Monday, August 4, 2014

Beer Fridge Relic Refresh

A few weeks ago, I went out to the beer fridge in the workshop and all the beer was warm. The light was still on, the dial was up, but the fridge was just not keeping things cold. Not having time to deal with it, I just opened the doors to prevent mold, unplugged it, and ignored it.

Soon after, I was looking through Facebook, and a friend had posted a free, working fridge, and upon first sight, I jumped on it.


Vintage Westinghouse fridge, in perfect working condition, just cosmetic issues, all of which were easily addressed.  I wish I could have kept the vintage "Bud Man" stickers, but they weren't in great shape, and in pretty random places on the exterior, so they had to go.

This guy is really heavy, obviously, so in order to get it out of the car by myself, I quickly added some 3/4" plywood rails to the bottom and attached casters. There are holes for bolt-on casters, but I don't have any laying around, so I improvised with what I had.

I started by peeling the stickers off. The Bud Man and Superman stickers went well, but the iPod sticker was paper, along with the faded circular sticker in the center. Since the glossy enamel coating was still intact, I took the mouse sander to the entire front, obliterating the sticker residue and roughing up the finish enough to get a great surface for the paint to stick to. I should have done it to the whole fridge instead of just the door, but I was impatient, and didn't want to spend any more time on this than I had to.


I took some Scrubbing Bubbles to the exterior and with some serious scrubbing, all the staining on the top and sides came right off.

The next day, I went to Ace to grab a couple cans of glossy turquoise spray paint, and after walking the aisle several times in their new supposedly-all-inclusive paint section that they've been advertising, determined they didn't have anything close to what I needed. That evening, I had to go to Meijer to pick up some photos, and thought I'd just check out their selection just in case, and lo and behold, there was the perfect turquoise. Unbelievable that "Thrifty Acres" had exactly what I needed, and "The Helpful Place" did not.

Now that I had the paint, I set forth to taping everything. I had originally thought I would just tape the emblem and handle and call it good, but the embellishments on the front were just too cool to not highlight.


I really took my time making sure that the lines were perfectly straight. Also a note here about painter's tape - don't buy generic blue tape. EVER. I made that mistake once when working on our last house, and the only tape that gets clean lines consistently is 3M's version. That being said, I've never tried Frog Tape, but I would assume they do a great job as well, just no generic blue tape - you'll regret it.


The first coat made me glad I'd decided to highlight the lines. It was too much turquoise without them. I was so excited to pull the tape off and take a look, but it needed another coat. You'll notice I didn't drop cloth - fear not, there's so much dirt in our garage, it acts like a drop cloth. We've been waiting for our driveway guy all summer to fix it so sand doesn't get washed into the garage every time it rains, but keep getting pushed back.

A second coat and I was able to pull the tape off.




Gorgeous, right? After it dried, it didn't end up as glossy as I expected, but it still looks great. I was also going to paint the lines a clean white, but I like the roughed up look, so I'll probably just throw a clear protective coating to prevent rust, since I'm down to the bare metal at this point.

So this month is experiment month, see if our electric bills shoot up like crazy for having this thing running, but so far it doesn't seem to kick on that often, since we don't open it nearly as often as a normal fridge. Here's hoping it's not an issue!


 

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