Installing wallplates, pictures etc..after paint dries

Lionheart12May 16, 2011

This may seem to be a novice question, but when can you install the wallplates, picture frames and whatnot after the paint dries?

I think the ideal time to install is to wait until the paint cures, but that is unreasonable given that it takes almost a month for that to happen.

I remember on a previous painting project, I installed the wallplates on the wall maybe 2 days later after the paint had dried and when it was time for me to update my wallplate, I noticed the paint had stuck to the edges of the plate. The plate did not rip the paint off the wall, but it was stuck to the wall like low adhesive glue.

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Logically speaking, this is more likely to happen with something like a wall outlet plate since you are pushing it into the wall when you screw it down. Pictures will probably be OK after a couple of days. There is a hazard if you do not put the electrical plates on right away, but is there a reason why you have to tighten them down fully right away? Put them on lightly and then tighten them down after about a week.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:02PM
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Why would you care if you damaged the paint that is hidden under a switchplate? If the switchplates are a little stuck, just carefully slide a thin flexible putty knife behind them and they will pop free pretty easily. Pictures I usually wait at least 3 hours before rehanging or the next day if possible. Pictures aren't as big of a deal because they are not really pushing hard into the uncured paint film like a screwed on switchplate is.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:21AM
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Mainly depends on how heavily the frames lean against the wall, and if they have sharper edges on the back.

I would use the flat stick-on cork buttons on the back of frames. This helps a lot.

I'd wait a few days in any case. Paint DOES INDEED sometimes take A MONTH to fully harden-off. Even longer if it's a deep color.

I wait a month to tighten-down the switch-plates regardless.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:32AM
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I ask because I plan on changing some of the wallplates in the future and the current onse I have are slightly wider than most modern wallplates.

In the past when I removed wallplates, they would leave indentations where the wallplate had pressed hard into the paint. This limited my style options when choosing wallplates since I didn't want to fill the indentations with compound and touch up with paint.

I am going to try to screw in the plates less tightly this time. As for pictures, I never had a problem. I just thought I mention it just in case.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 6:51AM
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