Wood switch plate covers have been around for a long time. They come in solid wood, pressed, and faux wood materials. Wooden plates can be painted, unfinished, or varnished. The can also be carved or plain. The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to wood.
Once you've done your research and have decided on the style that you're interested in you need to do a quick inventory of the outlets and switches that you have. If you're redoing the whole house you need to know how many outlets are in each room and how they are configured. Are your switches and outlets singles? Doubles? Maybe you have even more. Count them and make notes to make sure that you get the right type of switch plates when you go shopping. There is nothing more irritating than spending the day shopping only to discover that the switch plate by your front door has three switches not four.
The main purpose of switch and outlet covers is to hide all the ugly wires and keep people from electrocuting themselves when they pass by or turn on the lights. In the beginning they were pretty plain but as time has passed covers have become more elaborate and decorative.
The main types of light switch plate covers are toggle, push button, and rocker switches. The toggle switches are the ones that are most familiar to people. They are a simple switch that goes up or down for on or off. Push button switch plates have 2 holes for the buttons to fit through. Rocker switch covers have a large open rectangle in the middle for the switch to fit through.
Wood switch plate covers are not too expensive and are an easy fix to an outdated room. Almost anyone with a screwdriver and a little bit of patience can install or replace these little wonders. Most plate and outlet covers use two screws for each switch. So if you have a 3 toggle plate you'll use 6 screws. There is one at the top and bottom of each toggle.
To install an outlet cover you simply remove the screws, pull off the old plate, line the new plates screw holes with the holes in the switches themselves, and tighten. This is also what you do when painting around a cover. You just remove the cover, paint, wait for the paint to dry, and replace the switch covers.
There are all kinds of styles available in wooden switch covers. There are fancy Victorian switch plates, plain western switch plates, and even some funky kids light switch plates. This small list doesn't even begin to cover the options that are out there.
If you can't find what you're looking for in wood you should check out some metal switch plate covers. There are just as many choices in metal as there are in wood. There are oil rubbed bronze switch plates, brushed nickel switch plates, and antique brass switch plates just to name a few.
Decorative switch plates are a great addition to a room and shouldn't be ignored when decorating. Make sure they match the rest of the room or it will be obvious that you didn't put quite as much effort into the redecorating than you might have.
Victorian style switch plates are ornate. There are a lot of decorative touches on the edges. Victorian style tends to run more toward metal plates but there are some that are made of wood which can be purchased to match your furniture.
Western style can be found with a number of different decorations. Buffalo and horses are popular in western themed switch plates. These remind people of ranches and old westerns. Cowboys, cowgirls, boots, and stars will work with a Texas theme.
Wooden switch plates can be rough looking with a lot of grain and distressing or smooth and silky. It can also be found in very light colors to very dark. The shapes of the plates can be contemporary or rustic.