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How to Build a Refrigerator Cabinet Surround

Fridge cabinets have the power to transform a kitchen, giving it a custom and polished look. They not only provide a seamless finish to your cabinetry but also help create a well-balanced layout. The great...

Fridge cabinets have the power to transform a kitchen, giving it a custom and polished look. They not only provide a seamless finish to your cabinetry but also help create a well-balanced layout. The great news is that you can build your very own refrigerator cabinet without breaking the bank or spending extensive amounts of time. So, let's dive in and demystify the process!

how to build a refrigerator cabinet surround Image by sanulac.vn

The Basics of Building a Refrigerator Cabinet Surround

Here are the essential steps we follow to construct our own refrigerator cabinet surrounds:

Refrigerator Cabinet Surround

Determining the Size of the Plywood Panels

When it comes to the height of the panels, there are three standard options to choose from: 84", 90", and 96". It's important to consider the height of your refrigerator, the height of your "over the fridge" wall cabinet, and the height of your ceiling. You don't want the panel to be too tall and potentially damage the ceiling. For a cabinet that extends to the ceiling, a height of 95" is recommended. Any gaps can be covered with crown molding later.

As for the depth, measure the fridge to the doors, allowing enough space for the doors to swing freely. Add an additional inch to accommodate back cleats and secure the panel to the wall. A depth of 30" is commonly used.

Preparing the Plywood Panels

Cut the plywood panels using a tablesaw or track saw, ensuring a straight and clean cut. Inspect the plywood to determine the front and exposed sides (best sides) and mark them accordingly.

To attach the panel to the floor, drill a pocket hole on the inside bottom. The front edges of the plywood need to be finished as well. Iron on edge banding to the front edge and trim it down using an edge bander tool or a knife. Lightly sand the edge banding to remove any sharp edges.

Finishing the Panels

To match your cabinetry's paint color and sheen, choose a color that closely matches your existing cabinets. Lightly sand the panels with 150 grit sandpaper, followed by a light sanding with 220 sandpaper. Use a soft-bristled brush on a vacuum to remove any sanding residue.

Apply primer to the panels and allow it to dry. Then, apply paint and let it dry before lightly sanding with 220-grit sandpaper. Apply additional coats as needed to achieve the desired finish.

Building the Refrigerator Surround

Cut 1x4s to match the width of your "over the fridge" cabinet, which is typically 30" or 36". Drill two pocket holes on each end of the 1x4s. Attach them to the back of the side panels using 1-1/4" pocket hole screws, ensuring that the pocket holes are on the back. Position the cabinet away from any electrical or plumbing.

Building the Refrigerator Surround

Adding the Over the Fridge Cabinet

Now that the panels are secured to the back cleats, it's time to add the "over the fridge" cabinet to the top front.

Adding the Over the Fridge Cabinet

Clamp the cabinet in place at the desired installation location, allowing space for crown molding at the top. Screw from the inside of the cabinet to the plywood panels, using 1-1/4" pocket hole screws. It is recommended to use at least four screws per side.

If you have a face frame on your "over the fridge" cabinet, you may need to fill in the overhang with shims.

Face Frame with Shims

Installing the Refrigerator Surround Cabinet

With the cabinet construction complete, it's time to install it in your kitchen.

Installing the Refrigerator Surround Cabinet

Screw the cabinet to the neighboring cabinet using appropriate-length cabinet screws. Adjust the cabinet for levelness and secure it to the wall studs by screwing through the back cleats. Additionally, attach the panels to the floor using the pocket holes drilled at the beginning.

Please note that if your flooring is floating, install it around the cabinets and finish the base with quarter round molding. Add a touch of elegance to the top by installing crown molding.

Refrigerator Surround Cabinet Complete

By following this tutorial, you can create a beautiful built-in look for your refrigerator while adding a personalized touch. Feel free to customize the project according to your preferences and share your success by adding a brag post. We hope you find this guide helpful in your refrigerator cabinet surround project!