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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hide the Ugly Electrical Panel Part 2

It's taken a few days to mud the drywall, but today I got to finish up the project I started the other day where I was building a wall to hide some ugly electrical panels. After a couple days of intense roof repairs at another project, it was nice to be working with wood and nail guns again!

After sanding and clean up, I started laying baseboard. Old homes like this Inglewood house from the 1920's often just have simple wide boards as a base. The existing ones were 7" tall so I had to buy a 1x8 and rip it to the right width to match.

It was a little tricky to match the old baseboard and make the corners fit right even though the corners weren't all exactly 90 degrees. This is not an unusual issue, especially in older homes. The main thing is that the corner seam is tight with no gap if possible. To make the happen it's usually best to glue the corner with wood glue and nail it together with some brads before actually nailing it to the wall.

To give the homeowners access to the electrical panels I built a couple cabinet doors to cover the large hole. With doors the key is level and square. If your jambs are right, then the doors are much easier to fit. Since I built this wall from scratch I had to consider the doors from the beginning so that the opening that was left after adding door jambs and stops still provided adequate space to get to the electrical panel.

Most of the trim was ripped to 3 1/8" to match the casing around the back door. I know it's not standard, but it matches. (You could say it's custom, I suppose...)

The doors were made from 1/2" higher-grade plywood that I built up with some pieces that I ripped so that the door ended up being around 3/4" thick. I needed them to be this thick so that I'd have a solid place to mount the hinges.

In the end, it all worked together beautifully. I got everything caulked and ready for the homeowners to paint. They were thrilled with the new wall and glad to have a finished back hallway.



  1. Very nice! I'll refer back to these posts when doing a similar job in IL!

  2. We're so happy not to walk past that nasty ugly vent anymore! Thanks so much!