Painting electrical switch and outlet plates

We are in the process of getting our house painted and would like to paint the electrical plates using the same color as the wall behind it (or baseboard when mounted directly to baseboard).
- What types of plates take paint best? (e.g., metal vs. nylon vs. plastic) - Do they make special plates designed to be paintable or can you use regular plates?
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Jeffrey J. Kosowsky wrote:

I've used plastic plates. (The nylon ones I've tried, flex and cause the paint to crack)
Scuff it lightly with sand paper Prime with a spray primer Paint with the same paint as the wall/baseboard.
Brad
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Jeffrey J. Kosowsky wrote:

It seems painted metal plates would take paint best since they're already painted.
I suggest you turn off the power, take the plates off, tape over the recepticles and paint the plates separately. After the paint has dried, remove the tape and install the plate.. This way, you don't get paint on the recepticles and the plates will later come off without chipping the paint.
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I'll second this recommendation if you're going to paint the plates and recepticles. Think about the next homeowner - wouldn't he rather be able to remove the plates easily and without damaging the walls? Plus, painting them while on the wall can lead to drips and runs.
Enjoy! Squank
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Whatever you do, DON'T ----- (I repeat) **DO NOT** Paint the outlets themselves, or the switches. They only do that in the ghetto. Besides really screwing up the outlets and switches, this is dangerous, not to mention ugly. I was painting NEXT to an outlet once and got too close, I touched the screws on the hot side and got a good snap off the end of my paintbrush along with a little puff of smoke. The wet (latex paint) brush was also touching the grounded box. I learned after that to either shut off the power, or be sure to stay far enough away.
PS. They make clear plates that are made for wallpaper insertions. You could also paint some thick paper and insert it in those things. That way you never touch the paint.
You are aware they make all sorts of colored plates these days. Why not just find something that makes a nice contrast. Yes, they have matchingt outlets too.
Mark
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:50:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@consult.pretender (Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) wrote:

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We are in the process of getting our house painted and would like to

Don't paint switchplates and receptacles. Sorta like painting your bathtub to match the wall....It looks like hell, attracts finger prints, hard to clean, looks cheap, chips, etc etc. Consider buying a readymade switchplate color from the hardware, they have several choices. They are plastic for good reason: impervious, good looking, perfect insulators, easily cleaned.
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Roger wrote:

Consider using the covers designed for wallpaper. The cover is clear plastic and the part next to the wall has a flat surface where a small piece of wall paper can be mounted. Maybe you could use a piece of heavy paper painted with your wall paint.
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If you want outlet plates and switch covers a different covers, then replace them with new ones that are the color you want. Personally, I think painting over switches and receptacles look ugly and should warrant the death penalty.
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If you want outlet plates and switch covers a different covers, then replace them with new ones that are the color you want. Personally, I think painting over switches and receptacles look ugly and should warrant the death penalty.
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:50:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@consult.pretender (Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) wrote:

There are plates available designed to take paint, but I've used Krylon's Fusion paints on plastic plates with great success. If there isn't a close enough color, a neutral cream or white Krylon makes a good base for painting with normal latex paints. Clean/degrease the plates if they're older first.
Jeff
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Jeffrey J. Kosowsky wrote:

Nylon would not accept paint. You can buy wood, as well. Get a suitable primer for what you choose, plus a couple of spares. The box stores have nice little sprayer units, with disposable cans of air, so's you can spray with your own color. Very nice to use. Make a cardboard mask for doing the switch flipper (prior to wall). The nice thing about a white plastic wallplate is that you can throw it away if it chips or gets dirty. Your painted wallplates will likely end up dingy with smudges and stains after a time. We had old, old yellowed plastic switches, and changed out a few. Painted the flipper on others and put in new white plates.
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