Utility vs Beauty

Ever since we moved in, we’ve hated this utility box and agonized over what to do about it. It’s in the right side of our front yard and it’s visible from the street. And about 10 different shades of rust. Major eyesore.


The previous owners had planted a small tree in front of it, but it was completely toasted when we moved in. We considering planting something else, but we already have a crepe myrtle on the corner of our house and the lilac bush you see in the picture above (that needs to be pruned!). I thought it might look weird to have 3 different bushes/trees in a line angling back from the house.

Last summer when our neighborhood’s wiring got redone, a utility box had to be added to one of our neighbor’s backyards. He wasn’t happy about it, so he asked if he could paint it. They said as long as it was functional and accessible, it wasn’t a problem. So this seemed like a good option for us, too. We knew it certainly couldn’t make it worse! Here’s a closer picture of the box before.


And here’s after a few coats of paint.


Our neighbor painted his green, but we weren’t convinced we could find a green that would look natural and blend into its surroundings. We also didn’t want to spend much money on paint for this, so we opted to use leftover trim paint we found in our garage. (We’re hoping to repaint the house this summer, so we won’t be needing it.)

We cleaned the entire box really well, taped around the glass, primed with an exterior rated primer, and then brushed on 2 coats of exterior paint.


We’re pretty happy with how the color turned out. It doesn’t blend perfectly, but it’s definitely much less noticeable and at least looks cared for (unlike the lilac bush and the crazy overgrown boxwood!) Since it’s not multicolored anymore, it doesn’t draw your eye as much.


We’re glad we didn’t go with green. Not only does green paint rarely look natural, but it would have stood out like a sore thumb in the winter time when everything is brown! This way it should blend fairly well when the leaves have fallen and the grass is dormant. Or dying in the summer…. 🙁

Here’s a quick little picture Andrew put together of the 3 phases…before, primed, and after 1 coat of paint.

General Electric

For only an hour or two worth of work, I’m pretty pleased with our utility box makeover. Who says utilitarian items can’t be beautiful? Yeah, ok…beautiful is a stretch. At least it’s all one color now!




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