how to mount plexiglas on stainless steel fridge?
July 25, 2009 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I have a stainless steel fridge and a toddler who is learning to walk. I want to mount a sheet of plexiglas over the bottom portion of the door to prevent it from getting dented. I would like this to look decent and be non-permanent so I can remove it when we eventually move. Any ideas on how I could do this? All I can think of is using some kind of tape, but I think that would sag after a while. Bonus for suggestions on how to also stick stuff to the plexiglas so that I can post up my kid's artwork (the stainless steel is non-magnetic).
posted by kenliu to Home & Garden (22 answers total)
I should have also mentioned that I have a KitchenAid top-freezer model.

It's like this one except with the freezer on top.
posted by kenliu at 12:34 PM on July 25, 2009

Double-sided carpet tape, the kind made with a fiberglass weave, is pretty strong and not too hard to remove. It will fail occasionally, but it's not hard to redo. Any gummy residue you could clean up with Goo Gone (test in an inconspicuous spot before you do this).

3M makes a double-sided foam tape that is super strong, but damn hard to remove, so I wouldn't recommend it.

Be sure to sand down the sharp edges and corners of the plexiglas before you put it up.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:38 PM on July 25, 2009

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I worry about the risk of a sheet of plexi falling onto your toddler's toes. If askme can't find a better solution than tape, I wouldn't do it.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:41 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about some of that thick clear vinyl that sticks on to flat surfaces? It will protect against scratches and smaller dents. I don't think your toddler will have enough strength to put any serious dents in stainless steel for a little while yet.

That said, your admirable but doomed goals of keeping things nice will probably last all of two or three months, and won't come back for another 18 years. Have fun!
posted by Aquaman at 12:45 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is the kid going to be running in to the fridge so hard that they'll dent stainless steel? I'll admit, I don't have kids, and I understand that learning to walk probably involves a LOT of falling and more than a couple accidental bonks on the head from falling into stuff (and subsequent tears), but I think plexi might be a bit much.

I can, however see not wanting finger and face prints all over your fridge. I'd suggest getting some of the plastic contact stuff used for window "frosting" (they sell it at Home Depot & the like), and using that on the fridge.
posted by AlisonM at 12:46 PM on July 25, 2009

This may be me not answering the question, but as the father of an 18 month old, I have no idea how you think your fridge might get dented. I think the kid is much more likely to find the plexiglass in interesting thing to pull on/pry off. Plus, you don't want to be mounting artwork on the bottom of the fridge where the kid can reach it. At least, not for a while.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 12:55 PM on July 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

I have a 17-month old son and a stainless steel fridge. My refrigerator emerged entirely unscathed from my son learning to walk, and to be honest it had not even occurred to me to be concerned about it until reading this.

The whole learning-to-walk process involves a lot of cruising along hanging on to things for balance. And even once walking is really mastered, it's a bit longer until they can actually run properly. Even when they can run, they are still wee toddlers weighing what, 25 pounds?

I would submit to you that should your toddler manage to damage the front of your fridge while learning to walk, you should jolly well be able to take it up with the manufacturer for giving you some weak-ass stainless steel.

The lack of magnetic surface we managed by putting up a magnetic bulletin board on the wall of the cupboard next to the fridge.

posted by ambrosia at 12:58 PM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

I have no idea how you think your fridge might get dented

I also don't get this. Is your child a robot with iron claws?

But to answer the question anyway, don't attach it at all. Instead, get the piece of plexiglas cut to exactly the size of of the entire door, so it looks all right, then hang it from the top of the door with wraparound square (or "D-shape") brackets. If your fridge is like mine, the door will still close even with a couple of 1/4-inch descending bracket tongue pressed against the rubber seals. If you need thinner, drill holes in the top edge of the plexiglas and hang it with yarn, also wrapping around and attaching to something inside the fridge door (like a shelf, maybe).

To make it more toddler-useful, don't use clear plexiglas, use whiteboard, also cut to fit. Then he can have washable marker fun while hanging around underfoot.

Many whiteboards are magnetic, which also solves that problem.
posted by rokusan at 1:30 PM on July 25, 2009

Get some velcro with glue on the backing. Stick squares on each corner of the plexiglass, matching squares on the fridge, viola! It's even easy to remove the plexiglass for cleaning if necessary. When no longer needed, just peel the velcro off the fridge & clean up with Goo Gone! or some such.
posted by torquemaniac at 1:34 PM on July 25, 2009

Tip from someone who has screwed up sticky velcro - stick the squares of velcro together (hook and loop together), expose one side of the sticky part and stick it to the fridge. Then expose the other sticky part and put the plexi or white board onto that. That way you don't have to line the velcro up properly.

I didn't have a stainless steel fridge when my kids were little, but they sure dented up all of my door frames riding tricycles around the house!
posted by artychoke at 1:59 PM on July 25, 2009

Stainless steel fridge owner and active mom of very active 4yo boy here: no need to protect it. There are things thrown, rolled, ridden, and catapulted toward our fridge 3x/week of varying hardnesses and shapes and the fridge has not suffered.

If you still want to protect it, with many fridges you can remove the s/s panel and replace it with something else. We recently swapped ours out to a DIY panel painted with magnetic paint and, on top of that, chalkboard paint. The magnetic paint is weak (I did three coats!) but the chalkboard paint is great.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:18 PM on July 25, 2009

Speaking as a parent of a preschooler and a toddler, you are okay as long as you don't let them ride ride-on toys in the house.
posted by acoutu at 3:35 PM on July 25, 2009

Caution: modifier error above.
posted by acoutu at 3:36 PM on July 25, 2009

I don't think the child is going to dent the fridge, but if the child does, use dry ice to remove the dent.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:16 PM on July 25, 2009

Wow, thanks for all the responses! First, let me say that you should never underestimate the ability of toddlers to destroy/mangle/ruin things. I'm pretty much resigned to him destroying all of the nice things in the house, but the fridge "belongs" to my wife and I'd like to try to keep it nice for her.

That said, I'm not worried about the kid himself denting the fridge, but more from him smashing other things into it (chairs, ride on toys, etc.). The kid already has a fun game where he scoots across the floor pushing a small cooler; today he did it while cruising/running/falling. I guess it is probably hard to put dents into a fridge, but as I recall my parents' fridge did have dents in it when I was a kid...

I'm thinking of using the thin variety of plexiglas rather than the thicker kind you usually see, so I don't think it will be too heavy.

The entire door is made from a single sheet of SS and is not removable. The chalkboard paint is a pretty good idea, though.
posted by kenliu at 5:04 PM on July 25, 2009

I think you'd be pretty hard-pressed to dent the fridge (barring any hardcore ride-on toys in the kitchen). We have a rule of no toys in the working side of the kitchen because of the hot, pointy things that live there (I also got sick of stuffed animals getting wet, dirty, etc. on the counter). So, that's something that you might want to instill to kill two birds with one stone, as it were.

With regard to the non-magnetic problem of the fridge, we have that problem here, as well. The side of the fridge (if it happens to be exposed in your house) is magnetic, so we take full advantage of that.

You can also buy magnetic paint in whatever colour your kitchen happens to be. A couple coats of that, and your wall is magically able to hold magnets! How cool is *that*?!

Another cool option that I'm thinking I might do are these chalkboard panels that are entirely removable. They're kind of spendy, but still, very awesome.
posted by dancinglamb at 5:28 PM on July 25, 2009

Ooops! Like minds, cocoagirl!:)
posted by dancinglamb at 5:30 PM on July 25, 2009

What about the masking film used to protect car hoods from nicks and such? This site sells bulk rolls of it as well as the tools to apply it. The 14mil seems thick enough to do the job.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:54 PM on July 25, 2009

How about punching holes in the plexi, maybe putting in like binder rings or keychain rings (you'd need two in each hole because the first one will be at right angles to the plexi, the second will be parallel, like you'd want it to be), then hanging the plexi sheet off the fridge using those 3M removeable hooks?

I'll vouch that they really do come off and don't wreck the surface, and the adhesive is pretty strong. You could put hooks/holes on the top and bottom, too (like drill holes in the plexi, attach the rings, hang the top ones, put the hooks through the bottom holes and then finally stick on the bottom hooks at exactly the right level so the plexi part hangs taut with no slack in the hooks/rings). I'm not actually sure you'd even need the rings, you could probably just use 4 hooks. Bonus is that the plexi sheet will be slightly raised from the fridge surface, which gives you a little crumple zone so denty objects really don't touch it.

Another option would be to make like a cozy for the fridge- a piece of quilty fabric stuck on with hooks or velcro would also do the trick, maybe with a piece of dense foam behind it. Orla Keily makes nice bright kitcheny fabric that's modern and clean-looking, and would be pretty with stainless.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:13 PM on July 25, 2009

I wouldn't use anything that you're counting on Goo Gone to remove the remnants of later. Most of my kitchen appliances are stainless steel and anytime I've tried to use Goo Gone to remove the leftover price tag adhesive or otherwise, the space behind (even after the adhesive is gone) is very noticeable.
posted by moojoose at 10:01 PM on July 25, 2009

*the space left behind
posted by moojoose at 10:02 PM on July 25, 2009

I've done things like this for work. Put a nice wide strip of masking tape on the door, then stick whatever doubleface/velcro you use to the nonstick side of the masking tape. When you're done, just peel off the masking tape, taking doubleface/velcro with it. No mess, no clean up.
posted by nevercalm at 2:39 PM on July 26, 2009

« Older Swing Swing Swing   |   How Do I Ace This Test? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.