How to Refinish Appliances with Liquid Stainless Steel
By: Danny Lipford
Now you can give your old refrigerator, dishwasher, or stove the look of real stainless steel with Thomas’ Liquid Stainless Steel coating. To refinish a refrigerator or other an appliance:
- Remove the handles from the appliance.
- Sand any rusty spots on the appliance.
- Clean the surface thoroughly to remove any grease or grime.
- Spray a rust inhibiting primer on any bare metal.
- Apply painter’s tape around the inside of the door.
- Stir the Liquid Stainless Steel coating thoroughly.
- Apply a thin coat of Liquid Stainless Steel with a roller.
- Drag a wide foam brush over the wet surface to eliminate any lap marks.
- After dry, apply a second coat of Liquid Stainless Steel.
- Drag the foam brush over the surface in the opposite direction.
- Allow to dry, then apply one or more coats of clear sealer.
- Refinish the handles with spray paint.
- Reattach the handles to the appliance.
Watch this video to find out more.
- Apply a Stainless Steel Finish to Appliances and Hardware (video)
- How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances (article)
- Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel (video)
Danny Lipford: If you’re looking for a project around your home that’s very budget-minded, look for something that works really well but doesn’t look so good. And then let the project be improve the appearance of it so you don’t have to replace it or throw it away. Here’s a great example of that. This refrigerator works fine. All the gaskets are in great shape; but you got to admit, it’s pretty ugly.
Now, people have been sanding and repainting appliances for years. And certainly, they make a big improvement in its appearance, but what if you could change something like this into the very popular stainless steel finish? That’s exactly what we’re going to do in this project, is use a liquid stainless steel.
Now, this is actual stainless steel. It’s not paint, and this kit costs a little bit less than $70. Has everything you need in it to completely coat a refrigerator like this. They also have kits for only $25 that you can do a range and a dishwasher. So think about it. Less than $100 You’re changing, completely changing, the look of those three appliances in your kitchen.
First thing we’ll do is attack this rust and take these handles off. Sanding off the rust will prevent it from bubbling back through the new finish later on. And a good cleaning will get rid of that dust and any dirt that’s left on the fridge. I’m spraying a rust-inhibiting primer over those bad spots to add an extra layer of protection against any future problem.
While it dries, I’ll mask the inner edge of the door gasket before I begin stirring the stainless steel coating. The directions call for the liquid stainless steel to go on in several thin coats using a foam roller. Like an ordinary painting project, you want to minimize those lap lines but this kit includes a large foam brush you can drag over the wet surface in one direction to completely eliminate them. Between coats I’m spraying the white plastic of the handles with a hammered black finish to help them blend in a little better.
The second coat of stainless steel really begins to fill in the finish, and this time when I brush out the roller marks, I pull in the opposite direction. When the second coat is dry, I apply a sealer to protect and add a bit of luster to the finish. The sealer goes on white, but it dries clear And you can determine the level of gloss you want, by how many coats of sealer you apply.
All righty, I’ll put the last screw in the handle here, and hopefully this little clip will slide right over it. And it’s done. I got to admit, this thing looks a heck of a lot better than the refrigerator I started with. You know, it’s over 20 years old, all the rust that was on it. Now, if you have a fridge that’s a lot newer, you’ll get even better results than this.
Actually, this thing turned out so nice that I’m thinking about the old rusty refrigerator I have down at my river cabin. I think this will replace it this weekend.