Antique/Vintage Stuff / Kitchen

Vintage Kelvinator Fridge Rescue

I refurbished a vintage Kelvinator refrigerator (I think it’s a 1953) — and I don’t usually go into depth about my projects, but I am going to this time in the hopes that if somebody else wants to try and tackle something similar that you’ll have more information than I had when I started.

Here’s what it looked like before I started . . .

The compressor works, but I took the door off and pulled out the old insulation and gasket to replace it . . .


I used vinegar and baking soda to scrub all of the scum off the outside of the fridge, and used naval jelly to help remove the rust. I started with 400 grit sandpaper and took off all of the loose paint and rust before taping off the chrome . . .

Everything got a coat of primer and then many light, thin coats of spray paint (I used “champagne pink” by Rustoleum) before then getting several light coats of a clear gloss enamel. Before waxing, I used wet 1000 grit sandpaper. (Vaseline can be painted on the chrome that’s hard to mask — paint won’t stick to it.)

Once everything was painted, I put in new insulation and a new gasket before reassembling it all. This is the brief version — if you’re interested in knowing more, let me know!


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