Your breaker box is important to your home. But sometimes the case that is around your box is ugly and hard to look at. If you are tired of how much of an eyesore the breaker box is, then you may wonder whether you are able to paint the box to make it look a little bit nicer.
There are a few things to consider before getting started to keep you and the electrical currents safe. But with the right paint and a little planning, it is perfectly safe to paint your breaker box. Here’s how to safely get it done.
Can You Paint Your Breaker Box?
Yes, you can paint the breaker box in your home. As long as you keep the paint on the outside of the breaker box and away from the electrical wires. There is no harm in doing this.
Paint around the outside of the box and on the door of it and everything will be fine. This is a great way to help you make the breaker box look a little nicer and blend into the wall if the breaker box happens to be located in an open area of the house.
Since most breaker boxes are a metal color or grey, they just don’t match with pretty much anything around your home. Whether the breaker box is inside or outside of your home, painting it can help make it match the area and no longer be such an eyesore.
Things to Consider Before Painting the Breaker Box
Before you grab some paint and get to work, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. These include:
Your Local Building Codes
The first step to this process is to check in with your local building department. In some areas of the world you may not be allowed to do anything to the box. While in others you might be allowed but you’ll need to file for a permit ahead of time. And that means following certain rules about the type of paint and the colors you can ultimately use to paint your breaker box.
If you are in an HOA or live in multifamily housing, you should also check into these boards in advance.
Many areas will be okay with you painting the electrical box as long as you’re safe and secure with using the paint. But it is always best to check into the local laws ahead of time to make sure that you are on the right side of the law before you get started.
If you are painting the breaker box inside your home, you usually do not need to check your local building department.
Enclosing the Box
If you’re worried about painting the breaker box or are not permitted to paint the panel outside, you can try enclosing the box.
Building an enclosure around the electrical panel is a great way to make the breaker box fade into the background. You do need to check the local rules about this ahead of time. Most building codes will allow this, but they do have specific rules about what materials are allowable if you decide to do this as well as very strict rules about how accessible to panel is.
Accessing the Box
Whether you pain the box or you use an enclosure, you need to make sure you still have full access to the box. You need to paint carefully so you do not get the lid stuck. When you need to reach the box quickly, you do not want the lid to be stuck and hard to open. And if you use an enclosure, you’ll need to forgo the tricky latches and locks around it.
How To Paint Your Electrical Breaker Box
Gather Your Supplies
It is time to take out the paint and the other supplies. You should take some plastic or tape and mask off any electrical connections and meters before you start. Any paint that gets on the wrong part can make the box surface more flammable and can make the whole breaker box malfunction.
Clean The Surface To Be Painted
You can also wipe off the whole surface to keep it clean, but do not use anything like mineral spirits or alcohol that are flammable.
Choose The Paint
When choosing a paint, pick one that is known to last for a long time. This is especially true if the breaker box is located outside.
Clean off the cover of the box a bit and then add a primer that will prevent rust before putting on a topcoat. Then continue with a second coat with the primer or use something like an oil paint or latex. A good option is to go with a paint color that looks good with your home or the room where the breaker box is.
A Safety Note About Using Oil Based Paint on Your Breaker Box
Remember that if you use an oil paint, you should keep any paint solvent or mineral spirits away from that box. This will help prevent anything flammable coming. You are allowed to paint the outside and the inner side of the box door. However, do not paint anything else that is inside the box. It is very dangerous to have the paint get on circuit breakers, housings, and fuses.