Camouflage Utility Panels with this Simple DIY Project

Hey everyone! I’m Lindsey Paris of Redhead Baby Mama. Thank you so much to Angela for having me today!

Over at Redhead Baby Mama, I write about my little Redhead (of course!), my work (I’m a professional costume designer and stylist), and the strange and sometimes funny things that go on in our house. I’m starting to open up a little more and share things about my personality, so drop in anytime and throw a question or comment at me – I’m in full interaction mode and you’ll always get an answer!

Today I’ll be sharing a quick craft to spruce up that ugly utility on your wall. That thermostat, alarm console, or triple light switch? Ugly no more! I picked up this frame from the corner store for $5. See that $12.99 price tag? No way! Coupons and sales made it so much cheaper. This frame is a 5×7, fitting nicely over our thermostat. (Measure before you hang! Check out your local goodwill to find a frame that suits your style and spruce it up).

Camouflage Utility Panels with this Simple DIY Project

We’re in the process of painting the house, and this black/brown frame just isn’t doing it for me. Fortunately, I still have lots of leftover trim paint, so this guy is getting a coat of Valspar Jefferson Heritage White to match all the baseboards and wainscoting.

I removed the glass, inserts, etc. and started to prep the frame for paint. Using an exacto knife, I scored and removed the back panel. I made sure to keep the picture hanging thingies intact for later. (If your frame doesn’t have any, they are super cheap at a hardware store or you can command strip it to the wall) Using a sandpaper sponge for more control, I gently roughed up the surface for paint and stripping. You can do this before or after deglossing.

Camouflage Utility Panels with this Simple DIY Project

What’s deglossing, you ask? The most wonderful thing on the planet. This fume-heavy stuff will strip all the poly and glaze right off your furniture – as well as a little bit of paint. Working outside, use an old rag or LARGE wad of paper towels and gloves, rubbing the solution over your painted surface. The gloss comes right off and the surface becomes matted, bare and “thirsty” looking. Take a look at this post to see how I used deglosser to paint a chest of drawers without sanding and made it much more modern!

Camouflage Utility Panels with this Simple DIY Project

For the next step, use the paint of your choice (spray, latex, etc) and give the frame a good few coats, avoiding streaks, bubbles and drips. Dry thoroughly. Ger creative as you want to – Modge Podge pictures together, draw with a sharpie, dots, chevrons or the newest trend: houndstooth.

Camouflage Utility Panels with this Simple DIY Project

When you’ve finished your creation, mark the nail hanger with a dab of toothpaste, so you can see where to place your nail. Install, hang, and admire that very handsome wall utility!

Camouflage Utility Panels with this Simple DIY Project

Guest Author: Lindsey is a professional costume designer, blogger, headshot stylist, and mom to a beautiful redheaded little boy. She lives with “Red”, her husband, bulldog and calico cat in Marietta GA. Blogging for just over a year, Lindsey has delighted in her “electronic scrapbook” and sharing her voice with friends, family and fellow bloggers. Visit her at

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  1. says

    Well… I cannot believe I’ve never thought of using a dab of toothpaste to mark where a nail or screw should go. Learn something new every day! Thanks!

  2. says

    This is a lovely idea. I have this huge fuse box that I cover up with a large picture. I have baseboard heaters, so I have just a small thermostat that a small decorative picture fram would look cute. Thank you. Vicki

  3. Tammy S says

    What a neat idea! I love how easy it is. Yet it makes it a fun way to have something to put up. Thanks for the idea!

  4. ANN*H says

    what a inventive idea . make the ugly spot turn into a beauty spot instead . true you can find real nice frames at a second hand store or yard sale for under a dollar. so there you got it all now

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