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Give Plain Switch Plates a Makeover with an Extra Scrap of Wallpaper

Switch Plate by author Meghan Carter

  • Step-by-step instructions for how to cover a switch plate with wallpaper.
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    Switch plates are in almost every room in our homes, and even though they are small, they make a big impact on a room's d├ęcor.  Leaving the standard white or beige switch plates on your walls is like wearing blue socks with black shoes. You just shouldn't do it. The plain, white switch plates stick out like sore thumbs and make it blatantly obvious that you didn't pay attention to the details.
    So how do fix it? Well, there are two ways to make switch plates look good in a room. The first is making them a focal point. There are hundreds of different decorative switch plates available in wood, metal, stone, leather - you name it, and they probably have it. The advantage of using decorative switch plates is they bring an added decoration to a room. That is especially good in rooms with painted walls or few details.
    The second way to make switch plates look good in a room is disguising them. If you don't like the way they look, just cover them up. You can paint or cover switch plates with wallpaper. That is wonderful in rooms that don't want to draw unnecessary attention away from the focal points they have already established in the room.

Materials You Will Need to Cover Switch Plates with Wallpaper

  • A Switch Plate
  • Wallpaper
  • Professional Border Adhesive for Wallpaper and Wallpaper Borders
  • A Small Brush to Put on the Glue
  • A Razor Knife
  • A Screwdriver

How to Cover a Switch Plate with Wallpaper

  1. Cut a piece of wallpaper that matches the pattern on the wall where the switch plate will be.
  2. Put the switch plate on the wall, and put the wallpaper piece over the switch plate cover. Line the wallpaper piece up to the wallpaper already on the wall.

  3. Press your fingers against the wallpaper piece and switch plate. Then delicately pull them both away from the wall and set them on a table. Be very careful not to let the switch plate move from where it was on the wallpaper piece.
  4. Once the wallpaper piece and switch plate are down, fold the edges of the wallpaper over the switch plate.
  5. Put the switch plate on the wall to see if the wallpaper lines up. If it doesn't, adjust it until it does.
  6. Once you have found the right positioning of the wallpaper on the switch plate, crease the wallpaper heavily around the edges of the switch plate. Then set the switch plate aside.
  7. Spread the professional border adhesive onto the part of the wallpaper where the switch plate will be. Do not put the glue on the edges you will fold over.
  8. Put the switch plate down on the wallpaper, and check to make sure you do not put it on the wallpaper upside-down. Press firmly.
  9. Wrap the edges of the wallpaper around the switch plate and put the switch plate on the wall to check to make sure the wallpaper still lines up. If it doesn't, adjust it until it does.
  10. Once the wallpaper lines up, trim the edges of the wallpaper so they just curl over the edge of the switch plate.
  11. Glue the edges of the wallpaper onto the switch plate.
  12. Cut holes where the switches will be. For big switches, make a little slice in the center of the where the switch would be. Then slice from the center to each corner. Fold the pieces in and glue them down. For little switches, just cut the square out.
  13. Let the switch plate dry for a few minutes. Then poke holes where the screws will go. Screw it onto the wall, and you're done.




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