Disguise Circuit Breaker Box

7 Materials
$7
6 Hours
Medium

I took 9 x 19 feet of my attached garage and expanded my kitchen. In that area was a large breaker box that I needed to camoflage.
The Eye-sore
The Eye-sore
I took measurements of the breaker box and had to also allow for the 1/2 inch difference between the depth of wall and the tile, for what ever I decided to cover it with. The door to the breaker box protruded outwards also. I debated on a canvas print, rustic looking door, bulletin/magnetic board.
Cabinet door drilled incorrectly.
Cabinet door drilled incorrectly.
While installing my cabinet pulls, the contractor drill in the wrong place and had to order 2 new doors. I grabbed one of the doors and it fit perfectly over the breaker box. And the plus side was that the back was recessed, which made up the difference for the breaker box door sticking out. Then it hit me...chalk board!
disguise circuit breaker box
I used a plastic drop cloth and painters tape to cover the frame around the door. Then following the instructions on the Chalk paint can, I sprayed the inside area lightly. I waited 2 hours, did a second light coat, then waited over night and did one more coat.
Painting finished
Painting finished
Door painted. I used wood putty to fill the holes that were drilled incorrectly, let it dry and sanded lightly to even the surface then used touch up crayon that came with my new cabinets to hide hole. Now how to mount. I found information on-line about French cleats and decided that this would be the best option. I had removed the face plate of the breaker box and saw that there were wires feeding in from the top, so definitely had to stay away from the center when mounting hardware. Also, only one stud was in the area I needed to mount. At this point I decided to use the top two holes on the breaker box where bolts held it to wall. I went to Hardware store with the bolts and found that ‘helper hardware man’ to find screws that matched in size-adding length to go through the 1/2 inch MDF that I used for the mounting cleat.
Cabinet door cleat
Cabinet door cleat
I started with 1/2 inch MDF (which made up for the 1/2 inch difference between the wall and tile below) and cut a 1”x16” inch piece. The breaker box was 15 1/2 inches wide, and cabinet door is 17 inches wide. I did a few practice runs on the table saw and found that 35 degree angle looked good. The cut was made 1/3 of the way in so that each piece would have a flat area to screw into wall and cabinet door. (Don’t cut corner to corner).
Once I was happy with that I lightly sanded the cut edges just to knock down the sharpness.
Then I measured the distance between the screw holes on the breaker box and drilled the holes accordingly into the wall cleat and attached it to the breaker box with my new longer screws. I determined the height that I wanted to hang the door, then centered the cabinet cleat to the back of the door and determined where to put screws..these screws were shorter than the wall cleat because my cabinet door was 3/4 inch and cleat was 1/2 inch. Be careful not to drill too deep and go through the other side, like I did on one—if you do, fill hold with wood putty, let dry, sand and use touch up paint/crayon.

Wall Cleat
Wall Cleat
Wall cleat screwed into top 2 holes of breaker box face plate. Be sure to attach with angle going in correct direction
Cabinet door cleat
Cabinet door cleat
Cabinet cleat attached to back of cabinet door. Be sure to attach with angle going in correct direction
Project Completed
Project Completed
So happy with this. It removes quickly and easily should a breaker get tripped. I also purchased a retro match box holder and mounted to left of chalk board. It holds my chalk and eraser. Just love this, so proud of myself!
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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Barbara
    on Aug 9, 2018

    Wonderful solution. Any ideas for covering one in a rental bedroom?

    • Helen
      on Sep 5, 2018

      Why not make a "box" frame to fit it and fit something to it so that it can be removed to check the circuits?

  • EA Quigley
    on Aug 9, 2018

    Have you considered that emergency response teams look for the breaker box in your home, to cut power, in the event of an electrical fire and won't be able to locate it due to a disguise?

  • Shera Hollaman
    on Aug 26, 2018

    Mine is in the hallway and not centered on the wall. Any suggestions?

    • Jewellmartin
      on Sep 4, 2018

      For rentals, I also like strong magnets and Command hooks, hangers and strips. Easily removable and strong, these gadgets are easy to find and not expensive. ☺️

Join the conversation

3 of 75 comments
  • Debbie Paul Child
    on Sep 10, 2018

    That is perfect!! Quick thinking by grabbing that door. I love your kitchen those are the colors I want in mine. I was debating between white or gray cabinets. I believe I will go with the gray.

    • Nancy Weldon McEntire
      on Sep 10, 2018

      I had debated also, but went with gray except for my island, which is a white base with charcoal gray top; ties into the rustic matte black pulls. Good luck on the kitchen I think you’ll love the gray. Google “gray kitchens” and you will see wonderful examples.

  • Debbie Paul Child
    on Sep 11, 2018

    thanks for the heads up on gray kitchens.

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