DIY Network

Clever Kitchen Ideas: Fridge Facelift

Give your fridge a facelift with this project that updates your fridge's facade.

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Step 1: Measure the Fridge

Measure the exposed surfaces of the fridge that will receive the custom panels.

Keep in mind you're creating decorative panels, not wrapping the fridge. So, having a consistent border of exposed fridge as a "frame" for the fabric panel is preferred.

Measure the length of the existing handles on the fridge. Measure the distance from the edge of the refrigerator door to the outside edge of the existing handles. The new handle's base cannot be thicker than that measurement.

Step 2: Buy the Fabric

Review the faux leather or vinyl fabric options at a fabric store. There are many options available that look and feel like real leather. Helpful hint: Keep in mind design elements already existing in the kitchen. These fabric panels should work with and unify what's already present in the space.

Purchase enough fabric to create the panels, plus one extra yard.

Step 3: Buy the Towel Bars and Screws

At a local home or hardware store, review the towel bar selections. Keep in mind the existing metal tones in the kitchen. This is a great way to unify an existing look or create added interest.

Purchase screws that fit the selected towel bars.

Step 4: Create the Fabric Panels

Cut out panels of fabric 1/4" to 1/2" larger on each side of the panel.

Make a hem on each side of the panel using no-sew tape and an iron.

Tip: Use another piece of fabric or scrap of towel in between the iron and the faux leather. It keeps the iron clean of adhesive and protects the faux leather from the iron's heat.

Step 5: Remove the Handles, and Clean the Fridge

Remove the existing refrigerator handles.

Review how well the panels fit the designated areas of the fridge. Are the hems straight? Were the cuts accurate? Always double check before installation.

Clean all exposed surfaces of the fridge. The cleaner the surface, the stronger the spray adhesive sticks.

Step 6: Attach the Fabric Panels

Spray the back of the fabric panels according to the manufacturer's instructions. Do this in a well-ventilated place. Wear goggles, a mask and gloves when working with spray adhesive.

Attach the fabric panels to the fridge one panel at a time, working from the top down.

Tip: A second pair of hands is useful at this stage to properly smooth the fabric in place.

Allow for drying time before installing the decorative fridge handles.

Step 7: Install the Handles

When installing new handles on the fridge, keep these tips in mind: As long as you drill within the same location on the doorframe as your previous handles, you're safe. You can double check with your refrigerator manufacturer as well.

Mark and pre-drill the new handle locations right over the fabric panels.

Drill new handles in place.

Put the new decorative magnets and pictures in place.

Variations: Do you like this idea, but want to use a different fabric or material? Check out wallpaper options that work well with your kitchen. Be sure to "hem" the panels for a crisp look, and use a sealing spray or polyurethane to seal the paper.