chalkboard fridge

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know something always breaks in our house on Labor Day (see here, here and here).

This year, sure enough, we received an urgent recall notice regarding our dishwasher. The manufacturer claimed that several units like ours have caught fire and we should unplug it immediately. So, upside? We’re getting a new dishwasher.

One thing that has NOT broken is the ugly 1980s white refrigerator that we inherited when we bought this house. Oh, how I have wished it would! And not just because it’s ugly and doesn’t match anything in our kitchen, but it’s actually held together by twist ties and duct tape. The condiment shelves on the interior door are too narrow for most bottles and jars. …Did I mention it’s ugly?

But here’s the thing: It works. And as much as we want to replace it, we’re being prudent and waiting. We don’t want to send something to the landfill when it still works. And, once again, an odd-size cutout means that there are only a couple of new models that will actually fit in our kitchen, and of course they’re the most expensive.

Still, shopping for a new stainless dishwasher meant that I glimpsed dozens of photos of gorgeous kitchens with matching appliances. And that got me thinking….could I paint the white fridge to match our black and stainless appliances?

Turns out, I could.

I was inspired by this blog post from Pure Style Home. It’s about open shelving, but I couldn’t take my eyes off that chalkboard fridge! So I thought I’d give it a go. I basically broke all the rules — didn’t use primer or tape. I just painted four thin coats of Rustoleum chalkboard paint on the doors only (didn’t really need to paint the sides since it’s tucked in the cabinets). It took a few hours (letting each coat dry completely). Pretty easy.

Kris and I really love the way it turned out. What do you think?

Those little square magnets are Stickygrams, which were created from some of my Instagram photos. Use the code FRIEND7JU9 and you can get $2.00 off your first order.


7 replies
  1. Erin says:

    It’s beautiful. Nice work! You could probably make your life a little smoother if you switch the hinges on the door, too. Then it won’t open into the wall.

  2. Timmi says:

    Love this, and Pure Style Home is one of my favorites! We will be painting our fridge this weekend. We too have an very ugly fridge that is at least reliable. I am wondering since I haven’t read anywhere, what do you do with the food inside while you are painting or do you just tape everything off and hope you don’t get it everywhere?

  3. Gina says:

    I left everything exactly where it is. I used the brush-on paint, not spray paint and just put a drop cloth down. The only time I had to open the fridge was when I painted the sides of each door, and I was able to close them to dry. No paint came in contact with the inside doors, so I wasn’t too worried about the food.

    So glad you’re going to try it! Good luck!!

  4. Barb says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! We also have an old 80s fridge that just won’t give up the ghost, except ours is brown. It has, however, been leaking for the entire summer and we’re thinking it’s time to replace it.

  5. T.Falcone says:

    We have a stainless steel fridge (wedding present from my in-laws; my husband refused to get rid of the 1980’s wood paneled fridge we inherited as well…) and black stove and just inherited a free dishwasher. That, of course, is WHITE!

    I will be chalk board painting it this weekend!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does it still look OK 3 months later? I ask as without roughing up or priming the old paint… it’ll flake off soon.


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