Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Hide Wall Imperfections With This Stunning Idea

Hide Wall Imperfections With This Stunning Idea
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Don’t let technology or imperfections cramp your wall’s style. While hunting for vintage finds at the last Brimfield Antique Show, I realized a vintage oil painting would make the perfect cover for a fuse box in my apartment that’s located smack-dab in the middle of the wall. By simply attaching a hinge to the back to allow for easy access, you can transform a piece of art into a decorative solution without sacrificing an ounce of function.

See below for my step-by-step guide to this project… 

What You’ll Need:

  • Painting on a wooden stretcher (the stretcher must be deep enough to accommodate your control panel or whatever you’re concealing)
  • Wall anchors and screws
  • Drill and bit (most but not all wall anchors require them)
  • Hinge (I used a vintage one)
  • Short screws
  • Screwdriver

 

Art to Get You Started

Prep the Painting

1. To begin, turn your painting face down on a flat, clean surface.

2. Center your hinge along the desired side so that the middle of the hinge is aligned with the outermost edge of the painting’s stretcher or frame. I prefer attaching the hinge using a screwdriver to avoid splitting the wood of the stretcher.
Note: It’s important that the screws you use here are short so that they don’t puncture through the painting itself.

3. Attach as many screws as needed. (I used only two screws because my painting was small.)

Hang and Hide

4. To finish, position your painting on the wall, mark the screw holes with a pencil, and set the painting aside.

5. Attach the wall anchors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Fasteners vary according to the weight of the object you are trying to hang and the type of wall, so ask at the hardware store to make sure you pick the right kind.

6. Reposition your painting, and screw the hinge into place. Swing the painting closed, and forget about that control panel until the next time you need access.

More Gorgeous Solutions

Extra Credit

I created this hinged painting to cover a control panel, but you can easily adapt the concept to create an enchanting replacement to a medicine cabinet door, to cover a fuse box, or to hide an alarm-system console. The list goes on and on.

In need of a stylish solution to a vexing decor challenge? We’re here to help! Leave a comment below and your issue may inspire my next project.

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Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

  • Deborah Davis

    Help! Would love to know how to hide/decorate old-school wall air-conditioners!

    • LilDickens

      Can you be more specific? Do you mean through-the-wall units that look similar to window units?

      • Deborah Davis

        Yes – the kind that are installed through the wall – usually at the level you would hang a picture – see them all the time in old houses. I have a beautiful house – Tudor cottage – and this is the only blight! I can send pix, but apparently not here!

        • LilDickens

          I’m picturing it! Love Tudor homes! Since you have a vintage style home, I think I would try to class it up (rather than hiding it, since I assume it is functional) by giving it an old-fashioned high tech look (think Steampunk). Perhaps the plastic louvered front panel could be replaced with a panel of pierced sheet metal (the kind sometimes seen covering radiators that comes in all kinds of patterns from fleur-de-lis to quatrefoil) spray painted zinc, antique brass or bronze. It could be attached to a simple wooden frame which would slip over the protruding unit to whatever depth necessary to make a snug fit. Other options are wood louver panels made to size (look on Etsy and eBay for people who make custom louvered doors/shutters) or filigreed panels of plastic or metal sold as wall decorations (spray paint to look like iron with metallic textured paint). If you decide just to hide it in the winter (and to help with drafts), you could still employ the framed artwork idea but without the hinge by, again, building a simple wooden box frame to fit around your unit to the depth of its protrusion from the wall and attaching the painting to the front of it. It would be easy to slip on and off as the seasons change. Good luck!

        • Jan Brunette-Hunyady

          Remove the plastic cover and paint it the same color as the wall. Covering up the unit will interfere with it keeping you cool. Painting it to blend into the wall will keep your eye from going to it. Making it NOT the focal point will go a long way in drawing your eye away from it.

  • 7worldtraveler

    This is a fix where the medicine is worse than the disease. That control panel tells your HVAC system when to turn on and off! If you cover it up, you’re going to have problems!

  • Jan Brunette-Hunyady

    Covering up your thermostat (shown in photo) with a painting, will interfere with it functioning properly. Also why would you need to add a hinge when you want to cover up a fuse box……just hang a painting using a picture hanger, Not only would it leave just a tiny hole but using a hinge would not work unless the hinge landed on a stud. Definitely the wrong hinge. That is a heavy duty ball tipped hinge for a door. The weekend decorator needs to stick to their M-F 9-5 job and leave DIY for those with some knowledge of materials and how things function. This is a case of form over function. Big no no.

  • LilDickens

    Totally agree with previous comments. You don’t ever want to cover a thermostat! The easiest solution to “hiding” a thermostat is to remove the plastic cover, paint it to match the wall, and re-attach it. Another option is to “hide” it among a wall grouping of artwork and decorative objects. You can even put an empty frame around it (leave a couple of inches of space all the way around for air circulation) for fun.

  • Lekai Ranch

    How can I cover up a large screen TV that the previous home owner placed over a fireplace…and what to do with the multiple cords that run from the TV to the cable box that is currently sitting on the mantle. It is a terrible eyesore.