Should You Match Electrical Outlets To The Wall Color? HGTV's Laurie March Weighs In

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After painting a wall, something is bound to stand out: your electrical outlet covers. Typically white, these can be the first place the eye is drawn to when looking at a colored wall. Perhaps you're wondering whether or not you should keep them white or match them with the color of the paint. 

According to HGTV's Laurie March, it's almost always best to keep your outlet covers and switch plates white. "First of all, it'll match your molding and it'll look great," she says. (per YouTube). This is also an easy way to make your home's design look cohesive, as every outlet cover will look the exact same. She continues, saying, "Outlets are a utilitarian thing, you need to know where they are in a room, so you want to be able to find them." If you keep them white, you'll always know where they are, making it easy to plug in items and turn on light switches.

Exceptions to the rule

However, while Laurie March says that outlet covers should typically stay white, there are a couple exceptions to this rule. The first is if your wall is painted a really dark color. "If you've got a black wall, sometimes it's fun to change out your switches and outlets to black," she says, per YouTube. "Maybe in a more modern home, sometimes you do these things." Because you shouldn't ever paint the actual switches or outlets for safety reasons, you'll still be able to find them on the wall — they just won't stand out as much.

March also suggested replacing the outlet covers in the kitchen. "Also in a kitchen backsplash, if you have a really fun tile and you don't want to distract from it with all the plugs and switches that tend to be in a kitchen backsplash, well then maybe you could update it to a more jazzy plate like a stainless or in a color that matches your tile," she explains. This will help the outlets look more cohesive in the overall design. 

Purchasing or DIYing colorful electrical outlet plates

If you have a black wall, it should be fairly easy to find outlet plates that match; for instance, there are some available at Lowe's. Those who want to use a unique switch plate that makes more of a statement, perhaps on their backsplash, could look for ones in metal, which are sold at Rejuvenation. There are even types with decorative accents — like a flower scene — that you can buy on Amazon.

However, maybe you want to DIY your personalized outlet plates. If so, you could paint them either the same color as your wall or another shade. However, Laurie March has a tip for how to do this correctly. She says (via YouTube), "If you're painting your walls in a flat, don't paint your switch plates and outlet covers in a flat too. It's a great way to show all the grime." Instead, you could cover them in a glossier finish that's easier to clean. To do so, start with an oil-based primer, then paint with a small nap roller and sand between coats.