Here’s a wonderfully creative idea if you find yourself with an old fridge that works great, but isn’t so great looking… Why not make an old fridge facelift DIY chalkboard cover! Yep! That’s what my son and daughter-in-law did in their kitchen, and now, I think it looks better than a new fridge could have. This project can even be used by renters, as the old fridge is totally unharmed in this process and can easily to returned to it’s original look. Here’s what they did…
So even though today I’m only going to share about the old fridge facelift DIY chalkboard cover, if you want to see more really amazingly creative things they did in their kitchen, (like their amazing DIY wall pot rack) and the rest of their vintage bungalow, checkout some of these other links too!
You know there’s an old saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, and while I totally agree with that, I think of it a little differently… ‘necessity breeds creativity’… Now you and I both know that most interior designs would fall short of actual ‘necessity’ (bare necessity, that is, right?) it is, however, the desire for interior design mixed with the lack of an ‘interior design budget’ that creates more the ‘necessity’. (I’m working on teaching my granddaughter that thought… it’s so much more fun and edifying to create than just to go out and buy…
Likewise, this was the case in my son and daughter-in-law’s kitchen. They didn’t think it would be a wise investment to go out and buy a new fridge at this point, as the old one works great, and they may move or completely tear up the kitchen, creating a spot for a much larger fridge within a couple years, so investing in a new small fridge for this currently small space would be a short lived investment and not the best choice right now. (although the changes they’ve made to this kitchen are amazing and I think they kind of love their kitchen now)
So, what to do?
Just stare at the old white thing, which is actually visible from the front door! Or get creative and do something charming with it?
This is one of the few before pictures I have of this kitchen…
You can see how the old fridge was just white and plain and had those white plastic handles, right?
The first thing was to remove the old plastic handles. But they wanted to be thoughtful to not do any damage to the front of the fridge so that if they did decide to sell, the new buyers could always go back to the plain white look if they weren’t into an old fridge facelift DIY chalkboard cover!
Magnets! Really, super duper strong magnets! My son found a source online for them.
He attached 6 for the top panel to hold the chalkboard cover on the freezer door of the fridge. And those little powerful magnets do an amazing job! The chalkboard cover is made with luan plywood and a wooden frame around the edge, plus a heavy duty metal handle pull on the front, and these magnets have no issue whatsoever with holding it all tight onto the fridge. He did use epoxy glue and screws to be sure the magnet would hold tight to the back of the chalkboard cover. The magnets are so strong he wanted to ensure they would be attached to the chalkboard cover and not come off it when someone pulled on the handle to open the fridge, or in the rare case to remove the whole cover from the fridge.
Here you can see the screws that go through the back of the plywood to hold the handle onto the front. The screw heads do stick up slightly but they stick out less than the magnets do, so there’s no issue with scratching the fridge face.
This is the top freezer panel taken off the fridge. Even though the magnets do hold it firmly in place on the fridge, one can remove it from the fridge with intention.
My daughter-in-law painted chalkboard paint on the plywood face, and it works great for her chalkboard designs.
You know how the front edge of the fridge is slightly rounded/beveled, well they designed the chalkboard covers to slightly wrap around the front sides of the fridge.
Then to allow the hinge to clear the frame edge of the lower cover, they needed to cutout a small groove.
With white paint, it blends in and I didn’t even notice it until my son pointed it out as he was explaining how he built the covers.
A couple layers of simple trim to the edge of the frame add just that right amount of finish paneled appeal to the fridge face.
This was a fairly simple DIY project. The miter frame cuts could be done in a hand miter box, and most lumber stores, like Home Depot will cut the plywood to your specifications.
But even though it’s a fairly simple design, that’s almost why it’s so clever! It turned out so charming, and was a relatively low cost DIY project… but with big impact!
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