We’re not sure how this one slipped by us, but in March 2009, Ideal sent out a press release detailing their new Mess-X Paint Shields. The idea is simple: when painting, instead of taping off outlets and switches, you remove the cover plates and simply “snap” their paint shield over any exposed outlets and switches. When you’re done painting, remove the shields to reveal pristine outlets and switches.
Ideal will manufacture the paint shields for both duplex outlets and single switches. The paint shields can work side-by-side to cover multiple gang boxes, and you can mix and max outlet and switch shields to protect just about any configuration. They’ll work with either standard or Decora-style outlets and swtiches and most GFCIs.
The washable and reusable Mess-X Paint Shields will be available in packs of ten or a hundred. A thorough web search failed to find any retailers selling the Mess-X yet — we only found other sites that beat us to the punch — and a quick call to their 800 number confirmed they aren’t available for sale yet.