Improving aesthetics of breaker box in furnished rental

5 Replies

My newest furnished rental has a breaker box in the kitchen that I would like to hide or at least make less noticeable. It's about 38 inches tall and 18 inches wide, so it sticks out. Has anyone ran into this situation or has an idea on how to "hide" the box? 

You can install a large junction box in the attic and run a feeder cable to a new location or on the outside of the wall and your wiring should just transfer from one box to the other using the proper connectors. This way your distribution box will be located on the outside of the kitchen. If being near a window is a concern you can always splice your wiring inside the new junction box and run new wires to the new distribution box location to connect to new circuit bresakers. There really are no simple short cuts in accomplishing this task.

I like the cabinet idea and will try that if I cannot find a piece of art to cover it. Thanks!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional electrician.

If you have to get it inspected, the inspector may not like hanging a painting or poster over it.  Sometimes people need to get in there in a hurry to shut off a breaker.

If it isn't already painted to match the walls, doing that would help a little.  I would take the whole front off of the breaker box to paint it, but you can't do that if the place is occupied.  Clean it first with Windex, 409, or equal to get any kitchen grease off of it - if it's still installed, spray the cleaner on a rag and then wipe the rag on the metal.  Maybe sand it very lightly with something like 220 grit sandpaper, and wipe down.  Open the door and mask off the "well" where the breakers are, or at least run a strip of masking tape around the edges of the well - you're trying to not paint the door shut, or end up with a blob of paint around the edge of the well that makes the door not shut.  If the door latch has to slide to open the door, either mask it, or see if you can take it off.  Then, paint it with regular latex paint.  Wipe up any drips that get onto the back side of the door.

I have seen at the store, but not used, "chalkboard paint" - it's supposed to make a surface you can write on with chalk.  Maybe paint it with that, put a little piece of wood molding underneath it to hold bits of chalk (but be careful of drilling into the wires), and sell it as a spot for family messages or a grocery list.

Depending on where it is in the kitchen, maybe get some cute refrigerator magnets from the dollar store and sell it as a good place to display the kids' artwork.  :)

IF you try the cabinet door, or if a mirror would look good there put hinges on the outside edge so it swings open easily, aka quickly for breaker access .  If it is outside the surface of the wall build a window box out first. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you