DIY Friday Replacing Crusty Old Wall Plates

I know this post seems long considering it’s about some measly wall plates but I’m positive that I’m not the only one out there in DIY land that spent way too much time searching for a simple answer to cutting and installing wall plates, only to find unanswered questions on DIY forums. Your Google searches stop here my friend because I have just the wall plate cutting trick for you, and guess what? I even made a video for ya. Yep, that’s the way we do here at Hand Make My Day. To see the video of this project just scroll to the bottom. For step by step fun, keeping reading!

For this Project, you will need:

• Kitchen Shears (good ones)

•Box Knife (A Sharp one)

•Pencil

•Combination Square or straight edge

•Cutting Board

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This wallplate is a beaut!!

 

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Combination Square, Box Knife, Pencil, and Kitchen Shears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A run down to Home Depot presented a variety of wall plates and switches, but I was only interested in the nylon white wall plates because the cheaper plastic wall plates crack easily especially on tricky installation.

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The Nylon wall plate is on the left and the fragile plastic wall plate is on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After getting home, I realized I had some tricky cuts because of the proximity of a few light switches to their parallel door frames. I was in for an adventure with the Dremel tool. A device that has saved me in the past was now crippling my home updating dreams. I tried to cut the nylon plates but achieving a straight cut with a dremel was not only a total mess with funny smelling fumes but also ruining the plates because the cuts were totally uneven.

At this point I was considering busting out the miter saw or table saw to get a straight cut. In my extreme quest for a quick solution, I got a box knife, combination square and kitchen shears. I knew MacGyver had an influence on me, but this was ridiculous. I went to work scoring a line on my marked nylon wall plate.

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Using a Box Knife and Combination Square to Score the Wall Plate

After I scored a line in wall plate with the box knife to act as a guide for my kitchen sheers, I got to cutting with the sheers. The Nylon is flexible but with a hefty pair of shears, it cuts fairly easy.

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It was finally time to install it.
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And voila!!
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Cliff Currie, Mr. ManMade, Andrea Currie Crafts, CliffCurrie.com

4 Comments

  1. Nice writeup. Never occured to me that some might have wallplates that close to trim. Doesn’t look like the moulding is that thick. Wonder if the electrician just decided not to drill that extra hole to get to the other side of the stud or just ran short on cable and decided it was fine where it was. Is that the only one or are they like that all over your house?

    Reply
    • We purchased the house right after the former owner had remodeled some stuff, the door trim was one of the places. Unfortunately, The prior resident fell ill and was unable to supervise the remodel. They literally cut corners like this.. instead of moving the gangbox to the other side of the stud, they simply cut the light switch plates and even painted over the switches.. as seen in some of the pics. Pretty soon I’m going to have to do the bathroom fans, they’re nu-tone, with some guidance, thanks to your exhaust fan tutorial at http://tool-torials.com/015-replace-an-exhaust-fan/

      Reply
  2. Uh, it’s VOILA, not WAH-LA. But nice job on the wall plate.

    Reply
    • Thanks Mick!

      Reply

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