Your Old Mini Fridge Isn’t Junk, Here’s How You Can Repurpose it For Your Home
Over the years you’ve come across some impressive things that were passed down by friends and family. Your garage and storage shed are a testament to collecting stuff that should have been tossed out long ago. But certain items in there might be a blessing in disguise and you might have a mini-fridge that can be fixed-up and repurposed.
No matter how old your mini-fridge might be, it probably looks more beat-up than how it actually works. So, here are some ideas on how it can be used around your home and still be very useful too.
An attractive liquor cabinet or wine cooler
Not everyone has a classy looking liquor cabinet or wine cooler in their home. It’s probably taking up space in your kitchen fridge. If you’ve got an old mini fridge that still works but looks terrible on the outside, you can give it a whole new skin. Using ordinary wooden shelves with cheap pine or anything on sale at Home Depot, you can re-skin your fridge. First, you’ll need a saw to cut each piece to size.
The next step is to remove everything from the inside of the fridge and give it a good cleaning. I recommend using a wash down with baking soda and lemon juice. That cleans and deodorizes the inside so it’s clean and doesn’t smell funky. Once you cut your shelves to size, you can use an ordinary hot glue gun to attach them to the outside. The only tricky part is the inner edge where the door hinge opens outward.
You’ll need to cut a thin piece that can swing in between the fridge hinges. The rest is little bits and pieces added. If you want a rustic look you can take a BBQ grill cleaner brush and scrub the grain on the wood until you get the desired effect. Pine wears-down pretty quick since it’s a cheap wood. After it’s all finished you can stain the wood with wood stains and then a good varnish. Then add an antique-looking handle and you’re done.
The go-to energy drink station
This method is a bit easier but is really just giving your mini-fridge a new skin. The easiest and most attractive way is to use self-stick kitchen paper. The decorative patterns can update the outside of your fridge and give it a whole new look. If you want to take it a bit further, you can glue wood strips, plastic, and nearly anything with an interesting texture to the outside.
If you’re into gaming and esports, you can pick a cyber theme that gives this fridge a racy look. Use dark spray paints to make the surface primed for using a dry-brushing color on top- For this, you just take some metallic acrylic colors like gold, silver, or even copper and dry brush these over the high points. The least amount on the brush is best to get a weathered look. Just make sure that the handle you put on is strong enough to open the door.
Then load up this gaming fridge with all your favorite energy drinks, soda, and mineral water. You’ll have a mini-fridge that everyone will never suspect is anything but a cool looking device. Stash this under your desk next to your PC or gaming unit. You can also use the top of the fridge as extra shelving for games and HD-DVDs.
Extra holiday food storage
If you have a kitchen that has room enough to stash this fridge under a counter, this makes excellent storage. Especially when it comes down to keeping holiday foods that take-up too much room in your kitchen fridge. All the extra necessities like butter and milk but no limited to some frozen items too. The only trick to this is you’ll need the space where it fits inside a cabinet or inside a kitchen island space.
There should be access to plug-in your fridge as well. This is a good trick because the fridge is essentially hidden. You will need to space your fridge so that the opening door can open outward into the kitchen. The door should also have material laid over it, so that looks like it’s built-into the kitchen furniture you already have. This is what gives this idea a cleverly hidden look.
Make a beer safe
For nearly any Dad or out there who likes their beer in a secure location, why not let everyone know? It’s almost a cosplay costume for your mini-fridge. This should be a skin that looks like cast iron. This approach is the same as making the wine cooler liquor cabinet but uses thin insulation foam. It should be glued-on using special low-heat hot glue guns. They sell these glue guns at craft stores.
Measure your pieces and glue them on as you go. The front door hinge is once again, a little tricky; so smaller strips must be attached at these hinge points. Use a sanding block to help shape-off edges and add a cast metal texture into the foam. This is done by pressing an old sock filled with various shaped rocks over the surface to dent it unevenly in spots. This idea is only optional if you like a smoother surface instead.
Afterward, you can spray paint the surface a flat black using Krylon outdoor paint. Then you go back with a soft rag dipped in light blue or blue-grey to give it a metal coloring on top. Depending on the amount of detail you should add some silver dry-brush highlights. Print out a self-adhesive safe label over the top. The final touch is adding a sturdy handle made from PVC pipe and connectors. You have to cut-out holes in the foam down to the fridge.
This is so it really sticks well. The combination lock can be anything you want to add made from scraps stacked-up to resemble that shape. You can print out the number ring and attach that after it’s glued-on.
The ultimate Kegerator
This has been very popular in the last couple of years of homebrewers but isn’t limited to just beer. There are lots of people who like to have a fresh cup of Nitro brewed coffee too. This is a simple task of attaching a beer tap onto the surface of your mini fridge’s door. As long as it’s stable and not wiggling around it should work fine. The inside of your fridge should be big enough to hold two mini-kegs.
The hoses should also be long enough to allow you to open the fridge when you need to refill your kegs. Now the only decorative ideas are left up to your imagination how the outside of your kegerator is supposed to look.
Disguised storage cabinet in your home office
These days more people are working from home and this is why a home office is your private sanctuary. Why not put your mini-fridge inside a storage cabinet? Or disguise the fridge to look like a storage cabinet or shelf unit. There are loads of ideas that can recycle old cabinet and pieces can be mixed and matched. The more your fridge looks like an office storage container, the better.
You can get ideas from DIY videos on Youtube that show you how this is done. If you want to disguise a mini-fridge, you should also take the time to recycle objects. Since your garage or home may already have these items they can be repurposed. This also helps you cut down on clutter and give them a double purpose too.
One final idea here, is in case you have a fridge that no longer works, The Classic Repurpose is to turn it into a cooler.