Once a room is decorated to satisfy your sense of style and to reflect your interests, nothing is more jarring than a cheap plastic or utilitarian looking switch plate cover. However, it is not necessary to put up with an ugly switch plate cover. Likewise, it is not necessary to try to find something that will match or something that will 'do' by scouring the retail stores. The best way to solve the problem is to decorate your own switch plate cover. Nothing is easier than creating a switch plate that matches your décor and reflects your interests. The best part about creating your own custom switch plate is that it is much cheaper to make a switch plate that you really like than it is to buy a 'decorator' switch plate.
- Plain wooden switch plates from the hardware store
- Calendar, wallpaper, gift-wrap, photocopied, printed, or clip art images
- Decoupage medium
- Sponge brushes
- 800 grit or finer sand paper
- Acrylic clear coat
Paint your switch plates to match your décor. If you wish the switch plate to be a solid color, it is best to spray paint it so that you get an even coat. Otherwise, use a paint technique with colors that will coordinate well with the look that you are trying to achieve. Painting with multiple coats in several different colors and then sanding the paint down for a distressed look is one easy way to create an interesting surface.
Cut or tear out the image that you want to add to your switch plate. When determining how to cut out the image, remember to take into account the space needed for the screws and the switch but do not cut them out at this time.
Use decoupage medium to glue the image to the switch plate. If part of the image will be over the holes for the screws and switch go do not worry, just apply them over the void.
Allow the image to dry.
Use an exacto knife to cut out the hole for the switch. Use a screwdriver or some other object to pierce the holes for the screws.
Apply multiple layers of decoupage medium to seal in the image, allowing the decoupage medium to dry between coats.
After approximately ten coats of decoupage medium, wet sand the surface of the switch plate until smooth.
Allow to dry.
Seal with two or three coats of acrylic clear coat to protect it from water damage.