Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pinterest made me paint my refrigerator

Oh Pinterest. Pinterest has convinced me that not only should my home always look like a perfectly-accessorized spread from Better Homes and Gardens, but that it should do so for a total budget of $27. Using nothing but a miter saw, a cute bandana and some chalk paint, of course.

I like to think I have a creative streak, but unfortunately my DIY skills are probably a lot like Snooki’s parenting skills: there’s a lot of alcohol and crying involved.

I tried to install a floating shelf in the bathroom the other day, which required pre-drilling a hole for the screw. I grabbed my trusty cordless power drill and got to work, although I was quickly frustrated by how difficult it is to drill through plaster. Turns out it’s also difficult to drill with a screwdriver head instead of a drill tip. Whoops.

But potential for inevitable failure aside, I decided that something absolutely had to be done about our early-90s off-white ugly-as-sin Kenmore refrigerator. I came across a pin about chalkboard painting a fridge and I was sold. So we headed off to Home Depot to pick up two cans of chalkboard paint (I only ended up needing one) and when Sandy hit, I had the perfect opportunity to get to work.

Here is the fridge, comfortably nestled amongst the horrid pink cabinets, in all its 90s glory.

Taunting me with its blandness.

I grabbed some blue painters tape and got to work. Which leads me to Lesson One: Don’t get lazy and impatient and only tape 3/4 of the fridge to begin with – by the time you’re ready to tape the rest, you’ll be covered in paint and you’ll have accidentally left the scissors in the freezer, so they’ll be really cold.

I decided to start by painting the inner edges so that stuff could dry while I was doing the rest. I used a small brush for the door edges and such, and then a small roller for the rest of the fridge. FYI, those things splatter – I looked like I had blackheads all over my hand/arm by the time I was done.

You can see where I got lazy and stopped taping at the bottom of the door. To be fair, taping is really boring! 

After the first coat of paint, it looked pretty streaky and terrible and I was trying to figure out if I could just hide the whole thing under the bed until I could go buy a new fridge to replace it.

Ugly! Really ugly! Oh god, is this what it's going to look like? What have I done?! 

But I let it dry for about 45 minutes and the second coat looked a million times better.

The box says you should use the company’s magnetic primer, but I always assume that’s a scam to get you to spend more money (no, Garnier, I do NOT need your entire line of shampoo plus level two conditioner plus level three defrizzer plus anti-humidity spray…), so I skipped it. The refrigerator itself is already magnetic, so things still stick to the chalkboard paint. Lesson Two: Don't bother reading directions, it's a total waste of time. 

You’re also apparently supposed to wait 24 hours before using it, but if you haven’t guessed already, I’m a tad bit impatient, so I ran to CVS and bought chalk and drew on it about 2 hours after it was finished. And it’s totally fine [sticks tongue out at box]. 

Lesson Three: I am a DIY Goddess!! Ok, probably not, but at least this first project was a success! 

Whatever. I never claimed to be an artist. 


  1. Well I am insanely impressed, and I also want to chalkboard paint my entire house.

    Reign on, DIY goddess!

    1. Oh have no fear - other things in my house will end up chalkboard painted... I was kind of eyeing my dishwasher last night...

  2. That looks rad. There is a definite reason I do not look at Pinterest. I would be covered head to toe in paint and craft hoozits. It would not be pretty. I am just artistic enough to think I could do it, but lazy enough to probably stop half way through. Good job at finishing a project!!

    1. Yeah, the halfway-through thing is turning out to be a problem with our kitchen. I ripped down all the damned wallpaper in one day, and now I'm just staring at acres of uneven, cracked hole-y walls that need to be plastered and sanded before I can paint. And the sanding part is really annoying because it's LOUD.

  3. Hi,

    This is awesome. Just wondering how it's holding up since you didn't prime? Is it still magnetic since you used 2 coats of paint and no magnetic primer? How did you paint the handles?


    1. Hey, it's holding up really well so far! I don't write on it every day, but I do list about a month's worth of upcoming important dates, and then change them out when I get to the end, so it's definitely getting used. So far I haven't noticed any chips in the paint or loss of magnetism or anything. I used a small (1 1/2'' I think?) paintbrush to do the handles, since the roller wouldn't fit.

  4. My hat's off to you. I am also tool challenged but it doesn't stop me from trying to make stuff. Sometimes it's stuff that ends up looking kinda crazy but I'm learning. How did you cover the white seals on the doors?

    1. If you mean the rubber-like stuff, I didn't- I taped from the edge of that. I figured its basically hidden when the door is closed anyway.

    2. If you mean the rubber-like stuff, I didn't- I taped from the edge of that. I figured its basically hidden when the door is closed anyway.