Quickly create professional-looking painted switch plates using the simple step-by-step instructions below. So when you're ready to update your decor, you can easily give your wall switch plates a fresh new look.
Whether you are wanting switch plates to match your wall color, looking to add bold color accents, or are simply searching for an affordable way to freshen up ugly, dingy switchplates, this fun, quick project is a great way to add style and color to your home.
Next: Buying Switch Plates vs. Painting Switch Plates
Should You Buy New Plates or Repaint Current Ones?
Previously painted cover plates may be used as long as they were prepared properly the first time they were painted. Switchplates that have been painted too many times tend to have a thick, lumpy look, so it may be best to buy new ones in this situation. Also, lightswitch plates that were painted while still on the wall (perhaps because a painter didn't bother to remove them) will never have a clean crisp edge again. Best to start fresh in this situation.
Choosing the Right Switch Plates:
You can use metal, plastic, wood, mirrored glass or ceramic wall plates, however the best adhesion will be to metal. We recommend starting with these paintable Metal White Switch Plates.
Primer paint (we use Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultracover Primer)
Wall paint or spray paint in desired color
Clean work surface covered with wax paper or plastic wrap
For an elegant finishing touch, easily change the color of light switch plates without replacing them. So in just a few quick steps you can have beautiful new-looking switch plates coordinated to match your wall treatments. It's as easy as 1-2-3!
Step 1: Apply Primer
Remove switchplates from the wall and lay on a clean surface such as a piece of cardboard, plastic wrap or wax paper. If necessary, tape to the surface to prevent rolling or shifting. (Avoid newsprint and paper towels as they tend to stick to the paint.) Make sure switch plate is clean and free of grease. If using spray primer, spray in well-ventilated area per instructions and allow to dry. Don't forget to paint the screws as well. Push screws into a piece of cardboard to hold them upright and protect the threads from being coated with paint.
Step 2: Apply Paint
When primed plate is dry, brush or spray paint with new color. If a second coat is needed, make sure paint is thoroughly dry. Wall paint may take a day to dry. If undercoat isn't completely dry, paint may peel off in the future.
Step 3: Apply Finishing Coat
Finishing Steps for Painting Switchplates or Outlet Covers You'll want to seal your wall plates with a clear, durable protective finish such as Varathane or liquid varnish.
The switches and electrical sockets can also be painted to match the plates.
A good time to do this is when the plates are already off the wall. Be sure the power to the devices has been shut off at the circuit panel before attempting to paint them. If painting receptacles, put a small piece of cardboard or folded up paper in each opening to prevent paint from going inside the device. (See photo.) Lightly brush or spritz the device with paint then seal when completely dry.
If you don't want to paint your electrical devices, find a color that is close to your paint and coordinate them. Shop colored electrical devices here.
Don't Want to Paint Your Outlets or Switches? Shop for switch plates in 17 different finishes. You're sure to find the color you need to coordinate with your home decor.
Article copyright Kyle Switch Plates 2011. If you enjoyed this article, please do not copy it but instead link to it. Thank you, Kyle