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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Painting Switches?

    Is it possible to safely paint a light switch or outlet? We have a freshly painted room and will be buying decorative cover plates. The existing switches/outlets are the standard off-white color.
    I would obviously be cutting the power while attempting this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    Well, you "can"........ But, I sure would not recommended it.

    I think you would be better off to change them out to a color that is available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    Quote Originally Posted by NEC View Post
    Well, you "can"........ But, I sure would not recommended it.

    I think you would be better off to change them out to a color that is available.
    Ditto

    Besides ----- the paint will wear off and those switches will look ratty.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,078

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    A painted switch will look like poop. Better to change it out to a more suitable color. White and almond are readily available everywhere, a few other colors are available at an electrical supplier.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    there are some outlets that are painted on purpose with diferent scenes on them. they are fine. they are usually painted with special paints that have good adhesion to the plastic outlet and coverplate. painting them yourself with standard paints probally not a good idea though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    Quote Originally Posted by NEC View Post
    Well, you "can"........ But, I sure would not recommended it.

    I think you would be better off to change them out to a color that is available.
    Even those dreaded "big boxes" carry about six colors of basic switches & outlets.
    Well, that is what I have been told.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    The big boxes do carry those basic colors. If you need something a bit more exotic then take the time to remove the switch and tape it off. Then use a plastic spray paint. These paints are designed to adhere to plastics and do a pretty good job. I've used a white plastic spray paint to paint over old bathroom ceiling fan ceiling covers (of course taking the vent covers down to do it) as well as a few other things. I haven't had problems with adhesion.

    Frankly, I'd just get new switches unless you can't find a matching color.

    Don't use traditional paint, it will wear off and look terrible after possibly just a few months. If nothing else a plain white switch looks pretty attractive in most boxes.
    -Matt

    PS I am biased, but I don't like the look of 'matching' switch plates or outlet covers, plain white for me thank you very much. White covers and white trim work just about everywhere.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Painting Switches?

    Thanks for the input everybody. I would keep the existing switches/outlets but about half are white, the other half almond color, and all have been dripped on accidentally while painting. The plates themselves are a hodgepodge of white, almond and brass from previous owners and color schemes. Right now I plan on ****** ordering nice rust-patina plates to unify everything and replace the electrical stuff with the traditional dark brown.

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