Upgrade Appliances With Stainless Steel Panels

an appliance with a stainless steel front panel
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Stainless steel face panels
Stainless steel resurfacing kit
Stainless steel cleaner
Tape measure

Stainless steel appliances are all the rage, but they can be expensive. Luckily, it's actually possible to make your own appliances look like they're made with stainless steel by using appliance panels. If your kitchen appliances are looking a little worse for wear, these sleek, stylish panels can be fitted easily onto the surfaces to give them a makeover without spending a fortune.

Finding Appliance Panels

Some surfaces might be easy to cover with standard panels. Others will need special, customized elements. You might get lucky and find replacement panels made by your appliance manufacturers, so try calling places that sell those items first.

a stack of steel panels

If no generic panels fit your appliances, and you can't find custom models from the manufacturers, you'll need to modify the panel material to suit your measurements. If cutting metal sounds a little intimidating, sheet metal companies can help you trim them to the right size.

Clean the Appliance Surfaces

Once you have your supplies, clean the surfaces to which you’ll be affixing the panels. Scrub with a non-abrasive solution and let it dry completely before you begin the attachment process.

Unscrew the Existing Panels

Remove the screws holding the old panel in place. You may need to take off an outer layer of trim covering those screws, especially on large machines like refrigerators.

If your replacement panels have no holes, drill through the metal in spots matching the holes on your old panel. Now simply place the new stainless steel panel where the old one went and screw the panel back into place so that it can't move. If your appliance doesn't have a concealing trim and you don't like the look of the screws, you can add some magnetic fixing caps to complete the look

stainless steel refrigerators

Clean Your Shiny New Surfaces

Stainless steel gets marked very easily—after a new fitting, yours is probably covered in fingerprints. Use a stainless steel cleaner to protect the material while you shine it up. If you're using brushed stainless steel, take care to go with the grain to reduce scratches. If your steel gets scratched, it can take it can be difficult to get it looking its best again.

There are several simple stainless steel cleaning tips and tricks you can use to keep the steel looking nice and new. After you’ve tackled applying steel to the appliances in your home, you may find that the bug has you wanting to add sleek surfaces to other parts of your home.