Electrical panels are not pretty. Their size and shape are dictated by building codes, so there are no better looking or more stylish options. Luckily, a relatively inexpensive cover box can be constructed to hide the unsightly grey box. The cover box is made of wood and surrounds the electrical panel. The box has a hinged cabinet door that covers the panel and latches shut with a magnetic catch.
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Things you need
- 1-inch by 4-inch board, either pine, oak or poplar
- Finishing nail gun
- Cabinet door with hinges
- Magnetic door catch
Select a cabinet door that is large enough to completely cover the electrical panel.
Use the cabinet door as a gauge and cut the 1-inch by 4-inch wood to build a box around the electrical panel. The box must be large enough to go around the perimeter of the electrical panel, yet allow the cabinet door to completely cover it. The wood should be thick enough that it sits higher than the face and cover of the electrical panel. Cut the corners at 45 degree angles for a nice finished look.
Stain or paint the wood as well as the door. You may have to remove the hinges before you paint, then reinstall them after the paint is dry.
Construct the box portion of the cover by nailing the four pieces to the wall with a finishing nail gun. Be very careful that the nails are going into studs, plywood or drywall, not hitting electrical wires.
Install the cabinet door to the box, then install the magnetic catch on the side opposite the hinges.
Tips and warnings
- Electrical panels may be set into the wall at different depths. The important thing to remember is to get wood that is thick enough to sit taller (higher) than the panel and its cover.
- Be extremely careful when attaching anything to the wall, especially around an electrical panel. You do not want to nail or screw too far and hit any wires. Be sure to turn off power to the area before nailing.
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