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Old 11-05-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


I have painted a room in our basement a very, very dark red. It is a large room with 3 'areas' - one with a pool table, one with a bar, and one with a game table/book shelves.
I am wondering what to do about all of the outlets, light switches, and wall heat vent or return covers. The inside part of the electrical outlets and the actual switch in the lightswitch is white.

I am painting the trim Benjamin Moore Pompeii.

I would appreciate any advice!!

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


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Originally Posted by AllBoys View Post
I have painted a room in our basement a very, very dark red. It is a large room with 3 'areas' - one with a pool table, one with a bar, and one with a game table/book shelves.
I am wondering what to do about all of the outlets, light switches, and wall heat vent or return covers. The inside part of the electrical outlets and the actual switch in the lightswitch is white.

I am painting the trim Benjamin Moore Pompeii.

I would appreciate any advice!!
I'm wondering just what it is you are asking?
I usually remove them, cut around the openings and reinstall the things. You can paint over the covers if you want but I wouldn't recommend it on the switches and outlets.

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


Sorry, I should have been more clear. The outlet covers and light switches are all white and they really stand out because the red paint is so dark.

I have been looking through magazines and looking online to see what others do about this but it seems when taking pictures they are very careful to not have outlets or switches showing.

I was just wondering if I should leave them white and hope they look so bad because I am worrying about it or should I try painting them, which I think might look worse?
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #4
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


Switch covers are cheap--I'd paint them-(before installing)-if that fails just buy more----

Metal cover will hold the paint better than plastic---

Black is a standard color and might look good on the dark red.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:08 PM   #5
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


Decorators often have me paint the plates. Make sure they are clean, and paint off. Leave the actual switch or plug. Paint will just chip off those quickly.
If the paint you have is a flat- I would either get a qt of it in a satin or semi, or after painting use a clear acrylic coat to make a washable surface. The clear can be from a spray can or brushed.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


A lot of the electrical device manufacturers have a "designer" line with a wide range of colors. You might have to special order them, but a matched color would look best. The colors made by Lutron are at the bottom of this link:

http://www.lutron.com/Products/Stand.../Designer.aspx
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:53 AM   #7
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


Depends on what color the trim is. If it is white, I would leave the plates white also. I hate decorators that think they should be painted, looks cheap to me, like you were just to lazy to take em off.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:45 AM   #8
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


I've painted receptacle covers many, many times, for a variety of reasons. Faux decorators especially like to treat them with their finish. Sometimes painting them with the wall color looks good, sometimes leaving them white looks better, as Chrisn says, they provide an accent, especially with blue. As to painting the receptacle itself, the only time I do that is if they are previously painted, then it's a must, or if the customer requests, which has happened. Multiple coats with a dry brush will cover the receptacle without interfering with function. I would prime them with a latex bonding primer first, and I spray covers with Cover Stain.
Jupe Blue, I looked at your link. I don't think that's practical, IMO, unless you have $$$$$$$$. Installing custom color receptacles, at significant expense, would require another expense when the room is repainted. Or, the previously custom receptacle could just be painted with the new color. Painting them with the wall color to start is the most practical, cost effective way to go, and you have the exact color match as well, as opposed to a close, but not exact match. I can't see them as a wave of the future for residential, but maybe for commercial.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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I've never been a fan of painted switches and outlets because most painters just roll over them while painting the walls and that just looks horrible. But it is easy to spray paint them with the newer plastic coating spray paints and they look fine with no brush marks and excellent adhesion sans abuse. Sand and prime them first if you are using the wall paint which is also acceptable, cover the contacts so paint doesn't get on them and don't spray too much on at once to prevent drips. They'll look and be fine with the exact color you want.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


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I've never been a fan of painted switches and outlets because most painters just roll over them while painting the walls and that just looks horrible. But it is easy to spray paint them with the newer plastic coating spray paints and they look fine with no brush marks and excellent adhesion sans abuse. Sand and prime them first if you are using the wall paint which is also acceptable, cover the contacts so paint doesn't get on them and don't spray too much on at once to prevent drips. They'll look and be fine with the exact color you want.

I would argue that point

MOST professional painters would remove them first
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


I never roll over coverplates. No painters I know do. Never!

If you must paint plastic/outlets/coverplates, etc. Krylon Fusion comes in many colors but only in rattle cans. It is made for painting plastic and holds up well. You will scratch it off plugging things into the outlets though.

And just my opinion I suppose? A red coverplate and outlet, or furnance vent, that is markedly different in hue than your wall red is going to look as goofy or worse than a white or black one.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:54 PM   #12
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


I haven't seen a reply with a plan from OP yet---- so what color is the trim in the room? As stated above, the plates/switches/etc., loo good to me in white if matching the trim...
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:19 AM   #13
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


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I would argue that point

MOST professional painters would remove them first

I apologize to the real professionals out there. I've seen a lot of hack work, especially in apartment rentals, with poor cutting, bad trim work, splatter on door handles and painted hinges. I'm currently working on such a project now where they did change the outlets and covers but painted everything, and I mean EVERYTHING including the ceilings, green to match the ivory, semi-gloss to boot. But you are right. Real professionals take the outlet covers off.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #14
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Outlet Covers/Light Switches


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Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
I would argue that point

MOST professional painters would remove them first

I apologize to the real professionals out there. I've seen a lot of hack work, especially in apartment rentals, with poor cutting, bad trim work, splatter on door handles and painted hinges. I'm currently working on such a project now where they did change the outlets and covers but painted everything, and I mean EVERYTHING including the ceilings, green to match the ivory, semi-gloss to boot. But you are right. Real professionals take the outlet covers off.

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