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How to Reface an Appliance

Appliance Panel Inserts and Kits

So you went for the shiny stainless steel refrigerator or dishwasher without knowing how much of a hassle it would be to keep it clean and fingerprint free. What now? Well, if you're determined to find an alternative, your appliance manufacturer may have an insert you can use to change the front and sides of the unit while keeping the working parts intact. This goes for that sun yellow fridge that doesn't fit with your new wallpaper or that plain white model you'd like to make a bit more stylish, too.

These days, many refrigerators and dishwashers are configured with trim pieces that hold decorative face panels. With a simple call or visit to the manufacturer's Web site, you can purchase replacement panels that are easy to install and will change the appearance of your appliance without much fuss.

When an easy panel switch isn't available for your appliance, you can always buy a third party kit that will let you update your look. This solution will take some additional installation and costs a bit more. Kits typically include a frame, panels and replacement hardware. Third party suppliers will need to know the make and model of your appliance, and it can take a number of weeks to get your order processed. If you have a really old appliance that you enjoy for its aesthetic value, third party appliance kit specialists can help you refurbish the appearance of retro and classic appliances, too.

Pricing for inserts and kits vary depending on the finish you select and the size of the appliance involved. Prices can range from close to $100 to more than $1,000 for slip-in panels [source: Garskof].

On the next page, we'll take a look at ways to fully integrate your kitchen appliances into your overall design. It sounds like magic, but it's really hide and seek.