Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Kitchen Renovation - The Electrical Box Cover Plate

We continue with the kitchen renovation and, in particular, the electrical junction box issue.  You will recall in previous posts I wrote that the electrician suggested that we not drywall over this box which was used to power the old light fixture that was centered on the ceiling.  His concern was that there may come a time when we need to access this box and that a decorative cover plate would be his choice for covering it over.  I agreed with this and set about finding a cover plate.  Said cover plate was ordered from Lowe's and arrived via UPS one day last week.  Unfortunately, we ran into a problem.  As I have stated previously, you must be prepared for "problems" when renovating.  The problem can be seen below.

The ground wire for the new recessed lights has been secured to one of the screw holes in the box which would be used to secure the decorative cover in place.  (This is the copper colored wire.)  We could move this; try to find another location on the box to secure the ground wire.  But I would rather not move,  disconnect, or in any way tamper with Ken's work.  I am not an electrician and I do not pretend to be one.  Of all the many projects I take on, all electrical work is left to the professionals.

So, I improvised.  I found a self-sticking doorknob protector plate.  These plates are designed to be adhered to a wall behind any interior door to keep the doorknob from damaging the wall should the door be flung open with great force.  We are going to put this item to use in a different way.

Above, you see the plastic coverplate, in white.  It is the same size as the decorative cover plate that was ordered from Lowe's and delivered last week.

The first order of business was to get it painted with the base coast of Weathered Fossil.  When painting small objects like this, I find it best to lay down a piece of waxed paper and place the painted object atop the waxed paper for drying.  I applied two coats just to be certain that it was completely covered.

I love this Valspar paint with the Paint + Primer all in one.  This is my first time using this product and I would highly recommend you give it a try on your next painting project.

After the base coat dried, it was time to apply the topcoat of Brushed Pearl, also a Valspar product.  I wanted to get the same look on the plate as is now on the ceiling.  I was very pleased with how this turned out.  I used the same process here as I used on the ceiling - applying the basecoat and then applying the topcoat and using the plastic trowel designed for use with the topcoat to bring about the Brushed Pearl finish.  Although the cover plate feels dry,  I am waiting an additional few hours for the paint to completely cure.  I do not want to handle it too soon after painting because I do not want even the slightest impresssions of fingerprints on the finished surface.  Since I will be pressing against it with some force to get good adhesion to the ceiling, I will wait until later today to install this.  If needed, I will add a little hot glue to the back to hold it firmly in place.  Even with the addition of hot glue (if needed) the plate will be easily removed if an ocassion arises where we need to access the electrical box.

I have attempted, once again, to get a flattering shot of the Brushed Pearl ceiling, but it does not want to photograph well.  I will eventually got a picture of the ceiling that presents this project in a way that is attractive to the eye because it really did turn out wonderfully.

You can still see the old green color on the wall behind the cabinets.  That will be replaced with Swiss Coffee and Castle Path in the stippling effect over the next day or two.

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