You know how it is when you buy a house – the appliances you see are the ones you get. Fair enough. The previous owners had purchased a scratch-and-dent fridge that was marked up on the sides, but the front was intact – presumably to save money. Fair enough. I would have done the same thing. However, when moving the kitchen to a different room, the new fridge location showed off the worst side of the appliance.
Naturally, doing something to cover or fix this ended up on my litany of kitchen projects. After doing some googling, I decided I didn’t want to attempt to 1) pop out the dents (too risky/difficult), 2) re-paint (too hard to match original sheen perfectly), or 3) cover it with a decal (very incongruous for a 1917 time period), and this was about all the internet had to offer me. So, I got creative.
One of my favorite project materials is old frames. You can find some very interesting ones for dirt cheap at second hand places. So, I decided to grab a few old frames and make them into functional scratch-covers. A chalkboard and a corkboard.
Since these were to hang on the side of the fridge, but I can’t drill holes in my appliances, I had to make these as light as possible. I picked out a light feeling frame, used some thin scrap wood left over from another project, and found a fun new material to try – Contact chalkboard paper.
Since using Contact paper would be a very low-weight solution, I decided to give it a whirl. Just like any other Contact paper, you just peel off the backing and stick it to its intended host. And that is what I did.
After that, I simply used wood glue to attach the frame to the new chalkboard, let it dry, and done!
Assembling the corkboard was much the same. Tip: using a table saw (if you have one) was the fastest and most accurate way of cutting the corkboard to the correct size.
To attach, I used black (to match the fridge) heavy duty Velcro strips. If they ever need to move or come down, I can just peel off the Velcro and use a residue remover to take off the adhesive, with no permanent damage to the fridge.
Do NOT try and use magnets to hold these up. I spent many days trying, failing, and wasting money. Learn from my mistakes!
Here is the final product – to me, it matches the room very nicely and even makes the fridge look a little older/more in keeping with the era. The chalkboard also gives me a cute place to write down our drink selections, and the corkboard a good spot to pin up invites without cluttering the fridge with too many magnets.
Pro tip: to ‘cure’ a new chalkboard, you need to rub a piece of white chalk all over it, erase it all off, and your board is cured. If it is a new chalkboard surface, it will not look right unless you do this first.