How To Hide An Electrical Panel Box (5+ Ways)

An electrical panel box, though essential, can be an eyesore or detract from your home’s aesthetics if positioned in a visible area. Hiding it is possible in many cases with some strategic remodeling or décor adjustments. This guide covers tips and important factors to consider when hiding your home’s electrical panel.

How To Hide An Electrical Panel Box (5+ Ways)

Why Hide the Electrical Panel?

There are a few key reasons homeowners may want to hide their electrical panel:

Improve Appearance

Exposed electrical panels, with their metal surfaces and utilitarian look, can disrupt room décor and style. Hiding panels helps create a more cohesive, polished look.

Increase Property Value

A visibly placed panel box can potentially decrease resale value. Hiding panels helps properties show better.


Concealing the main electrical shut-off panel hinders unauthorized shut-offs and tampering. It also prevents curious kids from accessing it.

Before Hiding Your Electrical Panel

While hiding a panel box is possible, it’s important to adhere to safety protocols, codes, and best practices to avoid hazards.

Check Electric Codes

Electrical codes prohibit hiding panels in certain ways. Research requirements for your region before concealment.

Ensure Full Accessibility

Panels must remain easily accessible for emergency shut-offs and maintenance. Don’t permanently enclose it behind drywall or furniture.

Have an Electrician Move it (If Needed)

Attempting to move panels yourself risks electrocution. Hire an electrician if you need to relocate panels to hide them.

Install Safety Signage

Place external signs indicating shut-off panel locations in case of emergencies if fully concealing it.

Solutions for Hiding Electrical Panels

There are several effective options to conceal a panel box while still following safety guidelines.

Place Behind a Picture or Mirror

  • One of the easiest ways to hide a panel is placing a picture frame or decorative mirror in front of it.
  • Ensure the art can be easily removed for access.
  • Ideal for panels in living rooms, hallways, bedrooms.

Build a False Wall

  • Construct a set of studs several inches in front of the panel wall.
  • Attach drywall to the studs to create a false wall, enclosing the panel.
  • Allows access through removable drywall panel.

Install Cabinetry Around It

  • Custom building cabinetry, bookcases, or shelving around a panel disguises it.
  • Include removable panels or doors for accessibility.
  • Great for kitchens, mudrooms, garages.

Create a Niche By Recessing

  • Recess the panel several inches into the wall so its face is flush with the wall surface.
  • Install trim molding around the edge.
  • Panel blends seamlessly into the wall and is less noticeable.

Relocate Out of Sight

  • As a last resort, you can have an electrician move your panel to a discreet area like the basement.
  • This is the most expensive option but allows for full concealment.

Décor Solutions for Hidden Panels

In addition to physical concealment solutions, decorative adjustments can disguise panels.

Landscape It

  • If your panel is outside, use tall plants, trellises, yard art, or fencing to blend it with the landscape.

Paint It

  • Paint your panel the same color as surrounding walls to help it visually blend in better.

Add Interior Trim

  • For indoor panels, install decorative trim or crown molding around it to integrate it.

Mount Interior Shelving

  • Shelves, cabinetry, or bookcases around an indoor panel disguise it while adding storage.

Disguise It As a Piece of Art

  • Turn your panel into an accent piece by framing it like artwork or placing wall décor around it.

Preventing Hazards When Hiding Panels

While hiding electrical panels can greatly improve room aesthetics, safety should remain the priority. Keep these key precautions in mind:

Leave the Cover On

Never hide a panel without its protective cover secured in place. The cover shields live wires.

Check Heat Levels

Regularly check concealed panels to ensure they aren’t overheating. Ventilation and airflow are vital.

Use Caution With Water

Moisture and electricity don’t mix. Avoid hiding panels behind water features or where leakage could occur.

Ensure Clear Access

Never block or limit access to your panel with permanent structures or heavy furniture.

Remind House Guests

If panel accessibility is not obvious, remind visitors and contractors of its location in an emergency.

Common Issues with Hidden Panels

Even when following safety best practices, you may encounter a few problems:


Improper ventilation can cause hidden panels to overheat. This can trip your electrical system or even cause fires.

Moisture Damage

Leaky roofs, pipes, or water features can lead to moisture seeping in and corroding wires.

Pests & Dust

When concealed, panels can accumulate dust and attract pests that damage wires.

Emergency Access Problems

If panels are too well-hidden, they become difficult to access quickly in electrical emergencies.

Tips for Maintaining Hidden Panels

Keep your concealed electrical panel running safely with these maintenance tips:

  • Check for signs of overheating monthly – discoloration, warm to the touch
  • Vacuum dust and cobwebs around hidden panels seasonally
  • Address moisture issues quickly – leaks, humidity, outdoor panels
  • Ensure the area around the panel remains clutter-free
  • Test accessibility by timing shut-off speed during electrical fire drills
  • Apply pest deterrents if needed – cayenne pepper, menthol crystals
  • Occasionally remove concealments like pictures to check wires
  • Replace cover screws if they become loose or corroded

FAQs About Hiding Electrical Panels

Can I drywall completely over my electrical panel?

No. The panel must remain accessible and not permanently walled in for fire safety and maintenance access. Use removable drywall or access doors instead.

Do hidden electrical panels require special permits?

Usually not, as long as they remain accessible. But regulations vary regionally, so check with your municipal code office before hiding a panel.

Is it safe to hide an outdoor electrical panel?

Yes, outdoor panels are fine to conceal as long as their protective cover stays securely intact. Ensure outdoor panels remain ventilated and moisture-free.

Can I get electrocuted by a hidden electrical panel if water leaks on it?

Yes, moisture conducts electricity so leaking water can lead to dangerous shocks. Have an electrician install GFCI breakers to help prevent electrocution risks.

Do I need special markings to indicate my panel’s location if it’s hidden?

Marking concealed panels is a smart safety move, but usually only required in commercial buildings. External markings are recommended but not mandated residential codes.

What’s the easiest way to hide a panel while renting?

Renters have options like decorative mirrors or paintings to conceal a panel. But get landlord permission before doing major work like new cabinetry or false walls which alter the property.

I hope this comprehensive guide gives you lots of helpful ideas on successfully hiding your electrical panel box with safety and aesthetics in mind. Hiding a panel is very feasible with careful planning – just be sure to prioritize function over form by keeping accessibility and hazard prevention top of mind. What hiding solution will you try in your home? Let me know if you have any other questions!

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