How to Repaint Refrigerator Handles

Lisa East Hunter

An old, dingy refrigerator is not an appetizing sight and could turn away even the hungriest would-be chef. The door to your fridge is opened and closed dozens of times each day and its handle can show wear sooner than the rest of the appliance. You can spruce up your refrigerator with some preparation and paint.

Paint can make refrigerator door handles look new.

The appliance will look much better and the food inside might even seem more appealing.

  1. Find the screws at the top and bottom of the refrigerator handles that secure them to the door. Remove the screws with a screwdriver and take the door handles off the appliance.

  2. Lay the handles outside on a sheet of newspaper. Spray paint tends to drift and will stain anything nearby that isn't covered.

  3. Spray the door handles with ammonia-based cleaner. Clean them with a scrub sponge to remove all oils and grease. Let the handles dry.

  4. Sand the door handles with fine-grit sandpaper. Scuff the surface of each handle gently to add slight texture. This will create small ridges, giving the primer something to grip. Wipe off the sanding dust with a damp rag.

  5. Tape off any areas of the handles that you don't wish to paint, using low-tack painter's tape.

  6. Spray the door handles with primer. Choose a bonding primer for metal surfaces; this will be indicated on the can's label. Hold the spray can six to eight inches from the handle. Move the spray in a steady back-and-forth motion until you have covered each handle with a light coat of primer. Let the primer coat dry according to the label directions.

  7. Spray the door handles with appliance paint that matches the refrigerator as closely as possible. Apply the paint using the same technique used to apply the primer. Coat the door handles with two to three layers of paint, allowing each coat to dry to the touch before applying the next. Let the final coat dry for four hours before reattaching the handles to the refrigerator doors.

  8. Tip

    Appliance paint can be used to refinish the entire refrigerator.