Painting my white textured fridge with Liquid Stainless Steel

Update

It’s been 10 months since I painted my fridge. It’s holding up pretty well. One thing that I’d have done differently was use something else to paint the door handles. The Rustoleum enamel did not hold up at all. We had to repaint with spray paint, which came out kind of rough. Not sure what else would be good to paint the handles. The Fridge itself is holding up well and looks good.

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Well, The Quiet Cruiser is still stuck at home so I decided to partner with Giani again and paint my older white refrigerator with liquid stainless steel.  I’d already painted my dishwasher stainless steel.  I also very recently painted my countertop with Giani Countertop paint and loved the look of that. 

Day one

I actually worked on this over a couple of weeks since I was still working my day job from home.   On the first day I took everything off of the fridge, including magnets, pictures, and even the handles.  I was going to paint the handles black, so the first thing I did was clean them and paint them two coats with Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer.  Every plastic part on the fridge that I wanted to cover with the Liquid Stainless Steel, such as the water overflow tray cover, was also primed.  I also taped over the fridge logo with painter’s tape.

I painted the handles black with Rustoleum gloss black enamel.  I’m not sure if this was the best choice because it took forever to dry, and was sticky for a long time. It also smelled horrible. I ended up having to sand down areas a few times and add more coats.  This took about three days total. 

Day two

I first did a light sanding of the fridge since it was a glossy textured surface.  I used 400 grit sandpaper.  Then I cleaned the entire fridge well with Windex. I decided on day one to just paint the inside textured surfaces of the fridge (I didn’t paint the inside food area, just the textured areas at the edges that would show) and get that done so I could leave the fridge closed for the rest of the paint job. 

Stir, stir, and stir some more…

First step is to open up the stainless steel paint and stir for quite a long while with the included paint stirrer.  The stainless steel flecks are at the bottom and must be thoroughly stirred throughout the paint.  Stir longer than you think that you need to and scrape along the bottom and sides of the can, and then stir again before each coat. 

For the inside of the fridge I used the included foam paintbrush. You can store it inside a plastic baggie between uses so it doesn’t dry out.  I had to do four coats of the stainless steel paint on the inside surfaces.  I also did the rubber gaskets.

Day three

On day three I did three coats of the liquid stainless steel paint on the outside of the fridge.  I lined my paint tray with aluminum foil and poured about a fifth of the paint into it.  I used the roller to roll a thin coat of paint onto the fridge on one side.  Then I used the included foam squeegee to smooth the paint from top to bottom.  Do one line top to bottom, then next to it, etc., all the way to the other edge of the fridge side.  After that was done, I did the other side, then the top front and bottom front of the fridge.  The first coat did not look very good.

I waited about two hours and then did the same thing again.  And then for a third time.  Make sure to wipe off the squeegee after each swipe because it will drip paint all over the place. You’ll need to have paper or a drop cloth down.  After the third coat it still showed some white through although it was looking much better.  I decided to do at least one more coat on day four before I did the top coat. 

Day four

I have to admit, I had a very hard time getting the textured front of the fridge to look as good as I wanted it to.  The sides went pretty good, but for some reason the front did not.  Maybe it’s because I had to work around the logo, which was awkward.  The squeegee did not go around it smoothly.  Also, I learned not to wash out the squeegee and roller the night before, because they were still a bit damp and may have caused problems.  They should have just been stored overnight in a large Ziploc bag. 

I ended up just doing one more coat on each side, but multiple coats on the front.  It finally started looking okay after around seven coats and switching to another roller.  I also got paper towels and dried out the squeegee better. That seemed to help quite a bit.  But I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist, and that didn’t help.  After that I decided to wait till the next day to do the two coats of topcoat and finish it up.

Day five

This has been more of a process than I had hoped but finally I was at the home stretch.  I got up very early and did the first topcoat before I started working from home at 7:30 am.  The topcoat seemed to go on easier than the stainless steel paint.  It will run, so be careful.  I had one run that dried on me and then looked white, but at least it was on the edge.

I let the topcoat dry a few hours before I did a second coat and also did one coat on the inside parts that I’d painted stainless steel.  The door was left open a bit till that dried.  There wasn’t  enough paint left over to put a topcoat on the top, but since no one sees that, it didn’t bother me.   Then after the second coat dried in a couple of hours I put the handles back on.   

One note about the handles, I used Rustoleum liquid oil based paint, and it smelled horrible for a long time.  Plus, it really didn’t go on as smoothly as I’d have liked.  I don’t really recommend it.  It looks okay from a distance, but up close it’s not as good.  For some reason a bowl of vinegar that I put on top of the fridge helped a lot with the smell.  The stainless steel paint also has a smell, though not as bad, so you may want to try the bowl of vinegar while you’re painting.

I then took the tape off of the logo after scoring it with a box cutter, but somehow some of the stainless steel paint got through.  I used Goo Gone to gently get it off, but I still managed to scratch it. 

My views on Giani Liquid Stainless Steel paint

I have mixed views on the paint.   It’s an awful lot of work to get a good look, but if you’re willing to put a lot of time into it, you can make an old fridge look good for a low price.  I like that now I have all of my appliances matching, even though two are stainless steel, and two are Giani Liquid Stainless steel.  Being that the fridge is textured, it’s not going to look exactly like the stainless steel appliances, but it’s close enough. They don’t sit next to each other, so it’s not as noticeable.  I would recommend the paint as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, and that it’s going to take some time to get it looking just right.

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And what’s next for The Quiet Cruiser?

I have decided that it’s time to take my life back.  I actually just made a motel reservation for Disneyland for September.  Fingers crossed!  I won’t reserve the flight till closer till then, but we’re hoping.  We have two cruises booked, one in November and one in March.  We all need something to hope for.  I’m also going to live my life as best I can without giving in to the fear that’s taking over the world today.  What’s the use of having a life if you can’t live it?  I hope that everyone reading this can let go of the fear that the news media is perpetuating and do the same.  I’m praying for you all!

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