Spoonful Test Blog

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Don't contact paper your fridge. Trust me.

As part of our kitchen makeover, we decided to cover our refrigerator in contact paper.

I know that sounds crazy.  But hear me out!  Sometime last year I came across a blog post in which a refrigerator was covered in removable wallpaper.  And I thought it looked SO GOOD.

When we moved into our house I didn't love the white refrigerator, especially with the cream cabinets.  I figured that we would upgrade someday in the far-off future and get stainless steel to match the other appliances.

Except then we decided to redo our kitchen.  And with a white backsplash and white cabinets, a white refrigerator would be SO AWFUL.  Obviously.  And we don't need a new one right now, so I started my quest to find the perfect sticky thing to put on our fridge!

I looked into peel and stick wallpaper, but it's super expensive.  It would have cost around $100 just to cover the front of the doors.  Which is a lot.

Luckily, I found some navy and white chevron contact paper on Amazon!  It costs $10.99 for two big rolls, and is eligible for Prime shipping...perfect!  We're going to line our shelves with it, too, so we figured if it didn't work for the fridge we would at least have a use for it.

When it came, Danny was SO EXCITED to cover the fridge.  No sarcasm.  He was literally the most excited.  Such a weirdo.

I made him wait until Gibson was in bed to start the project...and I'm SO glad I did.  It was a NIGHTMARE.

...like, the worst nightmare you've EVER EVER HAD.  Even worse than that, actually.

The first chunk went on fairly easily, ish.  It was hard to get out the bunkles (which is what I call it when it bubbles up and wrinkles), but we did it.

This isn't so hard!
The second piece is where our nightmare began.  I think we must have stretched the paper or something, because it WOULD NOT LINE UP.  Oh my gosh.  I'm getting anxious just thinking about it.

We obviously did get it to (kind of) match up in the end, but it was super hard.  And we almost gave up ten or eleven times.  And we almost killed each other in the process.

Such. A. Nightmare.
A close-up of the seam.  It was a bear to match up.
The rest of the fridge went that way, too.  Lots of snapping at each other and removing paper and putting it back on and smoothing bunkles and saying "I DON'T EVEN WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!!  WHY DO WE EVEN NEED A REFRIGERATOR???"

It was miserable.  And it took two and a half hours.

But it looks magnificent now!  ...even if we didn't think so, we would say that we loved it.  Because it was HARD.

The pattern looks bigger in real life for some reason. I promise you won't get dizzy if you come over for dinner.
Luckily, we truly do love it.

So!  If you want to cover your own fridge in contact paper, here are some instructions!

1.  Buy your contact paper.
2.  Measure the fridge and cut your contact paper.
3.  Take the backing off the contact paper.
4.  Put it on the fridge.
5.  Scream in frustration when it's terrible and bunkly.
6.  Remove the contact paper and throw it away.
7.  Buy a new refrigerator and curse the day you read this blog post.

But for real.  Just don't do it.  But if you do decide to do it, figure it out yourself.  I don't have advice.  And don't ask me for help, because I won't do it.

...Danny might, though.  He REALLY enjoyed that project.

And now for real instructions, just in case you want to be just like me.  It really was pretty easy, logistically...it was just the execution that sucked.

1.  Take off the handles and put the screws and such somewhere you won't lose them.
2.  Clean the refrigerator to get gunk off.
3.  We removed the little Whirlpool sticker thing, and then put it back on top of the contact paper.
4.  Measure your refrigerator, making sure to measure enough to cover the edges.
5.  Cut the contact paper, and stick it on.
6.  Continue in that fashion, trying not to curse too much.
7.  When everything is done, use a utility knife to cut around anything you need to (hinges, etc)
8.  Put the handles back on.

So!  For $10.99, two and a half hours, and a lot of cursing, we now have a beautiful chevron refrigerator!  I'm really excited to see it with the finished kitchen...I think it will look even nicer with white cabinets!

And we covered the duct thing above the microwave in it, too!  That was significantly easier than the fridge.

And now a photo of the whole messy kitchen.  Don't judge us.  We were in the middle of a refrigerator vs. contact paper battle.  And those dishes by the sink are clean and drying.  I promise.

It's not always that messy.  Kind of.
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  1. Wow, look at you two - your kitchen (and all the other made-over rooms) looks awesome! I love the little contrast shelf, too. The refrigerator nightmare reminds me very much of what the installers go through at my job - can you imagine having to do that to a car? :)

    1. Oh my gosh, you couldn't pay me enough to do this do a car!! It was a nightmare! And thank you, sweet Andrea! I'm excited for the kitchen to be all finished...it's going to be so fun! Yay! And then I'll cook food for you!

  2. Maybe if you chose a paper with no discernible lines like the chevron, which obviously have to line up to look right, then it might be easier. Something with a random pattern. In any case, after all that effort, I think you guys managed to make it look great.

    1. Oh, that definitely would have been easier! We really like geometric patterns, though...I suppose it's worth it, but at the time it was a pain in the butt!

  3. SO cute! Definitely worth the effort, I think!

    1. Thanks Ryanne! We really love it...but I don't know that we'll ever do it again! :)

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  5. I did this before in a cow print when my kitchen was in cows. it was a lot easier than you described. I was as careful as I could be getting it to go on at first but once it was on, never peel it back off, it does indeed stretch the plastic making it impossible to match the pattern. instead use a straight pin to pop an air hole and push the bubble toward the hole. I'm thinking of doing it again in a stainless steel looking paper I found but not sure how it will look on the mock naugahyde looking pattern etched into the doors. hopefully it will work lol.

    1. I did my old fridge in cow too, I loved how it looked. But I only did it in cow print because thats where the milk was

  6. Unknown, that is an ingenious tip! A pinprick! We just put this self-adhesive paper on one wall of our tiny bathroom. Random patterns are much easier. We did unpeel and reposition it several times with no problems - it was an expensive Target product so maybe sturdier? But Yeah, barely maritally safe. Altho if you'd done the old kind of wallpaper together, this wouldn't even register on the stress meter.

  7. I'm wondering if one could simply just spray down the surface with soapy water, apply the contact paper, line it up how you like then just squeegee out the water. It's how window tint is installed.

    1. That's what I was going to suggest. You can also use glass cleaner. No bubbles!

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