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Robert Lackey
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.:p

NEC
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.

canuk
Re: Painting Switches?
NEC wrote:

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.

A. Spruce
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.

havanagranite
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.

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Painting Switches?
NEC wrote:

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.:o

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.

Robert Lackey
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 online ordering nice rust-patina plates to unify everything and replace the electrical stuff with the traditional dark brown.

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