Camoflaging electrical box
July 24, 2016 5:00 PM   Subscribe

We have a spot on our wall where a doorbell used to be mounted. We no longer have the doorbell, but the electrical box is still there and the wires are still in place. I currently have it covered with a painted blank plate but I'm wondering if there are any other creative ways we could cover this and make it less conspicuous.

I believe that it would be against code to actually patch the drywall here since there are still wires in the box. And also I don't want to completely eliminate the option of putting in a new door bell in the future, so even if it were allowed it's probably not a great option.

I'd just like to make this thing blend in a little better. I think a plate like I have is pretty much the standard solution, but I'm hoping someone will have another bright idea.
posted by primethyme to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
 
Hang a picture in front of it.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:05 PM on July 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Disconnect the doorbell transformer from the electrical panel, and label it. Cap the loose wires in the wall woth wire nuts. Measure the location of the box from some reference point, and write down the location somewhere where it won't get lost, such as on the doorbell transformer label. Patch the drywall. If someday you want a doorbell there again, just cut open the wall at the specified location and reconnect the transformer. No problem.

This is overkill as far as safety, by the way. Doorbells are low-voltage items, hence the transformer. You could probably just do nothing, stuff the wires into the wall, patch over it, and forget about it. But if you disconnect the supply and nut off the wires, you're golden. It's perfectly fine to have dead, capped-off wires in the wall, even regular mains-voltage ones. An old doorbell wire is nothing.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:20 PM on July 24, 2016


The wires in the box are low-voltage wires and you probably don't even need a box there, actually. It should be perfectly legit to patch the drywall if that is what floats your aquatic vessel.
posted by kindall at 5:20 PM on July 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The previous owners of my current house had the brilliant idea of hanging a chalkboard over a conspicuous electrical panel. Would that work in this situation? Doorbells are often hung high on the wall in my experience.
posted by novelgazer at 6:08 PM on July 24, 2016


Response by poster: Yes, it is high enough on the wall that a picture would be tricky. In fact, one of the reasons it's noticeable is that there is a (not shown in the photo I posted) picture which hangs just below it and the plate looks like an "outgrowth" of the top of the frame. If I moved the picture up high enough to cover it, it would look far too high, and a picture big enough to cover it without looking too high would be comically large for the room.
posted by primethyme at 6:17 PM on July 24, 2016


Put metal paint on the plate. Use magnets to "hang" a small basket with fake drooping flower cascades or a fake spider plant.
posted by tilde at 8:26 PM on July 24, 2016


I have solved a similar problem by attaching a long, wide ribbon above the plate, so it hangs down behind the picture and looks as though the picture is hanging on the ribbon. Or hang two or three smallish pictures in a column, with or without the ribbon behind. I couldn't find any images of what I mean so hope you can see it in your head.
posted by evilmomlady at 4:06 AM on July 25, 2016


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