We’re slowly ticking boxes off our list of a million and one RV makeover projects and FINALLY starting to make some progress in the kitchen- aka the space I’ve been most excited about tackling! With such a limited amount of space in our camper it has become super important to me that every thing we add (or subtract) be both functional and beautiful- it just feels so good to be surrounded by things you love! I’ve been dreaming about ripping the faux-k panels off the fridge basically since the day we moved in, and I set aside some time this week to do just that! I spent wayyyy too long scrolling through Pinterest, looking at all the beautiful kitchens and fancy fridges that are available these days, there are SO many neat options! I’ve been drawn to those cute retro-style Smeg fridges and their glossy finish, I’m obsessed with the personality that they add to a kitchen. See what I mean?!
UGHHH SO DREAMY RIGHT??? Unfortunately not practical at all for camper life, but one day! 🙏 I spent a lot of time looking at different RV fridge makeovers, it’s so inspiring to see what other people come up with! I’ve seen loads of people paint the panels, which is in an instant improvement, but I really wanted to do something that would completely transform the space. That glassy surface on the Smeg is KILLING me though and once I saw this brilliant fridge hack, I knew I could try and replicate the look. Removing the fridge panels from the fridge was suuuuper easy (hint- there are screws right on top of the doors!) but if you need step by step instructions or your fridge is in a tricky spot, Katie wrote up a great tutorial with tons of pictures and troubleshooting tips for her own fridge update. (PS- her RV is freaking #goals, so visit her site at your own risk, you’ll be there all day! 😍)
Without further ado, here’s the lowdown on how I gave our dated fridge a sleek new look. Beware, it’s wildly simple!
To do this on your own RV (or regular) fridge you’ll need-
- Plexiglass/acrylic panels large enough to cover your doors. I used two (this and this) since I already had a smaller one on hand, but I’ve found that usually the larger the piece the larger the price so buying two may be the most economical.
- Plexiglass saw blades for whatever kind of saw you’re using. (It’s usually best to use a circular or table saw for straight cuts, but since I don’t have either I used my jigsaw and it was fine)
- Paint in your color of choice (I used leftover cabinet paint in a satin finish)
- Paint pan and roller
- Safety goggles and a mask if you’re not into inhaling plastic particles
- Clear mounting tape (optional)
First thing first, I removed those heavy panels! If you’re going for a futuristic/foil look you could probably stop right there, I honestly felt like this stage was an improvement from before. 😂 After removing the existing panels I used them as a template for cut lines on my plexi. Don’t remove the plastic film on the plastic, you want the protection that it offers. I just used a sharpie to trace right on top of the film and it made it super easy to clean up when it was all said and done.
Next is the scary part, cutting into the plexi! Your saw blades should tell you the appropriate speed and setting for your saw, so make sure you follow that. I made the mistake of just going for right along the cut line and immediately cracked my sheet. 😐😐😐After that I spent some time practicing on the waste edge and found the appropriate speed for minimizing cracks, so I DEFINITELY recommend starting on a trash piece until you get the hang of it. You’ll likely have lil fracture lines along the edge, but if you cut on the outter edge of your guideline your edges will be hidden within the frame and it wont matter how wonky your lines are.
Say a freaking cheer when your done, cutting plexi is kinda stressful so congrats if you made it through without any major cracks! Next you’ll remove the film on one side of your panel and use your paint roller to carefully roll on your paint of choice. I ended up needing two coats to get an opaque look, so do what you need to do.
When your panels are dry you can remove that last piece of film, pop them back into your fridge frames and screw them into place. I used clear mounting tape on the backside since I cut my panels a little too narrow and they’re a bit loose. If you had a crack like me, try and find the least noticeable spot for it and paint the fridge underneath it so that it isn’t super obvious. I will likely replace my freezer panel soon bc that lil spot will just make me crazy, but hopefully you don’t have that issue!
And you’re done! Step back and admire your handiwork, hopefully it makes as big an impact as mine did! If you have a super old fridge like me, this project will probably just make you want to paint the fridge frame, so stay tuned for that! 😂
I’m sooooo happy with how it turned out, everytime I walk by I smile! Another cool feature is that now we can us dry erase markers to write notes or lists on the fridge, so talk about that style and function! It made such a big difference in our little space and its totally motivating me to tackle some more projects (aka painting that slideout molding!) I hope y’all enjoyed reading about this, and let me know if you update your fridge too!