I recently replaced a noisy bathroom fan and light fixture. There were two runs with two switches (one for the fan and one for the light on the same fixture). One of the existing runs in the attic was too short to bring into the replacement fixture because the opening was on the opposite side of that which was on the old fixture. I disconnected the run that was too short and put a wire nut on the hot and one on the neutral for good measure. I then simply wired the fixture to operate both the fan and the light with the switch that had a run long enough to make it into the fixture.
I don't like having a switch that does nothing, so I would like to replace the switch with an outlet. My question is, can I connect the hot to the appropriate side of the outlet, then connect the other black wire (which would become hot when the switch was closed) to the neutral side of the outlet? Of course I would connect the black wire which came from the other side of the switch to the neutral in the attic so that it would serve as the neutral. I just want to know if it is acceptable to recolor the black wire white (using electrical tape or paint) on both ends so that it is identified as as the neutral?
Thanks for your help, and I hope I was clear.