How to paint a refrigerator

Of all household appliances, refrigerators have the longest “life” duration. Units purchased in the mid-fifties of the last century continue to work. Of course, their design has long been inconsistent with modern ideas about how household appliances should look.

It is not difficult to throw away the refrigerator in a landfill. However, many owners are looking for something to paint a refrigerator that has served for more than a decade (often several generations of users manage to change). They are considering options for painting an old refrigerator so that the old-age unit looks like a modern device.

Can I paint a refrigerator at home?

Before starting the painting process, the user should make a decision about how they are going to perform the painting. To the question: “What should I paint the refrigerator with?”, you can choose the answer from the list:

  • with a brush. The simplest method of applying paintwork is used. The tip of the brush is dipped in a jar of paint and then rubbed on the surface of the object;
  • with a roller. This is a more progressive way. A large area is painted in one pass. The thickness of the layer is determined by the properties of the material used for the outer lining of the roller;
  • by spray. A more complex set of devices is used: a compressor, a receiver, a spray gun with a container for placing paint;
  • by spray from cans. This method is the least simple. It is enough to buy spray cans. The work will be reduced to just clicking on a button and moving evenly around the color object.

Painting with brushes

At the dawn of the appearance of household appliances (approximately 1935-1940), painting technology was also developed. It was during this period that preference was given to spray devices. They were allowed to get a uniform color over a large area. It is not difficult to obtain gloss of various intensities.

Attention! If you plan to paint the refrigerator with your own hands in an apartment of a multi-story building, you need to take care of good ventilation. Most paint and varnish materials are created on the basis of alcohol or organic.

Choosing a refrigerator paint job

You need to figure out what paint and varnish materials are needed for painting a refrigeration unit at home. Here it is appropriate to evaluate the requirements of home appliance manufacturers:

  • the paint layer should be evenly held on vertical walls of a large extent;
  • the user should be able to add the desired color shades to the composition and change the saturation.;
  • the coefficient of thermal expansion of the paint must correspond to similar characteristics of the metal on which it is located. Keep in mind that the difference between the temperature values in different parts of the parts can reach tens of degrees;
  • in the composition of coloring materials, additives are needed that retain elasticity after polymerization;
  • the painted surface will often be washed using detergents. Resistance to mechanical impact, as well as to alkalis and acids should be quite high.

Based on the above requirements, the following is established: water-resistant paint is needed to paint the metal surfaces of the refrigerator from the outside.

Attention! In modern household appliances, there is a tendency to replace metal with plastics. Therefore, you will have to paint plastic elements. Here, the adhesion conditions may differ markedly.

Since the mid-seventies of the last century, when creating household appliances, metal was present outside, and inside the surfaces were made of polypropylene or polyethylene. Details of the interior decoration were not painted, pigments were present in the composition of plastics, setting the desired colors and shades. Restoring the color or applying a new one to the internal parts of the refrigerator inside is possible using paints that form a reliable bond with plastic materials.

Types of refrigerator paints

To obtain a strong layer, compositions containing zinc are used. When applied to a steel surface, zinc paint not only adheres, forming adhesive joints of dissimilar materials. The two metals form an ionic bond. It is much stronger. It will be much more difficult to remove such a composition.

Alkyd enamels are created on the basis of organic solvents. The resulting paint layer has a large size (0.05…0.15 mm). The film has excellent glossy properties. The adhesion to metal is quite intense. A uniform thin layer is easily formed.

Organosilicon paints have a complex composition. They are able to withstand sudden changes in temperature. The paintwork retains high elasticity up to -18 … 25 °C.

Nitrocellulose dyes are characterized by a high drying rate. A layer is formed with a relatively small thickness (0.02…0.04 mm). As a solvent, use acetone or a mixture labeled No. 646.

Attention! Resistance to mechanical damage is low.

Quite strong adhesion is provided by dyes based on epoxy resin. The two-component mixture polymerizes within a few hours, forming a thick elastic layer. Epoxy paints easily paint metal, as well as plastics.

Acrylic paint and varnish materials are very popular among professionals. Even novice craftsmen achieve noticeable success using such paints. It is easy to achieve the desired color, just add a dry or liquid pigment.

Good results allow you to get paints on natural drying oil. It is made from linseed oil. This carrier base evaporates quite quickly. A strong layer is formed on the surface. However, manufacturers note that it is better to use such dyes on wood or on a porous basis. With metals, the efficiency is somewhat lower.

The highest stickiness is found in paints that use polyurethane as a binder. This substance of organic origin begins to solidify after only 5-8 minutes. When lightly heated to 50-60 °C, the process of forming a strong layer occurs within 6-9 minutes. A fairly strong elastic layer is formed.

Users often choose aerosol cans. To activate them, it is enough to shake the container intensively, achieving uniform mixing of the paint. In the future, you can paint the surface of the refrigerator. They produce similar paints with nitro paint or acrylic dyes.

Motorists prefer to use spray cans. They explain it simply. These devices allow you to restore coverage within a few minutes. There is only one restriction: the air temperature must be above +10 … 15 °C.

How to paint refrigerator step by step

So, the method of coloring is chosen. Materials to use have been identified. It remains to deal with the sequence of actions (the algorithm for performing work on painting an old refrigerator).

Attention! In addition to painting, you need to prepare auxiliary materials. They will help to properly prepare the surface for painting.

How to prepare the refrigerator surface for painting at home

Preparatory work is carried out in several stages:

  • polishing gloss;
  • dust removal;
  • degreasing;
  • drying.

Grinding operations when preparing refrigerator surfaces

Do not apply a new coating on a glossy surface. It is necessary to give a roughness. To do this, use abrasive skins. The work can be done manually.

  1. To do this, the abrasive is put on a wooden support.
  2. Perform rotational movements, processing the entire surface of the refrigerator.
  3. It is necessary to move along the edges, making reciprocating movements.

It is advisable to use a vacuum cleaner. It is turned on every 4-5 minutes of operation. The resulting dust is quickly removed from the work area.

  • Mechanical removal is performed using a power tool.
  • Orbital grinding machines. The skin is pasted on a rotating surface. The speed of rotation is easily adjusted.
  • Angle grinders (USM). This is a versatile tool that allows you to perform a wide range of tasks.
  • An electric drill with elastic support is an aggregate that can clean up a significant area in a short time.
  • Belt grinders are characterized by high productivity. They are convenient to process in a large area.
  • Vibration grinders work by creating vibrations on the active part with a frequency of 50 Hz.
Attention! It should be remembered that when using a power tool, a significant amount of dust is generated. Therefore, experienced craftsmen use household and industrial vacuum cleaners. Their hoses are connected to the tool.

The work is performed by changing coarse abrasives to fine ones. You should start with paper # 120 … 150. Then you need to go to # 250…450.

Important! The number indicated on abrasive materials determines the number of grains located on 1 cm2. The higher the number, the finer the grain. During processing, a less thin layer will be cut off.
Attention! If the surface of the refrigerator to be painted has dents or other damage, it should be leveled using putty.

For metal, automobile putties are best suited, they are made on an epoxy basis. Mix the components together in the proportions specified by the manufacturer. In the future, the mixture is filled with recesses. Use a spatula to level the surface.

After 15-20 minutes, you can start sanding the places where they were treated with putty.

This is the most time-consuming process. In the technology of staining, the main part of the time is devoted to preparatory work.

Dust removal

Having previously spread out newspapers or plastic wrap, you can simply remove them. Residues are removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Attention! Sometimes it is enough to slightly moisten the air with any humidifier. Then the dust particles will settle down.


Any kind of contact with the hands leaves small droplets of fat on the surface. If you do not take steps to remove them, you may get a painted surface of poor quality.

Use alcohol-based or alkaline-based degreasers.

They are applied by spray, and then thoroughly wipe the surface with sponges.

They complete their work using rags. Now they produce many different types of cleaning material, which is convenient to use in work.

Tools and materials required for painting

The best option is spray painting. Need to have:

  • compressor equipped with a receiver;
  • spray gun;
  • paint mixing containers;
  • rags for removing flaws.
  • A place is being prepared. It is covered from possible paint leaks with newspapers or polyethylene.

You can also paint with a roller. Just keep in mind that the quality will be worse.

Spray painting is the simplest and fastest.

Spray painting

  • The canister is held at a distance of 25 … 30 cm from the surface.
  • It is desirable to place the surface itself vertically, then all the paint from the cylinder will be used in the process.
  • Do not stay in one place for more than 2 seconds.
  • Small rotational movements are performed.
  • The best result is obtained with repeated staining. It is necessary to allow the paint to dry.
Attention! Quite often, novice painters make the mistake of trying to immediately apply a dense layer in one place. With this method, smudges are formed, which are quite difficult to remove.

You can speed up drying by placing the refrigerator in a limited space, where infrared heaters are additionally installed. They do not need to be placed close to the object of painting, it is desirable to have a distance of about 60-80 cm. The heating temperature is maintained at 60 … 70 °C.

Repeated application is possible in 15-20 minutes.

Experienced craftsmen paint in three or four layers. A dense film is formed, evenly distributed over the surface.

With a roller or brush

Roller and brush use is very limited. They are used only for obtaining any additional effect, for example, craquelures or imitating the loft-style.

Specialists who have the skills of artists paint the surface with real-life paintings. Some create fantastic images.

Professionals use masking tape. It is easy to stick it on and then remove it. Zoning is being created. It is easy to separate the zones where your shade is formed.

Some home craftsmen are experimenting with coloring. Their products arouse public interest.

Such a painting sometimes causes envy and a desire to repeat such coloring on your refrigerator.

When performing paintwork, it is necessary to use personal protective equipment.

Other ways to update the refrigerator’s appearance

You can change the appearance of the refrigerator not only with the help of paint. Modern finishing materials:

  • polymer films for wood or stone;
  • automotive monophonic films for car finishing;
  • decorative panels.
  • The finishing process is simple. Even novice masters can easily master it.
  1. The films are pre-painted. To do this, create templates on cardboard, and then cut them out with a sharp knife or scissors.
  2. Fitting is performed for each element separately. Using a hairdryer, heat individual areas. As a result, the geometry of the films changes. Easily gives a bulge or concavity to the surface.
  3. If you need to fill the concave part, then use ordinary sewing needles. They pierce small holes through which air is removed.
  4. Convex areas are rubbed with a rag, pressing it tightly to the surface of the refrigerator.
  5. After stretching the film, the excess is cut off with a paint knife.

Using films, they achieve full compliance with the appearance of the refrigerator with kitchen furniture.

Decorative panels can be hard or plastic. Solid elements are fixed with glue. Elastic elements are welded by preheating the surface of the panels. They are tightly rolled to the outer parts of the refrigerator.


You can restore the old refrigerator to a new presentable appearance by painting it with polymer paints. With the help of films, they achieve an original appearance on household appliances.

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