Once I finished the board & batten, it was time to put the switch plate covers back up. I had assumed that they would blend in nicely, since they would be white covers on white paint, and almost disappear. That wasn’t the case. I wish I’d taken pictures, but I never screwed them on all the way. I just held one up to the wall, and it looked really dingey.
I already had some Rustoleum spray paint in the popular Oil Rubbed Bronze color. Since new switch plates are just about twenty cents each, I figured it couldn’t hurt try spray painting them. If it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be out much cash.
First, I gave them a quick scrubbing. They’re frequently used and had gotten surprisingly grimey from all the hands touching them. Then I laid them on a box to paint. And this was where I figured out a really good trick for painting the screws. You can see in the photo that the box has a gap at the bottom where the flaps don’t meet completely. It was the perfect spot to wedge in the screws, so that just the tops would be spray painted.
After the primer, I sat and stared at it for five minutes waiting for it to cure for the time stated on the can. Then I did my coats of the oil rubbed bronze paint in quick succession, since thin coats dry very quickly.
I didn’t wait for them to cure completely before putting them up on the wall. I should have, since my fingers got a little stuck to the still-tacky paint and made a few (not noticable) fingerprints. But I was just so excited to see how they looked that I did it anyway.
They’ve been up for about a week, and so far they haven’t gotten scratched. The finish seems pretty hard. And I think they could pass for metal switch plate covers, instead of spray painted plastic. It looks so much nicer than plastic! And it cost much less than replacing them. I’m considering painting all the ones in the main living area the next time I get a can of paint (which will probably be soon since I’ve got another project ready to go involving paint).
I’m also itching to paint my interior door knobs. If they’re properly primed, painted, and allowed to cure, it seems to me that spray painted metal knobs should last pretty long. I still am leaving the main door alone, with the fixed up brass, since I know that regular key usage would definitely scratch paint.