Safely paint electrical outlets?

Old 04-06-11, 08:45 AM
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Safely paint electrical outlets?

I know it's not recommended, but can you safely paint electrical outlets? There is positively no extra wire to pull thru in order to put in new outlets. I would have to cut out the drywall and move the outlets up several inches, which I would rather avoid if possible.

I am painting the entire interior of my house and some of the outlets are original (over 30 years old) and have accumalted a lot of smore stains as well as some old paint stains.

Can this be done if I turn off the electricity and light wipe down with a damp cloth and then paint the color which will match the cover plates I plan to use?

Many thanks and I apologize if this is a really stupid/hazardous result bearing question
Old 04-06-11, 01:57 PM
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We remove the wall covers and cover the outlets (only!) with a piece of blue tape. Takes almost no time at all to apply and remove the tape.
Old 04-06-11, 02:49 PM
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I assume it would be best to replace the devices but I have used a spray paint close to the cover color to dress up rough looking devices on rentals or houses for sale. I don't remember if those jobs had power hooked up or not.
Old 04-07-11, 10:34 AM
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I don't know whether this should be done but I can certainly see some serious thought would need to be given to covering the holes in the receptacles if you do paint them
Old 04-07-11, 11:50 AM
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There is positively no extra wire to pull thru in order to put in new outlets.
How short? If they are long enough to connect to the receptacles they are long enough to be pigtailed. One way assuming two cables in the box would be to connect the two blacks together along with a single pigtail and do the same with the whites. The grounds should already be pigtailed. You just might need a longer pigtail wire.. Post a couple of pictures with the receptacles pilled out so we can take a look.

A bit more expensive but quicker you could use wirenuts that have pigtails.

Last edited by ray2047; 04-07-11 at 12:11 PM.

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