Tuesday 12 March 2013

Food Safe Style Solar Inverter Cover

I haven't been happy with the look of the solar inverter on the wall of my shed ever since we had solar electricity installed about a year ago. It didn't fit in with the look that I was trying to achieve. And to make things worse, it's right next to my office door so it was right in my face every day. Something had to be done about it.

I am trying to decorate the side of my shed (where the inverter is) with grocery store and domestic collectables. The inverter is non of these. It needed a cover so a hanging food safe seemed an appropriate solution. My reasoning for this choice was that a food safe of some sort would often be seen hanging on a verandah just outside the kitchen door of an old house, keeping food fresh and cool. I even imagine that they would have been seen outside some early grocery stores. The mesh sides would also allow for ample ventilation around the inverter. The photos below show the result.

The side verandah of my shed showing some of my grocery store advertising signs
 (and our inappropriate looking solar inverter)
The food safe cover in place on the side verandah of my shed.

I built the food safe out of some Western red cedar that I have had lying around for years.
 The top and bottom are cut out of an old piece of  plywood.
This resulted in a very light construction which was simply screwed to the wall.

The mesh sides are old aluminium fly screen cut out of one of our old window screens.
 I was hoping for something darker to disguise the inverter but couldn't find anything suitable.
 Maybe I will someday replace the fly screen with something like perforated zinc sheet similar to that found on many old original food safes.

This teal green colour is one of my favourite colours. Bright colours such as this are often found on old food safes.
 I used a navy blue (looks a bit purplish here) as the  interior colour and overall base coat.
 This was then finished with a top coat of spearmint, sanded back a little to allow some of the navy and natural wood to show through to give the food safe a lightly distressed and aged appearance.

The simple swivel toggle catch works well and is in keeping with the style of original food safes.
 The spearmint, navy blue and natural wood can be seen clearly here.

Overall, I am very pleased with the way the food safe came up. It certainly softens the look of the inverter and adds a splash of bright colour to what is, after all, a rather drab colour wall.


  1. It looks great! I like the green. Can't wait to see it for real. :-)

  2. Thanks Ash. This is pretty much my favourite colour at the moment. Can't wait to paint my office door in something similar.

  3. I think that looks great, and yes, I can see the punched tin on it too. Very clever.

    1. Thanks Marti. Knowing my track record, I can see the fly wire being there for some time before I replace it with the punched tin.


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