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Topic: A 1950's Fridge gets restored to provide weather and dust proof storage outdoors  (Read 10242 times)
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RococoPop
« on: August 29, 2008 06:08:49 AM »

At the end of May my husband and I launched a major overhaul of our garden and patio area. A lot of work went into the 9 week project as we reclaimed, reused, and recycled vintage furniture to suit our needs. This 1950's fridge is one of my proudest endeavors. I think it's a fun & funky  way to provide proper storage for my tableware and linens that I use in the out of doors.

Before being revitalized



Fortunately only the cabinet showed any signs of wear or weather. The inside of the fridge was pristine and complete.



Here are pics of my husband removing the rust, priming and painting the cabinet.





After







And here's a view of the entire patio project - complete.





I diaried the complete Patio Reclamation Project and Garden Refreshment on TeamSugar if you're interested. Really - It was so much work but I was so thrilled with the results that I couldn't help but submit it to CasaSugar's Summer Style Contest.  Even more exciting was the fact that I won one of two $500.00 Gift Cards to Crate and Barrel. Now I can't wait to go shopping!

Honestly, this is one of my grandest redesigns ever and we are so looking forward to next year when all we have to do is a bit of cleaning and mild sprucing to get our outdoor space ready for the summer.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008 06:14:29 AM by RococoPop » THIS ROCKS   Logged
blushingbluegrass
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2008 06:15:41 AM »

Congratulations! It looks amazing! I really love that fridge idea... It is the perfect idea to store things on hand.
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RococoPop
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2008 06:23:24 AM »

Thanks so much BlushingBlueGrass. Over the course of 3 summers I was going crazy thinking about storage for this patio project. Then one day it hit me that a vintage fridge would be perfect because they are air and water tight. The problem was finding one in pristine and complete condition. Well - No sooner did I post a request on CraigsList when my husband called on his way home from the office. A lady had this thing sitting out on the street and she was really upset that the trash collectors wouldn't take it. She offered to pay us to take it away. Naturally, we refused her money because were so excited to find one in super condition. We also have a friend in the appliance business so we were able to properly dispose of the freon unit and have the motor recycled.
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mamafox
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2008 06:40:52 AM »

FABULOUS!!!!!
The fridge alone earned that response...
the patio: no words!!!!  Cheesy
great job!!
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Dawn Octopus
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2008 06:42:49 AM »

Oh my gosh!!! You guys did a great job!


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RococoPop
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2008 07:00:16 AM »

Thanks so much! We're thrilled with it. Every night, after dinner, my husband goes out there and sits down and sighs, "I'm so happy we did this".  That makes it all worth it - really - because I had to displace a lot of his collected *stuff* and force him to store it or recycle it. That alone was a HUGE step forward.
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hyspirit
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2008 07:12:37 AM »

wow, that looks super cool. How did you find all of that furniture?
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2008 07:17:48 AM »

Wow this *ROCKS* You have done an amazing job. Well done!
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trashymeow
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008 07:22:12 AM »

The patio looks amazing!  I have always wanted a retro fridge, but knew it would hold enough food in my kitchen.  Now I am inspired to get one.  I just need to find a husband to refinish it for me...lol. 
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RococoPop
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2008 07:23:58 AM »

wow, that looks super cool. How did you find all of that furniture?

Thanks so much hyspirit!
All of that furniture comes from various places. Except for the smoker, it's all authentic vintage that was reclaimed and resued.
The fridge was found on the street in Allentown, PA after the original owner could not dispose of it.
All of the rest of it was acquired at various auctions and most of it was a mess.
The little side table was given to me by someone who was goign to trash it. It didn't even have a top and it was a nasty-rusted mess.
For that I cut a piece of plywood, primed it, painted it, and sealed it, and fixed it to the frame with U-shaped clamps.
The dining table was the only thing purchased from an antique store. That too was a bit messy before I painted it and reupholstered the chairs
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RococoPop
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2008 07:26:22 AM »

The patio looks amazing!  I have always wanted a retro fridge, but knew it would hold enough food in my kitchen.  Now I am inspired to get one.  I just need to find a husband to refinish it for me...lol. 

Nah. You could do it yourself. It wasn't that hard. He took on those parts of the project while I was busy painting the patio floor, painting the artworks (all 7 of them), redoing the chairs (both sets), and sewing the table runner, napkins, and placemats. We shared the labor rather equally. Really.
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Alli_Lucy
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2008 08:30:36 AM »

This is amazing!  It definitely, definitely rocks!
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008 09:10:16 AM »

what an amazing project. I am now super ashamed of my patio. I can try justify it with the fact that it's only useable for half the year, but that's just an excuse. You did a fabulous job. Very crafty!
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BlueCherryFaerie
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2008 09:44:45 AM »

That is and absolutely inspirational idea!!!! It turned out soooo wonderful!
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RococoPop
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2008 02:31:54 PM »

Thanks so much ladies! This entire project was a whole heap o' work but we're loving the result!
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2008 12:02:06 AM »

This is the BEST!!  Hitting *this rocks* right now cause you and your hubby do, girlfriend (rock, that is)....you totally do!!!  The fridge idea alone?  Fantabulous!!  The completed patio?  Lovin' it!!!  Grin  Grin  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2008 07:31:17 AM »

Love love love!  I'm dying to do something with my back deck.  I adore what you did with the cool fridge!

Kudos!
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ingysoup
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2008 08:46:12 AM »

All of your hard work was certainly worth it!  Wowza!!  Although I love your idea for the old fridge (I actually think my grandparents had that same one), I think my favorite "part" is all of your artwork.  (I don't have the time right now to look at your blog, but certainly will later.)  It really makes the whole space POP.  Also, I am glad your dh was wearing a respirator/mask.  My dh is a painting contractor and is notorious for not using protective gear.  I am sure a few of his brain cells have bitten the dust.  But he's an old dog.  Congrats on the $500. gift cert!  WooHoo.  Er, so when's the Crafster Patio Party?
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Ahoy Sailor!
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2008 09:40:53 AM »

beautiful and very creative. its great that you were able to recycle and and restore a beautiful piece.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2008 10:02:48 AM »

Great job!  It looks like a pic in a magazine - very creative.

I love the retro look and your fridge is adorable.  What a great idea.  Opens up a realm of possibilities for my patio. 

One caveat - those old fridges can be dangerous for little ones.  Back in the day there used to be lots of cases of kids climbing in them to play or to hide and suffocating.  You don't hear about it as much as you used - in 1958 they started requiring the manufacturers to make the refrigerators openable from the inside. 

(sorry to be such a downer - I'd just feel negligent if I didn't at least mention it in case people aren't aware of it)
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grammardog
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2008 11:52:35 AM »

That is BRILLIANT!  Wonderful job.
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2008 09:21:40 AM »

I am so happy to see that people are repurposing things. They look so cool, and they stay out of the landfills! Great job!
I'm curious. Did you or someone else drain the freon out of it first?
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rockingrandma
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2008 12:45:40 AM »

Wow, the only alternate use I've seen for these old iceboxes is as a beer fridge.  I had one of these about 10 years ago that was actually used as a food fridge until the ex "defrosted" it with a knife and all the freon hissed out.  Wish I would have thought to use it as a storage cabinet!

A question though.  I know most places have ordinances against fridges of this type sitting anywhere outside with the doors intact due to the risk of suffocation from kids playing hide and seek in them.  Do you not have those ordinances or is the fridge in a inaccessible area?  Or is it one that doesn't actually latch?
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RococoPop
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2008 05:31:03 AM »

I am so happy to see that people are repurposing things. They look so cool, and they stay out of the landfills! Great job!
I'm curious. Did you or someone else drain the freon out of it first?

Thanks so much. We removed the motor and the freon was taken care of by a friend of ours who is in the appliance business so everything was done with the proper respect for the environment. The motor was also recycled.
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RococoPop
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2008 05:40:39 AM »

Wow, the only alternate use I've seen for these old iceboxes is as a beer fridge.  I had one of these about 10 years ago that was actually used as a food fridge until the ex "defrosted" it with a knife and all the freon hissed out.  Wish I would have thought to use it as a storage cabinet!

A question though.  I know most places have ordinances against fridges of this type sitting anywhere outside with the doors intact due to the risk of suffocation from kids playing hide and seek in them.  Do you not have those ordinances or is the fridge in a inaccessible area?  Or is it one that doesn't actually latch?

If the seals are bad you can't use it outside. One of the best features of this find is that all of the seals and the latch were in near-perfect condition so it is dust and weather tight. It's been tested over the course of 3 summers. No worries of mildew whatsoever.

The ordinance that you're referring to pertains to fridges left out on the curb for trash pickup. Kids were able to crawl inside because a lot of times the drawers and shelves were removed. People would also prop the doors open. Thus the danger.

This fridge is full. All of the drawers and shelves are in place and it is loaded with tableware and linens. For a child to get inside they would have to open the door - not an easy reach. They would then have to remove the all of the dishes and the at least on of the shelves, along with the drawers before they could even think about fitting into it. Plus: It is not sitting out in plain view. It is behind our garage which is not at all visible from the street. That being said, I don't see a safety issue here.
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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2008 08:02:30 AM »

great job you guys! We have our first nice patio here at our new house and slowly working to make it a much nicer place to hang out.

I noticed in your diary that you painted the floor of the patio. How cool is that! gives me ideas!

thanks for sharing!
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RococoPop
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2008 11:14:52 AM »

great job you guys! We have our first nice patio here at our new house and slowly working to make it a much nicer place to hang out.

I noticed in your diary that you painted the floor of the patio. How cool is that! gives me ideas!

thanks for sharing!

Congrats on the new house. I hope you'll consider showing photos of your new place once you've had a chance to make your mark on it!

As for painting the patio...
Yes, I did. My husband wanted to make it a flat slate grey and my response was, "Why???" I then set about painting it to somewhat resemble a vintage rug. This was done by masking off the interior section, painting that, letting it dry, and then going on to the edging. Once the edging was dry I sat myself down in the center of the space and started painting the vines and leaves as you see them there. It took a good 8 hours to finish but the result was worth it.
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« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2008 12:15:34 PM »

An incredible fridge restoration as well as a fantastic patio.  Everything looks great and such a wonderful peaceful place to enjoy an evenin'.
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tomico
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2008 06:06:35 PM »

An ex boyfriend of mine had one of these old fridges and he pained it bright pink and put on it the band name " The Cramps" in bleeding red. Later, he painted it black and had his daughter put foot prints of white to make it look like she walked over top of it. I liked the look but it was just so inefficient. I'm glad you were able to find a sensible use for it. lol.

Tomico
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mirrorandmoon
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2009 11:04:54 PM »

I love that idea! I would have never thought of that Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2009 02:14:24 PM »

i *love* this!
seriously. love. <3

*xo...
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2009 09:57:26 AM »

Congrats!!

Craftster Best of 2008!

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