Extension cords are a useful addition to most homes. However, they’re not limited to indoor environments; you can use extension cords to power outdoor lighting and appliances. Extension cords can look unsightly, so you may want to consider hiding them when you use them outdoors.
This article explores everything you need to know about hiding extension cords outside.
1. Paint the Extension Cords to Camouflage Them
If you want to hide your extension cords but not necessarily protect them, you can paint or tape them over to match their surroundings. If the extension cords are in protected outdoor settings like greenhouses or on a covered deck, this is an excellent option.
Painting extension cords will help hide them and help protect them from UV rays. Paint will last longer on extension cords that aren’t frequently handled, so it’s best to place painted extension cords in low-traffic areas.
Here’s how to paint extension cords:
- Unplug the cord from all electrical points.
- Gently rub at the cord with a rough sponge. This will help roughen up the surface of the cord and help paint adhere to it better.
- Select a paint to match the color of the area where you’re placing the extension cord. While you can use most waterproof paints, spray paint will work best to help you completely cover the extension cord.
- Place the cord on a plastic/cloth sheet.
- Spray the cord with a paint primer. This will ensure that the paint adheres to the cord better and helps the paint last longer.
- Spray the cord completely and allow it a few hours to dry.
- Turn the cord over and spray it with another coat of paint until it’s completely covered.
- Install the cord.
2. Tape Over Extension Cords
If painting the cord is too complicated, or you can’t find a paint color that matches the surroundings, you can cover the extension cords with colored tape.
Select a colored tape to match the area where you’re installing the extension cords. Simply wrap the tape around the extension cord until it’s completely covered.
3. Hide Them Behind Walls or Baseboards
Some outdoor settings will have movable walls or baseboards. If the walls or baseboards are easy to move, you can run the extension cords behind them to hide them from view.
When hiding the cords, you may choose to use tape to secure them to the back of the wall or baseboard.
4. Make Use of Home Design Elements
While you may install walls and baseboards in your outdoor environment, some built in-home elements can help you hide your extension cords. These include decking, siding panels, and roof overhangs.
Here’s a breakdown of the built-in elements that you can hide extension cords in:
The siding is the most external layer of a house used for protection from weather elements like rain and snow. Siding can be made with wood, stone, plastic, vinyl, and even straw. Depending on the siding style, you may be able to move it to hide extension cords behind it. Simply pull the siding slightly away from the wall, run the extension cord behind it, and then reattach the siding.
Roof overhangs are the amount of roof extending over the house’s side. You can tape or adhere the extension cords in the inner section of the roof hang. However, it’s important to protect the extension cord with a cover kit to ensure it’s not vulnerable to water damage.
Many outdoor spaces in home gardens will have decking or a patio. To hide cord extensions in decking, you can run it either under the decking or between it.
5. Bury the Cable Wires Underground
If your extension cords are relatively thick, consider hiding them underground. While this takes a little more work, it’s an excellent way to hide extension cords. However, you must protect the extension cords from animal and element damage.
Follow these steps to hide your extension cords underground:
- Dig a trench from the area you need power to the power socket.
- Cover the extension cords with a cord cover kit. Alternatively, you can also enclose the extension cords in a PVC pipe or even a pool noodle. Covering the cords will protect them from rodents and water damage.
- Once the extension cords are secure underground, cover them with mud.
- You may like to install a layer of grass over the mud cover.
This is one of the best ways to hide extension cords, but keep in mind, it isn’t easy to continuously move them once installed.
6. Use Plants or Furniture to Cover the Cables
If you want to hide extension cords for aesthetic purposes, you can simply place plants or furniture around them. Some planter pots will have space underneath them, allowing them to be easily fitted over the pots. Similarly, you can place chairs, tables, and other outdoor furniture over extension cords to hide them.
7. Use Aesthetic Extension Cords
An alternative to hiding ugly or plastic extension cords is to use more visually appealing cords. There are several great extension cords to consider on Amazon, including the Habitat Harmony Braided Extension Cord, the Cordinate Designer Braided Fabric Cord, and the Watt’s Wire Heavy-Duty Lighted Extension Cord.
This section explores some of the most aesthetically appealing extension cords.
Habitat Harmony Braided Extension Cord
Habitat Harmony is an 8-foot (2.4-meter) extension cord that resembles a braided rope. It’s available in various colors; while the French Grey variant will easily blend into a wood deck, the Summer Twilight cord will look great in a pool area.
- Solid-core, fully round cord
- Grounded plug
- Low-profile design
- Soft Tactile plastics. Total power outlets: 3
Cordinate Designer 3 Braided Fabric Cord
This extension cord is covered with fabric, which helps it blend into outdoor seating areas and pool houses. It’s available in mint and grey and is 10 feet (3 meters) long. It has built-in surge protection and tamper-free technology. It also has a flat plug, which reduces the extension cord’s space.
- Power More – The 3 polarized outlets and the 10ft....
- Surge Protection – This unit features internal surge...
- Décor – The braided fabric power cord comes in a...
- Flat Plug Extension Cord – Keep furniture and media...
Watt’s Wire Heavy-Duty Lighted SJTW Extension Cord
Watt’s Wire is a heavy-duty extension cord available in various colors, including pink and yellow. While this extension cord is not easily camouflaged, it’s a fun element to add to poolsides and decks. This extension cord is available in several lengths – from 15 to 100 feet (4.6 to 30.5 meters) long.
- Watts Wire's Grounded 14-Gauge (14/3) 15-foot Lighted...
- Multiple Colors: Choose our pink extension cord for a...
- Our heavy-duty power cords are made with an SJTW...
- Our cords use 14-Gauge soft-drawn copper to give 120V...
8. Use a Cord Cover Kit
Cord cover kits or cable concealers are designed to protect and hide various cords, including extension cords. They’re made from various materials, including rubber, metal, and plastic.
As well as hiding the cords, these kits can prevent animals from accessing the wires and stop people from tripping over them.
You can get a range of cord cover kits from hardware stores, supermarkets, or online. Some of the best cord cover kits from Amazon.com include the Green CordSafe Electrical Extension Kit, the Dewenwils 3-Pack Outdoor Extension Cord Cover, and the Delamu Cord Cover Raveaway Kit.
The following section explores some of these cord kits in greater detail.
Green CordSafe Electrical Extension Cord Cover
This cord kit has been designed especially for outdoor extension cords. The cord cover is green, which allows it to blend into your garden and other outdoor settings easily. It’s also water-resistant, protecting the cords from various weather conditions.
Here are some more standout features of the Green CordSafe Cord Cover:
- Plastic lining. The inside of this cord cover kit is lined with heavy-duty plastic, making it water-resistant.
- Can be stretched. Depending on the size of the extension cords you’re trying to enclose, you can stretch the cover to lengthen or compress it.
- Portable. The kit can be packed into a portable box, making it a great addition to a travel toolbox.
This cord cover kit can accommodate up to 12 gauge cords. It can connect to various outdoor equipment, including lighting, appliances, and power tools.
Delamu Cord Cover Raceway Kit
This is a customizable cord cover kit, which can be built and painted to camouflage cords. You can also cut and assemble the parts of this kit to fit the type of cords you have. These are great if you’re focused on hiding the cords.
Here are the main features of the Cord Cover Raceway Kit:
- Complete cable management kit. This kit includes various tools, including cable channels, flat elbows, a table, screws, anchors, and an installation guide. You can use these elements to create a cable kit that can hide the size and width of extension cords. The tape that comes with the kit is extremely strong and can adhere the extension cord covers to a range of surfaces, including wood and glass.
- It can be painted. Once you have installed the cord cover, you can paint it with a color that will camouflage it in the outdoor setting.
However, this cord cover kit is not water-resistant and weatherproof. It’s best to use this kit only if you only want to camouflage your cords and have some other means of protecting them.
Do You Need to Cover Extension Cords Outside?
You don’t need to cover extension cords outside, but you may want to for safety, maintenance, protective, or aesthetic reasons. Various tools are designed to hide extension cords, like cord cover kits, or you could hide them underground or paint them so they aren’t easily visible.
There are several reasons you may want to hide your outdoor extension cords:
- Safety. Covering your extension cord prevents it from getting wet. A wet extension cord can be extremely hazardous, as wet wires can cause shocks and potentially even start a fire. Hiding extension cords also stops them from being a tripping hazard.
- Protection for electronics. If your extension cord gets wet, it can also damage the electronics connected to it. If the cord is connected to something expensive, like a barbecue or a pool heating system, this can be incredibly frustrating and expensive.
- Maintenance. If your extension cord is hidden, it’s likely to last longer and prevent you from having to replace it constantly. It also stops animals from chewing up the cord and the wires.
- Aesthetics. Covering up your extension cords helps improve the overall aesthetics of your outdoor setting.
When considering the following options, think about your maintenance skills and what you can do alone. If one of these options seems too complex, consult with a handyperson or local hardware store.
To Sum Up
If you want to hide extension cords outside, you can choose several options. Painting cords and using cord cover kits are easy options. If you’re more handy, you can bury the cords underground or hide them behind walls or in your house’s skirting. Finally, you can use aesthetic extension cords to ensure they aren’t ugly additions to your outdoor environment.