Paint, replacement panels and adhesive films are three options for refacing a refrigerator. Both brush-on and spray-on appliance paints are available. Replacement panels are a quick fix for refrigerators designed to hold decorative panels, and for others, there are replacement panel kits that include a frame, replacement hardware and panels in stainless steel, copper and other finishes. Adhesive films in various colors and metal looks are removable but require careful application.
Paint options for refacing refrigerators also include special kits designed to replicate the look of stainless steel and copper. Surface preparation for painting, after unplugging the refrigerator, requires cleaning the exterior with alcohol and using painter's tape to mask hardware, hinges, logos and anything not receiving a layer of paint. Sanding the surface lightly with an ultra-fine sanding sponge comes next. The purpose of sanding is to create scuff marks to help the paint adhere properly. Instructions for applying the paint, including primers and sealers, vary by product.
Refacing refrigerators designed with frames that hold face panels requires selecting and inserting new panels of steel, wood or another material from the manufacturer. When this is not an option, replacement kits, customized by make and model, are available from a variety of vendors. Prices of replacement panel kits vary based on the make and model of the refrigerator and the type of finish selected. The challenge when using adhesive film coverings, which come in a roll and require cutting, is to avoid bubbles and create a smooth finish when applying the material.