Our Chalkboard Paint Story
When we moved into our house, our kitchen was painfully outdated (think 70s retro) and did not have a refrigerator. As a new homeowner, with a home that needed some TLC, we couldn’t afford a fancy stainless steel fridge that I was wishing for. We settled for a new, but not at all stylish, Ivory refrigerator. To be exact, the color was called “bisque.” Yikes. Even the name was unappealing. I knew a kitchen remodel was way out of our budget, but a kitchen “refresh” was something we could tackle while we saved for the real-deal remodel.
We painted our awful honey-colored cabinets white, swapped out the old countertops for butcher blocks, and tiled the backsplash. Things were looking pretty good, but that “bisque” fridge was really starting to stick out like a sore thumb. I decided that painting it black might help to contrast against the newly painted antique white cabinets.
I had chalkboard paint on hand from a playroom project that I was working on, and since I’m a total impulse person, I couldn’t wait. I HAD to try it. Almost immediately upon committing to the project I got to work.
How-To Chalkboard Paint Your Refrigerator in 6 Steps
Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while doing this project a few years ago, but I included some pictures of the finished product below.
1. Gather the necessary supplies:
- One 30oz can of black Rust-Oleum 206540 chalkboard paint. $19.99 on Amazon
- Paint brush
- Small foam roller
- 120-180 grit sandpaper
- Sheets or plastic to collect dust
- Chalk 🙂
2. Pull the refrigerator out a bit from the wall and put down a sheet to catch dust. You’ll also want to protect any nearby surfaces with sheets or plastic.
3. Sand the fridge lightly. The finish will start to come off, exposing the dull gray steel metal underneath. That’s perfectly ok.
4. Clean the surface well with soapy water to be sure that there’s no dust or grit left from the sanding process.
(We’re three steps in, but all of this only takes about an hour. I’m pretty sure I tackled these steps while my babies were napping.)
5. Paint! Use your paint brush to paint all the edges as an outline, and then use your small foam roller to paint the larger flat surfaces. You’ll want to do at least two coats, allowing time to dry between steps.
6. The paint takes a few days to cure. On the third day I “dusted” the entire surface with a thick piece of chalk turned on its side. Basically cover the entire surface with chalk, then wipe away the “chalk dust” off with soapy water.
Now you’re in business! You’ve got a fun, creative surface. You can write notes, grocery lists, love letters… anything you could imagine! And the best part… no more “bisque” fridge!
Chalkboard paint is available in a few colors. I chose black, and should note that when it’s wet, it does look navy. Don’t be alarmed. It dries black. I’ve seen green, blue, and a few others… any of which could be lots of fun! This project was around $40 if you buy all the supplies… A VERY small price to pay for a fun conversation piece for your space!
Now, two kids a dog, and MANY meals later, the chalkboard fridge has stood the test of time. We always have so much fun with it, so we even chalkboard painted our front door (following the same steps as above) not too long after!
If you have kids, they will love this project, and so will their friends. If they are like mine then they will also think that ALL surfaces are appropriate to write on… so proceed with caution. On a positive note, if you have little ones, the vertical surface is a great angle for learning how to write. My son’s occupational therapist informed me that it’s great for fine motor skills, visual attention, and hand-eye coordination!
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