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3 Ways To Upgrade Kitchen Appliances With Stainless Steel Refacing

Sleek stainless steel refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens are all the rage on television home decorating shows. If you'd like that look in your kitchen without breaking the bank, consider stainless steel refacing.

The three kitchen ideas to get a stainless steel look include: installing stainless steel panels, using stainless steel paint, and applying faux stainless-steel film. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

Refacing a Kitchen Appliance with Stainless Steel Panels


  • A stainless steel panel will resist wear and damage and can be used on stovetops
  • Panels are available from the original appliance manufacturer or custom manufacturers
  • Dishwashers and trash compactors, in particular, are easy to reface. Just remove the front panel and replace with a stainless steel panel


  • This is one of the costliest kitchen ideas. Refacing a dishwasher or trash compactor front panel will run you between $50 and $75 each. Refacing an entire refrigerator may, depending on the manufacturer, cost more than buying a new one

If your kitchen appliance refacing project requires installing anything other than flat panels, protect your investment by hiring a professional contractor.

Refacing a Kitchen Appliance with Stainless Steel Paint

A new type of product consists of microscopic stainless steel particles in a clear, hard, automotive-grade resin. Finished, it has an easy-upkeep brushed look.


  • Properly applied, this method can look exactly like stainless steel panels
  • Refacing everything--range, refrigerator, and dishwasher, including handles--will cost only about $70


  • The process requires many careful coats, and afterward may take two weeks to temper completely
  • You can't undo the process, so it's best to practice on something expendable
  • Depending on the product, stainless steel paint may or may not be appropriate for stovetops

Refacing a Kitchen Appliance with Faux Stainless Steel Film

Unlike stainless steel panels and paint, this product is not actually stainless steel--but applied correctly, it's a great short-term solution to dated-looking kitchen appliances.


  • If you can apply shelf liners, you can use this peel-and-stick film that costs about as much as stainless steel paint and comes in several styles
  • The film can be removed easily and cleans with soap and water


  • Applying the film to large appliances may be time-consuming and difficult
  • The film will scratch and tear much more easily than the other two methods, and is definitely not for stovetop use

Whatever your taste and budget, one of these three stainless steel kitchen ideas should help you modernize the look of your kitchen appliances.