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Refrigerator Paint Removal

Danny Donahue

You have painted your kitchen, swapped out the cabinets and spent a great deal of time, energy and money remodeling your kitchen. One often overlooked item in the kitchen that can be painted instead of replaced is the refrigerator. In order to paint your refrigerator you must first strip off the old paint, which takes a couple of tools, a little time and a bit of know-how.

Chemical Paint Stripper

Pour a bit of chemical paint thinner into a rag and wipe it onto the refrigerator. Start at the top of the fridge and work your way down to the bottom. Saturate the entire surface and allow the chemical to sit on the surface of the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Warning--chemical paint stripper is a hazardous chemical compound. Please read and follow the manufacturer's instructions before and during use of any chemical product. Always protect yourself and your surroundings with protective equipment and drop cloths. Dispose of leftover chemicals, residue and contaminated rags in a manner that is both legal and friendly to the environment.

Removing the Paint

Wipe away the chemical and paint that was loosened in the chemical process with clean, dry rags. Scrape away any stubborn, stuck on paint with a razor blade scraper. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the refrigerator. As always, work top to bottom and be aware of chemical residue that may harm the floor, walls and your skin. Apply more chemical paint stripper to any areas that require re-treatment, allow it to set up for 15 to 20 minutes and wipe it away.

Preparing the Surface

Lightly sand the entire refrigerator (from top to bottom) with steel wool. Wipe the fridge clean of chemical residue and sanding debris with clean, wet rags. Allow the refrigerator to dry for an hour before applying primer and paint.