Super Switch and Outlet Update for (Almost!) Free

3 Materials
$2
1 Hours
Easy

After I successfully changed out the combo outlet/switch in my master bath, (link posted below) I was left with a bit of a dilemma: My new outlet didn’t match the old ones!
super switch and outlet update for almost free, Mismatched and not attractive
Mismatched and not attractive!
Since the old ones were an outdated (and dare I say UGLY!) dark brown, I decided to change their color, even though there were more brown than ivory ones.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
I neither desired nor needed to replace all the switches and outlets in my bathroom, so it was with a light heart that I headed to Home Depot on my way home from work one day.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
I picked up a can of my latest favorite spray paint, Rust-Oleum 2x paint and primer in Navajo White. Since I hadn't thought to take the lighter cover with me, I just went to the same store where I had purchased it and used one of their switch covers to match the paint. I would have thought Almond was the proper color, but ended up getting the Navajo after comparing them in the store. If it turned out to be a little off, I figured that I could always paint the new cover and switch with the Navajo White.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
After removing the switch and outlet covers, I sprayed them with my homemade citrus oil and vinegar spray, then let them sit in my sink for a few minutes. Then I washed them with dish soap and water, and dried them before bringing them outside to paint.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
I placed them, including the screws, on the top of a paper box lid and sprayed even, thin coats.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
I let them dry between coats and sprayed again a few times until they had a nice, even coverage. Then I let them dry overnight. (Ok, for a few nights! Don't tell anyone, but I procrastinate a lot!)
super switch and outlet update for almost free, The materials I used inside
The materials I used inside.
super switch and outlet update for almost free, Prepping the outlets
Prepping the outlets)
The next step was to make a cone and spray the outlet and switches inside my bathroom. I used a Q-tip and put lotion over that little light in the top corner so the paint wouldn't cover it.
super switch and outlet update for almost free, Masking off the switches
Masking off the switches.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
Really, there wasn't much to spray here!
super switch and outlet update for almost free
I gave them a light coat of paint and allowed to dry between coats. It takes longer to dry inside than it did outside.
super switch and outlet update for almost free
A close-up of the reason for the paper cones! They catch the over-spray and bad aim. Whomever installed this outlet definitely wasn't left-handed! It's a really tight corner, and probably not up to code. When I was replacing the cover, I dropped one of the painted screws into the abyss between the vanity and wall. I switched it out with the light switches, because they have 4 holes, plus it will be easier to replace than this one.
super switch and outlet update for almost free, Quite a difference in colors
Quite a difference in colors!
super switch and outlet update for almost free
Once everything was dry, it was time to reassemble everything. Ta Da! They match really well.
I estimated the cost as $2, but that really depends on whether or not you have the right color paint on hand. It cost about $4 for a can, but as you can see, It didn't take much paint to cover the plate covers and switches. I honestly don't know how long it took, because I did it over a few days, but if you alternated spraying outside to spraying inside, it'd probably take less than an hour. However, I would suggest starting in the morning so the fumes can vent adequately if you're spraying in your bedroom.

Suggested materials:

  • Rust-Oleum 2X paint and primer, Navajo White  (Lowe's)
  • Masking tape  (had on hand)
  • Used sheet of printer paper  (had on hand)

To see more: https://www.hometalk.com/35943103/easy-outlet-update?cid=5890110#c-5890110

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Ray Devore
    on May 30, 2018

    Your pictures confuse me. In one set of pictures (when you talk about painting), there is a double outlet with a rectangular hole in the cover. In the before and after pictures, there is a switch and an outlet with two oval holes in the cover. Which is the real deal?

    • Mon28501184
      on Jun 10, 2018

      really?? you're confused about the outlets? she has several- the whole point is about spray painting & saving money on not having to replace the costly units!

  • Chery
    on Jun 10, 2018

    Please share your reason for your homemade citrus oil and vinegar spray, before dish soap? Just curious...

Join the conversation

4 of 14 comments
  • Ray Devore
    on May 30, 2018

    If you have the knowledge, It would just be as easy to swap out the switches and covers. Less time consuming and probably at near the same cost.

    • Wxw
      on Jun 8, 2018

      Easier if you have the know how. For those that do not, painting is a great backup. Also, keep in mind, colors/ shades of production do not always match. We have changed outlets/switches in this 20yr old house for one reason or another and mfgs make changes. Even from one production to the next can be a different color. With paint, you get what you see and can customize so they fade away. Your eye does not get stopped by this white box in the middle of your custom paint.

  • Wxw
    on Jun 8, 2018

    Glad i am not the only one who is all about details/consistency . . . yes, even when it comes to switch plates, outlets and, let's not forget, registers. Some say i have too much time on my hands, but these details have never kept us from selling a house (five in 13 years), i.e., one day to three wks. Great idea that works!!

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