Choose a medium sandpaper and rub all over the appliance, wherever it will be painted. Dust the surface with a clean paintbrush, then sand a second time, with a finer sandpaper.

Carefully cover any areas you want to protect from paint with masking tape. This includes door handles and rubber seals. Press the tape down firmly to ensure no paint can creep underneath it.

Step 1 - Clean
Step 1 – Clean

Time to prime

Step 1

Use a multi-surface primer, such as Rust-Oleum Mode Grey Matt Surface Primer, £6 for 400ml from Amazon. Shake the can thoroughly and spray evenly over the appliance – hold the can at a consistent distance from the surface (roughly 25cm) and move gently from side to side.


Top tip!

Think about removing any hardware, labels and logos – anything that won’t be painted – before you begin working on the appliance.  

Pastel fridge tutorial

One 400ml bottle will cover roughly 1m². Allow about two hours to dry.

Step 2 - Prime
Step 2 – Prime

Ready, steady, paint!

Step 1

The appliance is now ready for you to apply your colour of choice. We recommend using a spray paint, such as Rust-Oleum Mode, £9.90 for 400ml from Amazon, to ensure an even finish. Apply two coats of paint, allowing a minimum of 15 minutes in between each.

Step 3- Mode layer
Step 3- Mode layer

Leave the appliance for about 60 minutes after the last coat is applied to ensure it is dry before handling.

Top tip!

It’s a good idea to keep some spray paint on hand in case you need to touch up scratches or chips in the future.

Step 4 - sand

If you make a mistake or have dripping or bubbling, don’t panic: you can correct just about any error with sandpaper. Simply wait until the paint is dry and use fine sandpaper before reapplying the top coat.

If a colour pop just isn’t jazzy enough, paint on additional detail in whatever design you like. How about clouds created from a simple DIY stencil?



Once you’ve refreshed your fridge, you might feel that the kitchen cupboards are suddenly looking a little tired in comparison. Why not give them a lick of paint too and achieve a slick and modern high-gloss look?

Be sure to clean and prime the surfaces, as per the steps above. Note that if the doors are wooden, you will need to sand in the direction of the wood grain.

Want some new retro kitchen goods to go with your freshly painted fridge? Check out these retro microwaves, retro kettles and retro lamps