Friday, September 23, 2011

Beer Fridge Makeover

Firkin Around...The Garage

Sanding down the rusty, but trusty old Kenmore in the garage
Sitting around the house I got in a in a cleaning mood and decided it was time to take the sorry looking old rust bucket that was the Kenmore and give it a makeover. Looking over the owners manual that the former homeowners left behind, I discovered the fridge is nineteen years old this month! And we've been here for ten years now. Hmmm...wonder why they retired it to the garage so early? It's been running fine; keeping the beer cold and all.

The first order of business was to remove two handles and a strip of chromed plastic from one of the doors. A few sheets of sandpaper had the pitting gone and removed ten plus years of rust accumulation from sitting outside in the garage. Florida's weather is notorious for rusting out anything made of metal that has been left outdoors for any period of time. The salt air and humidity had done a number on the finish, especially around the door edges where condensation tends to collect. That task completed, I washed the door gaskets with soap and warm water to remove the grime. Masking tape was applied to cover them up for painting.

Primer applied and drying
Since the entire fridge including all the side panels and the top had been sanded, I wiped it all down with a damp rag and let it dry. Then I used a tack cloth on the outside in preparation for the primer base. It took about three cans of primer to get it looking like this. Needing a breather, I went for some water and fresh air on this hot day. It gave the primer a chance to completely dry, according to the instructions on the can. The fridge was looking better already. Now, off to the store for some color.

Only a funky color would do for the beer fridge. Not anything way over the top, although the Krylon® Rich Plum was pretty cool looking. There were so many colors to choose from, but somehow the green shades kept calling out to my subconscious. And which shade? Pistachio Green! Dropping five cans in the cart, the purchase was made.

Krylon says Pistachio but I say Nuclear Green
Meanwhile back at the ranch, the primer coat had already finished drying. The cans were shook up well and now it was time to get cracking on the color. Man, what a difference. I did manage to get a few runs here and there, but wasn't overly concerned about the whole ordeal. Backing up and looking over the color as a whole I exclaimed, "A little bit drippy, but a whole lot more trippy!" That pretty much sums it up, don't you think? The color really 'pops' out at you. Some choice beer stickers will likely be applied to the doors, but one of my internet buds recommended painting hops cones, instead. That is definitely under consideration. I can almost imagine it.

What a difference - It'll go another twenty years
The last part was to recondition the door handles and trim. For the trim, a simulated chrome based spray paint was used. A couple of coats with drying in between and it turned out fine. That part sits on the top sill of the bigger door. Lastly, the stubborn limescale was scrubbed from the pitted metal chromed parts of the door handles. A couple coats of car wax and they shined up nicely. The rubber/vinyl grips were washed with soap and water and then a vinyl protective gel was applied. Back in black and good as new! Masking tape off, insides washed out, the Kenmore never looked so good. Note: One less beer went back into the fridge than what came out. Do the math, (ha-ha!)

Annnnnd, if you were wondering, and I know that you were.....the answer is 'yes'!  It will become a kegerator at some point in the future. For now, it will keep craft beers chilled and me happy. Cheers!

Firkin Beer Fridge!

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