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How to Paint a Textured Surface Refrigerator

Sidney Johns

With the right tools, an old refrigerator gets a new look. Scratches and fading make a refrigerator look old and worn. If the theme of a kitchen changes, a refrigerator's color may clash. A new refrigerator may be the solution but costly. If the unit is in good working order, a better option may be a new paint job.

Appliance paint is available in various colors.

Even a rough exterior finish on a refrigerator may be refinished if the proper procedure is followed.

  1. Clean out and unplug the refrigerator. Remove food to save it from spoiling and disconnect the electrical source for the unit.

  2. Clean the outside of the refrigerator with soapy water and rinse. Put a few drops of dish soap in two cups of water. Clean off any greasy or dirty spots and rinse with clean water.

  3. Place drop cloths around the unit. This is to protect the surrounding areas from debris, paint and primer.

  4. Tape off handles, hinges and back edges of the refrigerator with masking or painter's tape. This will protect them from drips or painting accidents.

  5. Rough up the surface of the refrigerator. Use sandpaper to lightly sand the outside of the unit. Be sure to get into the small indentations of the rough surface. Concentrate on any flaw areas, including rust spots.

  6. Apply an epoxy primer. Use a sponge or long-haired paint roller brush to apply a coat of epoxy primer. These brushes get into the small areas on the surface. Allow it to dry for at least 12 hours.

  7. Paint the refrigerator with a long-haired roller or sponge roller. Roll on appliance paint in a smooth motion, applying pressure to the roller to ensure the paint gets into the indentations on the surface. Allow it to dry for 24 hours. Apply a second coat if necessary.


Appliance paint is also available in spray form. If you choose this option, spray back and forth rapidly to avoid thick spots of paint.


A refrigerator with a vinyl finish cannot be painted with this process. Consult with a professional for refinishing options.