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This IKEA Hack Hides an Ugly Electrical Panel

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I hated the electrical panel in my entryway. It was the first thing houseguests would see when they walked into my apartment. Yikes, right? So I tried hanging a framed print over it, but nothing in my home collection worked in that weird spot. I also tried covering it with contact paper, but it made my breaker box even more apparent. During a shopping trip to my local IKEA, inspiration struck. Here's how I concealed the big ugly in my entryway.
Time: 2 Hours Cost: $41 Difficulty: Easy
My electrical panel may be smaller than yours, but in my tiny apartment it stuck out like a freaking sore thumb.
The contact paper idea was a total misfire. See all the wrinkles ? Because of the rounded edges, I couldn't get the paper to lay flat. Also my husband thought the faux wood grain was super tacky.
If you ever been to IKEA or flipped through one of their catalogs, you know the Swedish retailer makes wall mounted cabinets in a bazillion different sizes. So I bought this one from the BRIMNES series to install over my electrical panel.
The IKEA cabinet was a little too deep for my purposes so I cut its depth in half. But here's the thing. Many IKEA items including my new cabinet have a Melamine coating, which is tricky to cut without damaging. You'll find tips for cutting the material without causing chipping or splintering in my original tutorial.

Removing an electrical panel's cover and also drilling around the area when an electrical panel is installed is not allowed in my building without permission from the board. Even then I must hire a licensed electrician to get the job done. I share how I got around those pesky rules in my original post using L brackets.
Ta-da! Behold my new electrical panel cabinet! I covered the glass door with window film (the self sticking stuff.)

Materials I used for this project:

  • Ikea Cabinet $39.99
  • L brackets: $2.00

To see more: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-hide-electrical-panel-4136325

  • Brenda  S.
    Brenda S. North Brunswick, NJ
    on Apr 26, 2017

    LOVE this!!

  • Esther
    Esther France
    on Apr 26, 2017

    Nice !

  • Sophia
    Sophia Louisville, KY
    on Apr 26, 2017

    I know your trying to camouflage it, & I am very much on board with that since I am an apt. dweller too. But... it reminds me of a fire extinguisher box. Sorry, not trying to be harsh. If you love it though, what do I know?

    • Deirdre Sullivan
      Deirdre Sullivan
      on Apr 26, 2017

      No worries, it's cool. The cabinet comes in white too, I just have a thing for red : )

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Apr 26, 2017

    It does look good. With the L brackets holding the cabinet mounted to the electrical panel frame, the cabinet would have to be removed to access the inside of the electrical panel for servicing (changing a bad breaker, adding extra breakers, etc). Now all visitors will be opening the cabinet to see whats inside. I would have found a black and white picture that really would hide the panel.

    • Deirdre Sullivan
      Deirdre Sullivan
      on Apr 26, 2017

      I hear you. I cut the cabinet's depth in half so reaching inside is not a problem. Also, because the panel's door can fully open changing a bad breaker is not impossible. Worse case scenario, removing it all if needed will take like 30 seconds.

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Apr 26, 2017

    Of course the panel's door can fully open, but that is only to reset a breaker. To change a bad breaker the whole front cover needs to be removed which would take more than a few seconds. The screws holding the cabinet to the frame would need to be removed, then the four screws holding the cover to the box would need to be removed. Still it looks good

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!