Our Very Fine House,  Vintage Interior Design

A Creative Outlet

Who’s a pretty outlet?

Many of my projects are undertaken due to my own anal retentiveness and domestic obsessiveness. This one is a perfect example.
Confession time: I hate plastic switch plates and outlet covers. They are an inexpensive option for an essential, shock preventing item, but I don’t want them in my house. Replacing switch plates was an easy choice; you usually find only one or two in each room. Outlet covers are entirely different monster. At $5 to $10 dollars a pop and an average four per room, the cost for fancy metal ones add up quickly. I was resigned to glaring, shiny plastic plates on my walls. Then I discovered Zinsser shellac based primer. It was life changing, seriously.  

Zinsser will stick to ANYTHING. It’s tacky, in a good way, and gives paint the “bite” to stick to plastic. I had my mission and I set out to complete it.
I made a list of all the outlets in the house and recognized pretty quickly that data jacks and cable outlets were going to be trickier. I decided to paint those guys in situ. After I had done outlet census, I laid them out in neat-room corresponding rows on one of my drop cloths. Some of them had paint chunks on them from where the old painters had put them on the wall while it was still wet. I took a sanding sponge to those, to remove the paint chips…Tasty!

Magical Primer Potion=Plastic Paint Sorcery

I primed the plates on the wall very carefully, not wanting to get any primer on our floors. The ones on the drop cloth were primed a little less carefully because in all honestly, the drop cloth seems to give me license to be sloppy.

It’s my fault for wanting so many colors!

Once the primer dried, I painted the plates with the colors that corresponded with the room in which they belong. Each plate got two coats total.  After they dried completely, I screwed them back into the walls where they belong and watched in glee as they all but disappeared into the surrounding wall.


Yep, it’s official, I’m a house nerd.

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