Before and After: This $115 DIY Fridge Makeover Is for Smeg Lovers on a Budget

published Jun 5, 2021
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About this before & after
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Rental Friendly
Before: Plain white fridge with rust spot on side
Credit: Tanna Bartlett

One of the pricier parts of a kitchen remodel is replacing appliances. That’s why it can be hard to justify shelling out money for something new when what you have is still functional (even if it’s looking a little worse for wear). But good news: There are ways to give your old appliances a face lift to make them more in line with your style.

Credit: Tanna Bartlett

For inspiration, check out this DIY from homeowner Tanna Bartlett. While the fridge that came with her house worked fine, the outside featured some rust spots that weren’t exactly her style. Tanna knew she wanted an upgrade. “We’re in the process of remodeling our kitchen and have been searching for a new fridge,” she says. “The space we have is small and I haven’t been wild about any of the ones available in our price range.”

Credit: Tanna Bartlett

So rather than pay money for something she didn’t love, she says, she worked with what she had. “I decided to give our existing fridge a makeover to make it more appealing because there’s no way we can afford a Smeg,” she says.

For the redo, Tanna used an electric sander with 120 grit to take the gloss off the fridge. She then applied two to three coats of primer, followed by five coats (yes, five!) of acrylic enamel in a bright coral (Sherwin-Williams’s Ravishing Coral). Finally, she finished it all off with a top coat. 

Credit: Tanna Bartlett

Tanna didn’t stop at paint, though: The new gold fridge handles are actually towel bars from Amazon, because they were cheaper than appliance handles.

For ease of use, Tana re-installed the hinges on her fridge doors so they swung open the opposite way. Since there was only one screw hole in the fridge where the old handles used to be, Tanna’s dad helped her drill into the metal to attach the new handles.

Credit: Tanna Bartlett

“I’m obsessed with the result,” Tanna says. “It makes the room feel so much brighter and with the reflection off of the cabinets the whole kitchen has a glow when it’s sunny outside.”

The best part, though? This project came in at just $115 — making this dream fridge a true bargain.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.