When we built our summer cottage six years ago a friend gave us this refrigerator for our basement. You can click here to see how I reversed the opening of the door. While my first preference was a stainless refrigerator, I couldn’t see spending money when we had a working refrigerator so I have been pining over how to update it. I finally decided to add wood panels to help it blend in with the cabinetry.
I purchased two sheets of 1/4” plywood and used some scraps to cut the panels and trim.
I used a carpenter’s square to mark the cutting lines for my panels after I had carefully measured each side. I also cut strips of wood to cover the outside edges of the doors so I cut the front panels big enough to include covering the sides of the doors. To make that clear, I added 1/2” to the width of the panel for the front of the door to cover the 1/4” panels on the sides of the door and I added 1/4” to the height of the door panel to cover the panel at the top edge. I didn’t cut a panel for the bottom of the door since it will never be seen. I used the Kreg Rip Cut tool for cutting the panels.
The Kreg Rip Cut is an attachment for a circular saw which helps make straight long cuts that would otherwise require a table saw. I can’t say enough about how much I loved using this tool!
The photo above is just for demonstration purposes. The saw is not operating as I would NEVER operate a circular saw with one hand. Safe operation requires TWO hands on the saw at all times. Material should be clamped in place so that you can keep both hands on the saw at ALL times. (My brother lost his thumb holding material with one hand and making a quick cut with the other!)
This photo is a better view of operation of the Rip Cut.
After cutting the panels and trim strips, I used wood glue and clamps to attach the trim to the edges of the panels giving the look of Shaker cabinet panels. You can see in the photo above that the strip to the right is lighter in color than the other strips. It was cut from a different piece of wood. If you were staining this project you would not want to use this because it would look different on the finished project. Since I was painting the wood, it didn’t matter that it was a different color.
After the trim was dry, I applied a generous amount of construction adhesive to the back of the panel.
This panel is ready to stick to the side of the refrigerator.
Because the panel is so tall, I used 4’ furniture clamps at the top and bottom and straps around the middle to hold the panel in place until the adhesive dried.
I repeated that process for all sides of the refrigerator.
Now it is ready for the paint finish. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the panels on the sides of the doors that I was referring to earlier.
I started with my base coat of white paint.
Then I added my glaze coat of stain. I always use Minwax dark walnut. I apply a quick coat then wipe it off.
I didn’t want to use the same old handles so I had to look high and low to find something that I could use. I found these old pulls at Round Top for $5 each. The challenge was finding pulls that were screwed on from the outside. These fit the bill and worked very nicely. Now, let’s take a look at the before and after.
I like the after much better even though the photos don’t do it justice. If I open the curtains in that room while taking photos the sunlight and glare is overwhelming and if I leave them closed everything looks dark and gloomy. I would rather work on projects than learn how to take good photos!
I hope you have had a great January! I can’t believe it’s almost over!
FYI- I recently read a blog post regarding giving more information and not assuming that our readers know all of the ins and outs of our blog so here goes. If you click on any text that is in a different color on this page you will be taken to another page or “link” with more information on the given topic!