How to Hide an Electrical Panel in a Finished Basement!

2 Materials
$20
1 Hour
Easy

Some electrical panels are perfectly fine hidden behind a metal door but when we finished our basement and had to increase the size of our the panel even more to accommodate the electrical needs for my craft room and the mancave, it looked horrendous.

Here are a few pictures of the 'before':
The electrical panel ended up in Hub's mancave and he claimed responsibility for making it presentable. With the drywall installed however, there was still a large gaping hole - ugh!
After my craft room was complete, hubs couldn't wait to move his furniture into his mancave and put up a little decor so he could start enjoying his space too. Hiding the electrical panel fell by the wayside for what seemed like ages. Below you can see the electrical panel in the corner, detracting from the beauty of the space as hubs is installing an airplane propeller on the soffit over the entryway to the mancave.
Hubs did such a phenomenal job framing and dry walling that it was a shame to leave the panel exposed; I really couldn't appreciate all his hard work when a big piece of the room was left unfinished. I wasn't sure how he would execute a finished look, but before the Christmas holidays, I thought I'd surprise him with some artwork until he was ready to come up with a final solution to frame it out.
If you follow our blog, you know we love our Beetle (it's even featured on a bank of storage drawers in my craft studio as you'll see later)! This is what I had in mind for his mancave to cover the panel: it's a graphic of a Beetle that's made up of the names of the Beetle in different languages around the world. If you look closely, you can also see in red the phrase "I do not like them in a car". That happens to be one of hubs' favourite phrases from Dr. Seuss (and his e-mail signoff), so I had to include it! However, in the end, he ixnayed my idea :(
Hubs REALLY wanted to put his own stamp on the electrical panel, since it was in his space, so I ended up turning the Beetle graphic into a long sleeved T-shirt for him instead (which he loved):
Anyway, after Christmas, Hubs finally got around to framing the panel with aluminum channel he bought at a specialty metal shop. He drilled holes through the back of the channel, then screwed it into the wood frame with the thinnest screw head he could find so the poster board cover wouldn't catch on the screws when it slides in and out.
The gaping hole went from this:
....to this, but only temporarily. I think he was tired of hearing me comment on how it looked every time I passed through to get to my craft studio. So he slid some foam core into the channel; he found posters for two of the three panels. It's only a interim solution until he decides what he really wants to display there.
Once the final artwork is in place, he'll close off the end with another piece of aluminum channel. The beauty of it is that it's easily removable for easy access if we ever need to get into the electrical panel.

In retrospect, there are two things I would change. I wish hubs was able to center the framing over the sofa; we'll just have to add more artwork to balance it out. Also, if I knew what hub's plans were for the metal channel, I would have suggested a double channel so the panels could slide to the side without being removed completely. Two things to think about it when you're planning your own basement space! However, we won't have to access it very often, if at all, and he's happy with the functionality and practicality of it. I'm just happy that I don't have to look at the wire monster anymore!

I've been wanting to reveal the mancave for weeks but because the electrical panel is still unfinished, it thwarted my plans. Hopefully hubs will decide on what exactly he wants to display in front of the panel, but for now, here's a glimpse of how the electrical panel could look with one of our pictures from a holiday in Niagara Falls. I think the greens and blues are a nice accent to his burgundy La-Z-Boy leather sofa! But if I know Hubs, he'll just say that water and electricity don't mix :)
Next week, I'll be showing you how to make the pipe leg side table shown below. Hubs just finished the top for it!
The electrical panel makeover is one more thing to (almost) check off our list as we complete our basement reno! In the meantime, I've been enjoying my new craft studio (which is also in the basement) and I've been putting it to good use!

Here are just a few of the crafts I've done since launching the new Craft Rehab section of my website, Birdz of a Feather, in January. Stop by to check it out at the link below!
You'll find my most recent creation at Birdz of a Feather ~ Craft Rehab as well: the soda bottle vertical garden. Here's a sneak peak of the project, followed by the video:
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Suggested materials:

  • Metal channel  (Speciality store)
  • Screws  (Big box store)

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Jewellmartin
    on May 20, 2017

    Since the electrical boxes are "in the corner in the back in the dark", as my mother-in-law would say, if the power went out, then I hope you keep a charged LED flashlight nearby but easy to find. I wondered if you had considered this suggestion? Buy an old school map in an appropriate width, on a roller, so it could be pulled down or let up. Buy two maps to get closer to that sofa-centered wall. You'll probably have to go online to find some sources, but so many schools have done away with their own maps, as well as The Periodic Table of Elements, and other roller resources since the old ones are outdated. Many are covered with a shiny surface that you can clean once, before they are hung, and only dusted as needed. Best wishes!
    • Birdz of a Feather
      on May 24, 2017

      Great minds think alike Jewell! My husband found this incredible product for the basement that stays plugged into the wall and it illuminates when the lights go out (see pictures) so you can grab it right off it's holder and then use it as a flashlight. It's always accessible and easy on energy. We have 3 of them strategically placed around the basement just in case of a power out.

      As for the artwork, it did cross my mind but my husband wants something more unexpected han a map; I'll post an update if he ever decides

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