Monochromatic stainless steel refers to the silver painted handles and trim of certain stainless steel appliances. Because the entire appliance is silver, it is considered to be monochromatic or of one color. Therefore, monochromatic stainless steel should be considered more of a design than an actual type of stainless steel. In normal stainless steel appliances, the trim and handles are black instead of silver.
Some monochromatic stainless steel appliances, namely refrigerators, have a finish over their steel portions in addition to their silver painted trim and handles. Kenmore and Kitchen-Aid are some companies that are offering refrigerators that have a magnetic vinyl coating which helps to eliminate fingerprints and other smudges while allowing the fridge to hold magnets, something stainless steel appliances cannot do.
Unfortunately, monochromatic stainless steel refrigerators that have a vinyl covering cannot be maintained as easily as regular stainless steel. Scratches can be buffed out with fine-toothed sandpaper on regular stainless steel; however, this same process would take off more of the vinyl and ruin the overall look of a coated monochromatic stainless steel fridge. That being said, monochromatic stainless steel appliances are generally less expensive than regular stainless steel. As of September 2014, The Home Depot offers numerous stainless steel fridges ranging from $1,000 to roughly $2,000 dollars depending on the design.