7 Clever Ways to Make Cheap Appliances Look So Much Better

updated Mar 27, 2023
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(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Have a big boxy white fridge or an old and ugly dishwasher? Even if you aren’t in your “forever home,” or you don’t have the money right now for a full remodel, there are absolutely ways to deal with icky appliances and, in some instances, improve their looks pretty dramatically. If the fridge, dishwasher or stove is a sore spot in your kitchen, here are eight smart (and in some cases, temporary) ways to make them so much better.

(Image credit: Little Green Notebook)

DIY masetro Jenny of Little Green Notebook not only painted her inexpensive fridge black, but also added some gold-painted hardware with super-strength epoxy. It now looks impressively luxe and sophisticated.

(Image credit: Apartment Envy)

One of the easiest things you can do is cover the fridge with either washi tape or contact paper. One of our favorite adhesive products for renters, this versatile supply sticks right onto refrigerator fronts and oven doors.

(Image credit: Thread Ethic)

This isn’t a great image, but it’s a great idea. Paint the backside of some inexpensive plexiglass and mount it with velcro (or temporary adhesive strips) to turn your appliance an entirely new shade. Again, you can coordinate the color with your kitchen. Thread Ethic explains the process and has more photos, if you’re interested.

Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess used removable vinyl in a solid color to cover her oven and fridge and it completely transformed them. For $400 she upgraded both appliances to look high-end and almost SMEG-like. It certainly wouldn’t be as show-stopping on an old white appliance, but decals are definitely food for thought, especially if you can find a way to do it cheaper.

(Image credit: Julie Blanner)

Case in point: stainless steel decals. Julie Blanner shared with Kitchn how she added a sticker to her old dishwasher and pretended it was really stainless steel. She has since remodeled, and replaced that appliance completely, but it certainly did the trick until then.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Don’t let the vintage style of this fridge throw you off. If you are up for a more in-depth project, you can absolutely paint your own outdated fridge. The fun part is picking out the color that strikes your fancy. We show you how it’s done, step by step.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Another possibility is painting a white stove or fridge with liquid stainless steel. As we reported, this isn’t a forever kind of deal, but a good band-aid or short-term solution until you can upgrade to something better. It’s certainly cheaper than shelling out hundreds (thousands) of dollars for new ones.