Hinged frame to cover safe ...


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Nov 19, 2003
Orange County, CA
One of my customers is getting a wall safe installed and has asked me to build a picture to cover it. He wants the picture hinged.

Any suggestions as to best way of tackling (a) the hinging and (b) some kind of a latch mechanism to keep it from swinging open?

Thanks for your ideas.
Ok I have no clue, but i shall throw some things out there.

First it would be hinged to the wall, but in far enough recessed that you don't see a hinge. Maybe something like a cabinet door would work-the mechanisms that allows for flat closing.

How far does this stick out from the wall also? One thing would be to keep the image flat against the wall, otherwise it would look fishy.

That would help. And is there anything that I might be interested in the safe? Sorry guess it was not too much help.
I did something similar a few years ago. I used a piano hinge at the left edge. I think we used a magnetic closure. I'll ask my husband and get back to you. He is a cabinetmaker and he found the hardware for me and installed it, so I want to make sure I'm not leaving out some crucial information. I can find out where he bought the hardware, also.
I realize that in the old black and white movies, the safe was always behind a picture that was hinged to the wall.

But that was before the invention of WallBuddies.

Using them on a frame a few inches larger than the face of the safe would eliminate the need to hide a piano hinge and magnet catch.

Of course this assumes that your customer is interested in hiding the safe for security reasons and is not just an aficionado of old movies.

I used Kit's idea (though I didn't even know Kit at the time - it's that time-warp thing again) and used a deep #22 Nielsen metal with Wall Buddies to cover the electrical service panel in our basement family room. I don't even remember what's in the frame but, if you hold on a moment, I'll go check.

Oh, it's a 2'x4' ceiling tile. How creative.

My safe is bolted to the concrete floor. There's nothing in it that approaches the monetary value of the safe itself.
I would use two frames. Attach one securely to the wall, deep enough to clear the safe's hardware. On top of that one, attach a matching frame (with art) by 3 or 4 small barrel hinges on the left side, which would be completely invisible. Latch the right side with a couple of rare-earth magnets.
There are kinds of cabinet hardware that allow for flush mounting and full opening. (A piano hinge would only open 90 degrees before the outer edge of the frame contacted the wall).
They are made by several comanied, but the kind I'm familiar with are made by Grass. They are articulated allowing the whole frame to move away from the wall during the initial swing. They are also easily adjustable for level, so installation is a bit easier.
Hmmmm... Wall buddies with hinges!!
i'm working on one of those right now. the customer brought in a painting she wanted to use to cover an intercome box that sticks out about 1 1/2" so we're putting a liner around the painting and a shadowbox around that with some hinges on the side. hope it works!!