Making Wiring Method Inconspicuous

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I need to run some wiring in a Church with an open vaulted ceiling. It has wooden purlins through out. I was trying to think of a way to use MC cable without it glaring when you look at it. The ceiling is high and I don't think most people will notice it much, but I thought if the MC was darker it wouldn't be as noticeable. Thought about spray painting it before it is installed but I don't know how well it will take paint.
Anyone have any ideas of how to disguise it that won't cost a lot or be a lot of trouble to do? I only need to do about 50' in two different locations.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
Wire mold? it's paintable and if the beams are wood then you can use one of those wood look a-like paint kits they use to make a steel front door look like wood.

Installed some ceiling fans in a church with large arching beams and the painter used the wood paint kit to blend it in and you had to look hard to even see the wire mold.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
Wire mold? it's paintable and if the beams are wood then you can use one of those wood look a-like paint kits they use to make a steel front door look like wood.

Installed some ceiling fans in a church with large arching beams and the painter used the wood paint kit to blend it in and you had to look hard to even see the wire mold.
They "just want it to work" and don't want to spend a lot. I was thinking Wiremold (100') would add too much to the cost. What wire would you use in the Wiremold, MC or THHN?
 

hurk27

Senior Member
Steel AC cable seems to have an oily film on it and would have to be cleaned some how to paint it, which would or could be painted to blend in, aluminum AC cable I'm not sure of but if it doesn't have any film you could just paint it.

The only thing I would say is a raceway method will run much straighter then a flexible wiring method but if your careful both can be kept straight by chalk lining the path.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Steel AC cable seems to have an oily film on it and would have to be cleaned some how to paint it, which would or could be painted to blend in, aluminum AC cable I'm not sure of but if it doesn't have any film you could just paint it.

The only thing I would say is a raceway method will run much straighter then a flexible wiring method but if your careful both can be kept straight by chalk lining the path.
Aluminum MC is oily also. If you have been handling it, just put your hands on a clean surface and you can prove that.

I like Hurk's suggestion. WireMold hides in corners very nicely, and I have used it in the same scenario as the OP . It is much more labour intensive too install than MC, so a cost, benefit analysis is in order.
MC becomes more labor intensive if you are trying to make it look straight, or follow surfaces in a similar manner as Wiremold can easily do.
 

tkb

Senior Member
Location
MA
They "just want it to work" and don't want to spend a lot. I was thinking Wiremold (100') would add too much to the cost. What wire would you use in the Wiremold, MC or THHN?
They get what they are will to pay for.
Cheap equals ugly.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
I'm thinking the same as kwired, by the time I got that MC up & painted I'd wish I had run wiremold. Unless droopy MC would be acceptable.

Also on 100 feet what's the total dollar savings?

I said wiremold thinking you might not have to paint it, if you had to paint it anyway, EMT might become a better option.
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
I'd use emt.

You can get it all bent up and installed, then take it down, paint it and reinstall it.

I don't care for wiremold since I hate pulling wire through it.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
I need to run some wiring in a Church with an open vaulted ceiling. It has wooden purlins through out. I was trying to think of a way to use MC cable without it glaring when you look at it. The ceiling is high and I don't think most people will notice it much, but I thought if the MC was darker it wouldn't be as noticeable. Thought about spray painting it before it is installed but I don't know how well it will take paint.
Anyone have any ideas of how to disguise it that won't cost a lot or be a lot of trouble to do? I only need to do about 50' in two different locations.
we are talking about 100' of emt... pipe straps couplings and everything is what $35-40?
and it won't look like poop. you can squirt it with krylon, and be done with it.

wiremold would be $200... guessing... you can get the wood colored peel and stick plastic stuff
in wood tones, they use it in A/V a lot... i've got it around the baseboards in one room of my
house for speaker wire, it looks just like a cove, and i've got my speaker wires in it.

quicker than painting, is using plastic packaging tape... it comes in various colors of
tan to match boxes, and a roll of it if it's the right color applied to whatever raceway
would be fast and cheap.
 
Last edited:

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
we are talking about 100' of emt... pipe straps couplings and everything is what $35-40?
and it won't look like poop. you can squirt it with krylon, and be done with it.

wiremold would be $200... guessing... you can get the wood colored peel and stick plastic stuff
in wood tones, they use it in A/V a lot... i've got it around the baseboards in one room of my
house for speaker wire, it looks just like a cove, and i've got my speaker wires in it.
Is the "peel and stick stuff" you mention non metallic surface metal raceway? If so it can't be used in place of assembly if occupancy is 100+.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
we are talking about 100' of emt... pipe straps couplings and everything is what $35-40?
and it won't look like poop. you can squirt it with krylon, and be done with it.

wiremold would be $200... guessing... you can get the wood colored peel and stick plastic stuff
in wood tones, they use it in A/V a lot... i've got it around the baseboards in one room of my
house for speaker wire, it looks just like a cove, and i've got my speaker wires in it.

quicker than painting, is using plastic packaging tape... it comes in various colors of
tan to match boxes, and a roll of it if it's the right color applied to whatever raceway
would be fast and cheap.
I did think of using tape but thought it might not stick good or would start to wrinkle and come off.
I'll probably end up running EMT but I'm going to let them decide between Wiremold and EMT. I think I will only need 2 boxes on each side and could squirt them with a little paint before putting them up. As high as the ceilings are I don't think the mist from the paint will make it to the floor if I was to spray the EMT after it is installed.
 

John120/240

Senior Member
Location
Olathe, Kansas
In the old days with galvanized rain gutters, it was always recomended to wash the gutter with

vineager before painting. I don't know, does it still apply to EMT conduit ? The vineager would

react with the galvanize allowing the paint to stick.
 
Top