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Yellow Peeling Paint by parée:

Painting Behind the Fridge

Make the invisible important.

Kevin Jackson
Jun 18, 2014 · 2 min read

A few years ago we decided that our kitchen was pretty boring, very outdated, and badly in need of a paint job.

After painting most of the kitchen I had reached the spot that our refrigerator covers. I pulled the fridge away from the wall and I was shocked by what I saw. The house had come with an old refrigerator that probably hadn’t been moved in years, and I wasn’t around when the the new one had been installed — so this was the first time I had actually seen the area in back of the fridge. In some places paint was cracking off the wall. In others the plaster had been broken off to run some electrical wire, but never patched up, exposing large chunks of wooden lathe behind the wall. Saying that it was a mess would be an understatement.

I painted the area that would be exposed around the fridge, but now I had a choice to make. What to do about this spot behind the fridge that lurked in the dark recesses of my kitchen? I could have easily packed up my gear and called it a night like so many obviously had. If I did, who would know? How many times would people actually look behind my refrigerator when the come to my house? What difference would it make to the rest of the room?

Instead of stopping I kept on painting. If only for my own satisfaction. Making sure that it was done correctly was important to me. Making it right, even if no one would see the work I had put into it.

The details that no one will ever see are often the ones that make the things we create successful. One of these days someone is going to pull the fridge away from the wall. Will they like what they see?

Update: Kyle Fiedler posted a belated, thoughtful response to this article.

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