DIY Stainless steel refrigerator: I was searching the internet and some how came upon this product called faux stainless steel. It was a roll of pvc film that looks exactly like stainless steel. I’ve been wanting a new fridge, so I figured I would give this a shot before I spent the money on a whole new fridge. Besides my fridge still works perfectly. It was worth the 75 dollars(including the film and spray paint) instead of the price of a new fridge. This project was definitely more time consuming than I anticipated, but we got it done in one day in about 13 hours. Had I known what I learned while doing this, I don’t think it would have taken as long. Which is why I figured I would post about it in case anyone else tries to do the same.
* Screwdrivers (to take off/reassemle doors)
* Fine Grit sand paper
* Rustoleum Black Appliance Epoxy
* Faux Stainless Steel Film
* Hair Dryer (to help the film to stick around corners and edges)
* Scissors (to cut the film to size)
* Credit Card or Squeegee (to smooth out the film)
We started by cleaning the exterior of the fridge with Windex.
Next, We took the doors off of the front and took in outside to be sanded. (TIP: Make sure you when you take off the doors, you label where certain parts and screws came from and how they were attached)
Once we did a light sanding on the exterior (including the doors), we wiped it down again with water to get the dust off. We taped off the back section and front so it wouldn’t get paint on the inside of the refrigerator and proceeded to paint the sides and top black. We used Rustoleum appliance epoxy.
While the sides and top were drying we decided to put the faux stainless steel film on the doors. This was the most time consuming part of the project. The film comes in different sized rolls, I think ours was 6 ft X 36″ and it worked well for what we needed.
Before we started applying the faux stainless steel, we wiped the doors down with vinegar to make sure their wasn’t any residue from the Windex left. The Windex can ruin the application of the faux stainless steel.
There are 2 methods you can use to apply this film. One method being a dry application, where you just try to put it on and smooth it out. There is also wet method where you wet the surface with soapy water. We figured we would just go with the dry method, which was a mistake. We had to keep pulling it off and there were bubbles and stuff kept getting underneath making it look awful. Finally we decided to take it off and try the wet method. It was SOOO much easier it made me question why they even suggest the dry method. Once we got the soapy water on the surface we peeled the backing off of the film and stuck it to the door.
We used a credit card and a squeegee to get out any bubbles. If you decide to leave the paper on the back and pull off a little at a time as you smooth out the surface, make sure the back of the paper is clean of any dirt or debris. After pulling the film up repeatedly to get out tiny pieces of dirt and what not, we finally figured out it was because the paper on the back of the film was dirty, even though we were going to peel it off it was still touching the surface of the fridge we were about to be sticking the film to.
So the main thing I learned is to USE THE WET METHOD! And take your time and it will come out great.
Here is a stop motion video we did working on the fridge outside.