Does your circuit breaker box look weird where it’s installed? Do you want to know how to hide a circuit breaker box safely but still keep it accessible?
If you don’t like the look of your breaker box as it is, wall mounted decorative electrical panel box covers might be for you. Yes, there are numerous creative ways to cover electrical panel, and a painting is one of the best ways to hide electrical panel while keeping it accessible.
Table of Contents
- Tools You Need
- Step-By-Step Guide on How to Hide Your Breaker Box with an Image
- Other Innovative Ways of Hiding a Breaker Box
- Is It Illegal to Hide the Breaker
Tools You Need
- A lovely painting to cover your circuit breaker box.
- This portrait requires a strong frame larger than the size of your box cover. You can use a customized illustration or any design that will add a nice touch to your space. You can also use your own art and creativity to make something that will cover the panel box.
- Two or more hinges to let your portrait act as a door to cover your panel box.
- Screwdriver for assembling the cover with hinges.
- Hand drill for making a hole in your wall where you need to attach your cover.
- Magnets and double-sided tape or a cabinet door latch to keep the cover closed.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Hide Your Breaker Box with an Image
If your breaker panel is in your living room, it is good to make an artwork cover for it. It will surely bring better aesthetics to the area while keeping the panel accessible. To cover a breaker box using a painting, follow these steps.
Step 1. Install the Hinges on Your Chosen Artwork
Install the hinges on the side of your painting with your screwdriver. If your chosen art piece has heavy or oversized frames, you can use larger hinges with three holes or consider adding more hinges. Install the two hinges at your desired positions.
However, I always recommend to my client that the positions of the hinges should enable the cover to open in the same direction as that of the breaker panel. This is to avoid confusion in the event of an emergency.
Step 2. Attach the Cover to the Wall Where Your Panel Box is Located
Temporarily attach the cover to the wall, then mark the hinge holes for drilling into the proper position. After that, put down the painting and begin drilling the holes. Once done, screw the cover in place.
Pro Tip: Before installing additional hinges, always install the top and bottom hinges and secure them to the wall. This will assist you in perfectly aligning your cover, ensuring that it opens and closes smoothly.
Step 3. Install a Securing Lock
Add a secure lock to prevent your cover from inadvertently opening. You can use magnets and double-sided tape to secure the cover to the wall. Alternatively, you can use a cabinet door latch if you prefer.
Other Innovative Ways of Hiding a Breaker Box
Aside from the painting cover, there are many ideas for hiding the breaker box. Some of these breaker box cover ideas are:
1. Photo Frame
If you don’t want to use a painting for the cover of your breaker panel, you can use a family photo instead. You can include any photograph of your family, both old and new. Using this picture frame as your cover shows your visitor how happy your family is.
2. Mirror Board
If you enjoy having mirrors in your area to give the feeling of a bigger space, installing a mirror as your cover panel will be ideal for you. You can use the mirror to make a cover for your breaker panel by following the steps outlined above. However, you may need to build a sturdy frame to protect your mirror from damage.
3. Note Board or Message Board
If your breaker box is in your hallway, you might prefer to make a message board cover for your sticky notes rather than storing them on your refrigerator. As everyone in your house walks down the hallway, they will undoubtedly read your messages.
Perhaps many of us have a breaker panel installed in our basements, right? Most of us use the basement as a tool storage area in our house. In this case, you can use a pegboard to cover your breaker panel. To keep your pegboard useful, hang some of your hardware or cleaning tools on it.
You can watch this video by ChickFix USA, in which she shows you how to make a cover to hide your breaker box in a creative and useful way.
Aside from the ideas to cover the electrical panel box presented above, you can create your own personalized design to hide circuit breaker panel, such as a cabinet.
However, whatever circuit breaker ideas you may come up with, you always have to ensure that you have ample space around your circuit breaker panel. That’s because when you have to maintain or repair your panel or need to have some additional wiring installed, you don’t want something to impede your freedom of movement.
Furthermore, you must ensure that whatever you place on your panel doesn’t violate any safety standards based on your local electrical code.
Is It Illegal to Hide the Breaker
Making a cover for your breaker box is not always illegal, though it’s possible to do the task the wrong way. The unlawful part of hiding your breaker box is installing too many obstacles in front of your panel. Furthermore, most home electrical inspectors believe that concealing a breaker box violates the home electrical code.
The reason for this is that in case of an emergency, first responders might have difficulty finding your breaker panel, thus delaying rescue. Additionally, your insurance company might refuse to cover the damage due to negligence.
That’s why before concealing your breaker panel, you should first check the electrical codes in your area or consult a local electrical inspector.
Furthermore, you must consider the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) minimum clearance requirements of 3 feet of space and 6.5 feet of headroom. This clearance will provide you with a safe working environment in which you can move around freely.
Remember that having a visible breaker box is a good idea, primarily if an emergency occurs at your home. It is also advantageous for the fire department to be able to locate the panel quickly.
We hope you learned how to hide a circuit breaker box in a creative way. The above ideas for designing a cover for your breaker box will assist you in concealing your panel while still making it easily accessible.
However, before starting on your breaker panel cover project, you should also know the drawbacks of concealing your circuit breaker box.
So, do you think your breaker box needs one of these covers, or do you have another idea that meets local electrical standards? Do you have great circuit breaker cover ideas? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
I am Andrew Wright. I established this blog after eight years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining electrical power systems. I love my job, and I have always wanted to offer others the necessary help so they can take care of their houses.