Monday, April 25, 2016

Mailbox Makeover

For the last 7 months I've said that when the nice Spring weather hits I want repaint the mailbox post. Well, it's Spring and nice weather has hit.

Initially I just planned to repaint the post. But Friday evening I was playing on Pinterest and came up with the idea of repainting the box as well. When the husband got home from work we went to the store and bought supplies so I could start my project as early as possible Saturday morning. We bought white high-gloss exterior paint (I wanted it shiny as possible) and Rust-oleum metallic paint. I wanted bronze, but we ended up with copper.

Taking the box off the post was easy. Taking the screws out of the post was not. The box had previously come loose and I had just tacked it back on knowing I'd be taking it apart to work on later. The piece of wood the box sat on was completely rotten so it just split in half and I had to work on getting old rusted, stripped screws out of the post. After lots of effort and my dad coming over to help, we got them removed. I sanded the post and moved on to the mailbox and numbers (not pictured due to avoiding crazy internet people).

 I took the hardware off the box to paint separately and covered the inside of the holes with painters tape. It didn't really matter if paint got in the box, but I cared so I covered the holes. And then I spray painted the box, the hardware, and the numbers. It all got 3 coats of paint.

We had to cut some new wood for the base of the box. None of the wood we have was wide enough so we cut 2 pieces. I painted one coat on the wood and the bracket. You can't see these once it's all put together, but I did it to help protect it from the rain so it doesn't rot out like the other wood did.

I gave the post 2 coats of paint. One Saturday evening and one early Sunday afternoon. I still need to fill in the cracks on the decorative doo-hickey on the top. The one thing I was super happy about painting over was the ugly faded ivy and butterfly that someone had painted on that flat wavy piece. 

Sunday was warm and windy so it was only a couple hours before it was ready to put everything back together.

I re-attached all the hardware on the box. There's a piece missing that the flag attaches to. It was definitely there when I painted everything. I left it in the backyard to dry Saturday night, so I'm thinking one of our many wild-life visitors may have made off with it because it was shiny and steal-able (I'm looking at you, Mr. Raccoon). For now the flag is fixed so it's there, but it's not usable. No big since we don't ever put anything in the box to send (we take stuff to the post office). Speaking of the flag, I want to darken it up. In looking at mailbox regulations, it turns out USPS doesn't care what color it is, just so that it's a different color from the box (which it totally isn't right now). FYI, if you plan to do anything to your mailbox, the only real regulations have to do with the positioning of the post, that the box have all the required markings on it, and that it be usable without the mailman having to do anything unnecessary to put your mail in it. Otherwise, paint away!

The husband reattached the brace and the wood to the post, then we were ready to attach the box.

Look at him, he loves his mailbox.


It's so pretty. It looks really good next to the bushes now. You also get a decent look at our house. I'm proud of my weekend project. And I've got a decent sunburn on my arms to prove I really did it.

Other than needing to paint the flag, I'm kinda thinking about maybe making it steampunk. I mocked-up an idea:

So, basically, some bronze strips of metal to accent the box with some rivets that match the color of the flag. I could attach some gears to the box that would help hold the flag when up or down (if I were engineering smart I'd make it move automatically with a trigger). Then I could attach some really cool gears to the decorative piece on the post (maybe I could make these move somehow with the force of the wind). Obviously something I'm gonna have to think about for a while. I'll update ya if something like this ever happens.

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