National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Friday, June 4, 2021


Good day to you and all you do! Thanks for all your help and analysis of the rabbit hole of the NEC. It's greatly appreciated and insightful. So without further delay, is there any rule or regulation within the NEC or similar (aside from local jurisdictions) that prohibits painting, wall papering or applying any after market coating on a residential panelboard cover so as long as it doesn't prevent the opening or functioning of the door or removal of the cover? If so, please list the document, code and or article.

Thanks in advance.

Gregg Prudence



Hi Gregg,

Thanks for the comments. This situation described in your question happens quite often, more often with paint than wallpaper. However there are manufacturer's requirements that must be applied. The manufacturer would have such restrictions for applying paint or wallpaper over a panelboard cover. The NEC does have rules restricting paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or other corrosive residues from being coated on internal parts of equipment. See Section 110.12(B). 

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

SUBMIT YOUR CODE QUESTION: Click here to submit a question to for inclusion in an upcoming edition of the Code Question of the Day, or email

CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. NEIS can be purchased in the NECA Store in three formats: a printed or PDF download of a standard or, as an annual subscription service.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS & PUBLICATIONS: NECA produces electrical safety publications and products for the industry including jobsite safety guides, handbooks and resource kits. View a full listing of available resources and products »

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

UPDATE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PREFERENCES: Subscribe or Unsubscribe from this list.