This is in Colorado, United States.

Having some remodeling ongoing, I've had a contractor upgrade my existing electrical service panel, a 100-A Cutler-Hammer, with a new Square D 200-A panel on the opposite (exterior) wall. I'm left with what is now a large junction box covered with the existing Cutler-Hammer panelboard cover.

Covered panel Panel, without cover

What can I do to make this less unattractive/conspicuous while remaining compliant with code/regulations? I know the junction box must remain accessible, but are there plain covers without doors that exist for this purpose? Maybe a cover for the cover? Is painting the existing cover the best I can do?

I did do some searches for this but was unable to find anything relevant. I'm hopeful that I'm bad at searching and there's a solution for this out there.

  • Hang a flat white LED light panel over it and put a curtain in front - pretend it's a window.
    – J...
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 15:53
  • How high off the ground is it? Thinking about keeping it safe from kids. It its at waist height needs more protection than if its above head height.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 19:41
  • 2
    @Criggie if it was above head height then it would have been invalid as a panel location. Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 20:50

3 Answers 3


Hang a nice picture over it. Easy. Cheap. No inspector can complain.

  • 2
    LOL, I was going to say the same thing. Also, looks like the electrician did a good job. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 17:32
  • 3
    Do think keeping it accessible(less than a minute) is the main thing. Screwing a piece of plywood over it is a no-no, placing a non-locking internal door in a frame over it is okay.
    – crip659
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 17:32
  • 3
    Also, paint it to match the wall.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 17:52
  • 5
    It doesn't have to be accessible fast. It has to be FINDABLE, AT ALL, without prior knowledge of the building. Fast forward, the room has been painted 3 times, there is no way to get that cover off without making a mess. The electrician suspects a mystery junction box somewhere. Do you Really want them unscrewing every such panel in the house? Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 19:16
  • 5
    So write a clear label and stick it inside the master panel, perhaps "NOTE Junction box is in wall 5 metres south of this cabinet, behind picture frame 2021-11-08 " Future electrician will be grateful.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 4:14

Cabinet door

A cabinet door/frame can be used to provide camouflage for the existing ex-loadcenter door, provided it doesn't block access to the inside of the cabinet-turned-junction-box.

  • 1
    Yup, and Victorian houses are full of cabinet doors into utility spaces. My last two houses had cabinet doors giving access to the backside of the tub faucet, easy faucet changes! Note that the former panel needs to have proper blanking plates, there can't be gaping holes where breakers once were. Either use listed blanking plates from Cutler Hammer/Eaton (be clear on BR vs CH), or get your AHJ to approve a sheetmetal/pop-rivet deal. Good thing you can walk the cover into the AHJ's office and just ask them. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 19:12
  • 3
    One could also screw the door shut provided the loadcenter cover can still be removed Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 20:20

Paint it

Cheap and easy solution that makes it surprisingly less visible. If you have any spare wall paint somewhere this might even cost you nothing.

If that's not terribly appealing, painting something decorative onto the door can make it look like a wall decoration.

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