How to Add an Outlet Extender

On Monday I showed you how easy it is to install the Flow Wall panels. The only thing that will slow you down is if  you run into a light switch or an outlet. But, that’s easily remedied by cutting a hole in the material.


  • Outlet extender box
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Drill
  • 1/2″ spade bit
  • Jigsaw or a hand saw
  • Clamp
  • Work surface
Difficulty: Easy, but will require using some power tools and turning off the electricity.

Important: Start by turning off the power to the outlet you are working on and check the outlet for power. After you are certain the power is off, remove the face plate.

How do you know where to cut your hole? Do you eyeball it? Do you cross your fingers? I like to pucker up and kiss it for good luck! Just kidding, but I do grab my bright red lipstick tube.

Use the lipstick to draw around the edges of the outlets.

Then line up the wall panel and press it against the outlet.

When you remove the panel lipstick marks will be left where the outlet is. (Note: the Flow Wall has recessed areas, so only the top outlet shows.) Lay the outlet cover over the lipstick print and trace around the outside edge.

You’ll notice in the picture below that I drew a line slightly inside the tracing of the outlet cover. I use that line to cut on, so you won’t see the junction box hole after the face plate is replaced. Use a 1/2 inch (or larger) spade drill bit to cut holes into each corner of the tracing.

Insert the jigsaw inside one of the pre-drilled holes and start cutting around the rectangle.

Work your way around until you return to where you started. Now you have a hole for your outlet!

If you are more of a video learner, here is a video showing this technique on a piece of beadboard:

Check the fit against your wall. Perfecto!

But wait, it’s not perfect when you try to put the outlet face plate back on. When you add any depth to your walls (from tiling, wainscoting, wall treatments or a Flow Wall), you will likely need to extend your outlet box.

Remove the top and bottom screws from your outlet.

Gently, but firmly, pull the outlet outside of the junction box. Thread your outlet extender over the outlet and wires.

Press the extender into the box until it is flush with the “new” wall. The extender should fit into the original outlet box. If there is a gap between the two, you might need a deeper extender.

Replace the outlet using the longer screws that came with the outlet extender.

Screw the face plate back on and…DONE! That wasn’t too hard was it?!

Now you can continue adding the Flow Wall panels ;-).

Stay tuned for the final Laundry Room reveal and a special Flow Wall giveaway! You don’t want to miss it!


  1. I always wanted to know how to do this, especially since I’m using a lot of bead board these days! Great tutorial and very easy to follow along!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. We have a few outlets that currently have this problem. I had no idea you could extended the box!!! You just made my day.

  3. Great Idea with the lipstick!! Thanks

  4. Morning Brittney. What a great tip. I just got my email – you know how you always get blog post via email a day later. I just wish I’d known about this yesterday. We were at my cousins drywall his entire kitchen. We even had to extended the plugs with longer screws. The lipstick is such a smart and exact way to do it. Brilliant idea. I just pinned it on my page ” Tracy Suzanne”.

    Thanks for teaching me a new trick!
    Hugs…Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

  5. Thanks for the tip- I had no idea there were outlet extenders available. I love the lipstick trick- I did that when framing our bathroom mirror, only to discover our braces at the corners made it impossible to carve out the spots for the mirror clips. Sometimes I feel like a one-person Laurel & Hardy episode. :)

  6. Pretty brilliant with the lipstick! Thanks for sharing your tips :)

  7. Good information to know, and as usual an excellent tutorial. I’m pinning it for reference, cause I’m sure I’m going to need it at some point!

    Have a super weekend!

  8. Danielle says:

    Thanks for posting this! I am glad to know outlet extenders exist, and I’ll be picking some up soon. I bought a house last year that has wainscoting in what became my office, but I can’t even charge my cell phone or camera in there because the outlets are so recessed that the prongs on an AC adapter won’t even reach them!

  9. Christie says:

    Loved the way you make it look so easy with your step by step guide photos. You won’t find the lipstick trick printed in the instructions included with the products. It’s the way you present your challenge that makes it fun and you so darn brilliant! Wonderful project!!

  10. I needed some of these last week and couldn’t find them. I was scouring the aisle thinking, “There must be some sort of extender so I don’t have to remove and replace the entire junction box!” But I couldn’t find anything so I had to remove and replace my entire junction box. Drat. Now I KNOW there is such a product and just have to FIND some. (Where did you find these anyway?) Great tutorial. TFS

  11. This was great advice!! Thank you!

  12. Ted Hurtz says:

    Lipstick? Seriously? Learn your tools. TAPE MEASURES were invented for a reason. Dumbest idea ive seen in a long time – and presented as if its some great approach. Also – invest in a nail gun. You dont use large screws to put up paneling or molding.

    • Your comment was rude and dumb in my opinion. First starters, it takes less time to use the lipstick trick then find my tape measure and take two measurements. Oh and don’t forget to measure twice cut once. Hopefully you’ll be able to remember both measurements by the time you pull your saw out. And go ahead and put up your FlowWall panels with dinky finish nails and ignore the instructions that were provided with the product. Then we’ll see how long your shelving and cabinets that hang on the “so called” moulding will stay hung.

    • Ted, I learned this trick from Brittany last year, and I absolutely love it! She is amazing, and it sounds like you could use some of her advice!

      • Ted Hurtz says:

        no, I don’t need to learn this trick. I use actual measuring TOOLS. I know, I know, its not as “crafty” as using lipstick but guess what – its not as messy either. oh and its more accurate, repeatable and the method is actually used by PROFESSIONALS – a far cry from the hack approach represented here.
        But hey – go ahead and use your makeup to do construction work. You can share the experience with your friends and use the word “amazing” in every other sentence.

    • fasted foolproof way for me is lipstick. Ted Hurtz you may need to get with the program!

  13. Lipstick is an absolutely GENIUS idea. If you can come up with ways to do away with all measuring then Brittnay for President! Maybe Ted’s lipstick melted in the car and he’s in a bad mood? Poor fella.

  14. Christine says:

    Came here via Pinterest (again).
    I’m just about to build in some bookcases I got on eBay from a renovating law firm. Trim, molding, etc. I was about to cut the outlet holes and thought, “there must be a better way!”
    Given I don’t wear lipstick, which is great, I used toothpaste. I considered raspberry jam, but toothpaste was easier to get off.
    Anyway, I love the outlet extender thing. I built floor to ceiling cabinetry in my MBR, but didn’t know about such a thing, so behind the scenes my outlets are ooo-gly. Good thing they’re behind.
    Thanks, as always for your posts.
    (That Ted above just needs a good, vigorous enema. He’ll be fine.)


  1. […] Here’s a great article by Pretty Handy Girl, showing how to install an extension […]

  2. […] Coming up on Wednesday: How to cut an outlet hole and install an outlet extender through the Flow Wall. […]

  3. […] 4. How to Add an Outlet Extender […]

  4. […] line up the plate cover with the (now visible) outlet, trace it, and cut just inside the perimeter. This post does a much better job of explaining it, but I didn’t have any lipstick and wasn’t […]

  5. […] 2. Lipstick – Ha, this isn’t to look pretty. I use lipstick to mark outlet boxes when cutting into panels. […]

  6. […] How to Add an Outlet Extender […]

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