Circuit/Breaker Box Cover - AVS Forum
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, I've done a bit of research on the problem I'm having and I can't really find a solution out there. I figure if anyone knows, you would have the info.

Basically my problem is this: Just remodelled kitchen and have an old breaker box with dimensions a little less than 16x22 (the cover anyways). This is no longer functional as everything has been wired through this box as a passthrough and now goes to the garage for the actual fuses and such (was this way when I bought the house). Anyways, it is an eye sore and isn't in good shape as it is.

So is there anything out there made to replace/cover this? I could cut out some drywall and patch it up, but I'm thinking I may at some point need to get behind it so that may not be the most viable option (could be against code as well). If there isn't some decorative piece made for this sole purpose does anyone know of a website where I could just purchase a new cover for it? Putting wallpaper or something like that is out of the question as I painted the kitchen. I could do shelves, but you could still see the metal panel behind it and where it is located is in the path of the door to the garage opening so it wouldn't really be feasible to do that either.

Only thing I can come up with is a semi-large picture frame and even then it would look weird in the corner of the room. Any help? Thanks for the advice!
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Old 06-21-2008, 03:00 PM
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There was a build here a few years back (Clarence) that actually had a DIY back lit poster light box that he hung on the wall hiding the functioning panel box in the rear of his theater.

From what you said a piece of art won't work because of the location. You might want to try some kind of panelized wall treatment that is somewhat removable that covers the entire wall. Post a picture of the wall for more suggestions.
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Old 06-21-2008, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pictures of the situation:





The door opens towards the ciruit panel so nothing too large or obtruse or else the door won't open all the way. A backlit box or something wouldn't look right either as it's in the kitchen in the corner. Thanks again for the input.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:29 PM
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I'd just paint over it,so it kind of hides it self better

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Old 06-21-2008, 05:09 PM
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I second that. Paint it to match the wall color and it will be fine. Easy fix to try first.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, I'll try that, thanks.
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Old 06-22-2008, 02:56 PM
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I hung a picture over mine in the basement. Oops, since it's behind a door, that might not be a good idea.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Ya, that would be the easiest fix, but due to the location I can't really have something too big there and something like a picture may get knocked down whenever family comes and kids slam the door.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:41 PM
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You can't drywall over it if it's a junction for any wiring... that would be against code. I would paint it, but even better... put a wall mount spice rack over top of it. That way it's even more hidden. You should have plenty of clearance behind the door for something like that.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:54 PM
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I think you are either going to have to paint it, or try a poster of sorts, something cheap thats works in the room. If anyone asks, you have good reason for its location, and if it gets broken, replace it with another cheap one and then even try a door stop to keep the door from slamming into it
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:06 PM
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I have the same thing going on in my basement. I am finishing it off and have two boxes (I had to add a sub-panel because my main panel was already full). I had drywall put around the boxes, but the main box does not sit flush with the drywall...the new one does because I mounted it that way on purpose.

What I plan on eventually doing is to cover both of them with a cabinet door. I've seen this done before. It might look a little weird to see a cabinet door on the middle of the wall, but it is a lot cleaner (and more planned) looking than just leaving it.

The only problem I see is that your box is right next to the corner of the room, so you may not be able to mount any hinges on the right side and still be able to open the cabinet door. If you hinge on the left, you may not get very good access to it. It might be do-able, but I guess you'd have to make sure your hinges would work in that situation.

Good Luck!

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Old 06-23-2008, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions! The wife would like some kind of spice rack so that is definately doable, havn't gotten around to painting it yet so I'm not sure what it will look like. My main problem is not only do I want it to look good now, but whenever I sell the house and start to build my own in a few year I want it to look good and since we are remodelling the entire house that definately stands out as an eye sore. Let me know if you guys think of anything else or know of a spice rack stand that I could mount over the area.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:04 AM
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Very awkward location. Paint to match the wall.

Or just leave the door open.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:19 PM
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Bringing back a dead thread here since it popped up on google. I'm in a similar boat of trying to hide a break panel in my new basement. Just had it finished, I figure I'll paint the cover to blend in but since it's pretty much right next to where the couch will be I doubt that will really hide it. Any suggestions on covering but still being accessible?
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:22 AM
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that location is prime for a picture to cover it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:16 PM
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Make sure you sand it and prime it good first. Latex wall paint will typically flake off of a shiny metal finish like those boxes usually have.

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Old 08-15-2009, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vcook View Post

that location is prime for a picture to cover it.

But are there any issues of covering up a breaker box with a painting or picture? I guess if you need to get to it in a hurry knocking off the picture wouldn't be particularly challenging.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:33 PM
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Any enclosures designed for electrical connections or junctions must have a cover designed for that enclosure. Since the box was an old breaker panel, the outer cover should be used. The exception is that if the panel was designed with a door separate from the underlying breaker cover plate, you can simply reuse the cover. However, if the door is attached to a frame that also has the knockouts for the breakers, then a new metal cover must be used or all the holes securely covered with a metal plate. There can be no holes in the cover that allow access to the wiring underneath.

Mounting a spice rack over the panel is acceptable but may be problematic. It must be removable with no tools. If it is fastened in such a way as to require removal using tools of any kind, then the covering decoration is considered a permanent fixture and as such is not legal.

An alternative would be to mount the covering spice rack/artwork as a swinging door on a piano hinge. Whatever is mounted as a cover must not block the panel cover mounting screws.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vili View Post

Here are some pictures of the situation:





The door opens towards the ciruit panel so nothing too large or obtruse or else the door won't open all the way. A backlit box or something wouldn't look right either as it's in the kitchen in the corner. Thanks again for the input.

Go to your local lumber yard and get some 1"x2" strapping and make a 4-sided frame that will cover the area. Buy a piece of luan that will cover the frame and nail it on with brads. Paint it and hang it over the panel and get some artwork to place on it. Or do what I did and attach a piano hinge to one side of it so you can open it up when you need to. Mine was just over 2'x3' so I could place a poster on it.

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:44 AM
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i would rub it down with steel wool/med/fine sandpaper...wipe off with paint thinner- dry, prime/paint to match. you wount even notice it.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:11 PM
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vili View Post

Hey everyone, I've done a bit of research on the problem I'm having and I can't really find a solution out there. I figure if anyone knows, you would have the info.

So is there anything out there made to replace/cover this? I could cut out some drywall and patch it up, but I'm thinking I may at some point need to get behind it so that may not be the most viable option (could be against code as well). If there isn't some decorative piece made for this sole purpose does anyone know of a website where I could just purchase a new cover for it? Putting wallpaper or something like that is out of the question as I painted the kitchen. I could do shelves, but you could still see the metal panel behind it and where it is located is in the path of the door to the garage opening so it wouldn't really be feasible to do that either.

Basically my problem is this: Just remodelled kitchen and have an old circuit breaker box with dimensions a little less than 16x22 (the cover anyways). This is no longer functional as everything has been wired through this box as a passthrough and now goes to the garage for the actual fuses and such (was this way when I bought the house). Anyways, it is an eye sore and isn't in good shape as it is.

Only thing I can come up with is a semi-large picture frame and even then it would look weird in the corner of the room. Any help? Thanks for the advice!

I ended up cutting the drywall out to install the panel even though it may look a bit weird. Utility over design in this case unfortunately. It sounds like you figured it out already just be careful for any existing concealed wires. I'd try and center it between top of header and bottom of the plates where it's next to and above the slider.

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