I hinted at this makeover in last week’s dorm tips post, and am excited to finally reveal the Retro Mini Fridge Makeover! I saw retro style fridges from Urban Outfitters but knew I wanted a custom option. Sadly, I live in an adult apartment with an adult sized fridge and couldn’t justify buying a mini piece- that is until my sister needed one for college! Muahaha.
She’s a good sport for letting me do this to her hehe. We decided to keep with the retro feel, so we went with a mint blue (Rustoleum’s Ocean Mist). Finding finishing touches became an extended treasure hunt through the city with everything coming together in a weekend. Unfortunately because of the tight timeline there aren’t any process pictures, so feel free to ask questions in the comments!
2 cans white primer
2 cans spray paint color of choice
2 cans enamel coating (we went with gloss)
1 metallic spray paint of choice
400 & 800 grit dry-to-wet sandpaper
1| Remove any stickers, tags, magnets, etc. from your fridge. This lil Whirlpool just had a sticker logo that pried off easily with a knife! Do a preliminary rough sanding with your 400 grit and carefully wipe away dust. Tape off any accent pieces and the back of the fridge.
2| Prime the fridge following the can’s instructions. Between primer coats, wet sand with 800 grit. With the primer done, apply light coats of colors. Retape for the accent areas and repeat painting steps (skip sanding if you’re using metallic paint). Go slowly! Layers of light coats will cover uneven patches but not drips. Seal everything with the enamel spray.
3| One of my favorite parts is the metallic trim along the bottom! Spray paint magnetic strips with the metallic spray paint used on the fridge, and applied with E6000. Eyeball the sticker letters & attach the cabinet handle with more E6000.
Warning: the handle is not functional! Couldn’t find a good solution for making it work without destroying the fridge.
The letters were the ultimate find. I was going to do custom acrylic letters using the Maker’s workshop at the Harold Washington Library (go check out their Maker Space!), but was luckily saved from self induced insanity by Joann Fabric’s scrapbook section. The stickers refuse to stay on the backing paper, but they seem to really like the fridge.
For funnsies, phrases that didn’t make the cut:
Ice Ice Baby
Cold Blooded Chiller
The door handle is a cabinet handle from Home Depot we attached with E6000. It’s only for decorative purposes (it only had 8 hrs of the recommended 24 of curing time), but the added charm was worth it. Plus, it perfectly matched the chrome accents & letters!