Hot Polka Dot

How To Tuesday: Master of Disguise.

  I have been dying to share this simple and resourceful DIY idea with you for what has felt like ages. It's so easy but yields beautiful results! I'm sure just about everyone has unsightly yet necessary blemishes on their walls at home. Maybe an electrical panel, an intercom, a doorbell or a thermostat. I'd like to propose a ridiculously simple solution that you may or may not have thought of.

Cover ugly wall fixtures with pretty art! Because sometimes you need to access to these wall fixtures I'm going to show you two ways to install the artwork: fixed and hinged. I have been suffering the ugliness of the doorbell speaker above my pantry and the outdated thermostat in my dining room for far too long.

Artwork is the best way to brighten any dull room and covering unsightly wall fixtures is just an added bonus. If you're lucky enough you might have a clever friend to paint you a lovely work of art like this one of the sunflowers and bumblebees. You could also paint one yourself like I did with the tree silhouettes. Or there's always the option to buy a painting either from an Ikea or a gallery or anywhere in between.

For fixed...

Artwork on gallery stretched canvas
Bubble level

To cover something like a doorbell speaker, unclip the plastic cover to reveal the speaker's insides and set it aside. Fit the painting over top, center and level it. A standard gallery canvas should be thick enough to cover most doorbell speakers. Mark the location of the nails with your pencil and hammer them in place.

Voila! Perfectly disguised doorbell speaker! The painting acts as a great cover to protect the mechanics from dust.

For hinged...

Artwork on gallery stretched canvas
Flat head screws
Bubble level
Drywall anchors

To cover something like an old thermostat you'll need to hang the painting in a way that allows for easy access. The best way to do this is with hinges. You could choose to fasten the hinges on the side so the painting would open much like a disguised safe in the movies. I found that it was far easier to level it with the hinges fastened at the top. This also means that over time the screws will be less likely to become loose and cause the painting to slant.

Flip your canvas on it's face and fasten the hinges in the far top right and left corners. Make sure that once the painting is turned around you're not going to be able to easily see the hinges poking out the top or sides of the painting. Make them as hidden as possible while still allowing room to fit at least two screws. Mark the holes for the screws with your pencil and drill pilot holes with your drill. Securely fasten the hinges in place with your flat head screws.

Choose the location of your painting and level it. Carefully pull the bottom of the painting away from the wall while still keeping the hinges in place and the painting leveled. An extra pair of hands is a good idea for this part. Mark the holes for the screws and drill pilot holes for the drywall anchors. Hammer in the anchors so they're flush with the wall and line the hinges up with the holes again. Erase any pencil marks you may have made. Screw the hinges into the anchors and make sure they're as tight as possible.

And there you have it! A cleverly disguised thermostat with easy access for those chilly nights.

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  1. I love your tree painting!

  2. Awesome idea!! Would you mind sharing with me where you got the picture next to the tree one? “Home is where ever I am with you” I just love it!!

  3. I love the tree painting too.

  4. Simply brilliant!

  5. Very nice! Thermostats will not function properly, though, when covered.

  6. I love the sunflower print….can you tell me how to get a copy?

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