How to Choose Switch Plate Covers

Written by kelly gray
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How to Choose Switch Plate Covers
Choose the right switch plate to go with the overall look of the room. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Switch plate covers are as important in a room as the colour of paint on the wall. Covers do not have to be plain. They can be decorative and add a spark of creativity to a room whether the plate cover is ornate, simple or has a touch of whimsy. The key to choosing the right switch plate cover is to find the right size and style to fit the decor of a room.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Unfinished switch plate cover
  • Paint or spray paint
  • Paint brush
  • Stencils

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Look at the light switch to see if it is a single or double switch, and consider the width and length of the switch plate cover. Double switches are often found in kitchens and bathrooms. Measure the size of the switch itself because these can also vary in size and affect the plate cover that is selected. Purchase the correct switch plate for the room.

  2. 2

    Decide what kind of switch plate to purchase. Select from ceramic, metallic, oversized, wooden or plastic switch plate covers depending on the decor of the room. A wooden switch plate cover will look best in a more rustic, less formal type of room while a ceramic plate cover might go better in a bathroom or kitchen. Plastic and oversized plates are better for rooms that are used more often such as a child's or recreation room. Metallic plate covers are a good choice for a formal type of living area or bedroom.

  3. 3

    Sit and look at the room in which the light switch plate will be placed. Choose a copper, embossed or brushed bronze plate cover for a formal living space or a water, pastel, ceramic, white or brushed silver plate for a bathroom (See References 1).

  4. 4

    Pick a child-friendly plate for a child or teenager's room. Select an option such as butterflies, princesses for a girl or a sports theme for a boy. Encourage the child to be a part of the room decoration process, and ask for her input when choosing a switch plate cover.

  5. 5

    Install a decorative switch plate cover with a floral theme or other coloured design. Select the type of plate cover that works best in the room, matching one of the colours in the pattern or design of the switch plate to the room's paint colour or to the soft furnishings or accent pieces in the room.

  6. 6

    Paint a switch plate cover for a completely unique look. Purchase an unfinished plate cover from a craft or hardware store, and paint it by using a spray paint or water-based paint and a paintbrush. Wait for the plate cover to dry, and stencil designs onto the switch plate cover.

    How to Choose Switch Plate Covers
    Spray paint can be a do-it-yourself alternative to a pre-painted switch plate cover. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Ceramic switch plate covers give an elegant look to a room but can break.
  • Oversized switch plate covers can hide imperfections in the wall or problems caused by cutting a large hole in the wall for the switch.

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