mailbox

Chelsey Andrews

DIY-ify: Mailbox Makeover for under $15!

A couple of weeks ago I shared 14 easy DIY projects to update your curb appeal, and it REALLY made me think about our poor neglected front yard. Everyday I come home I look at my plain ‘ol beat up mailbox and want to change it. I have wanted to do something about it forever, but didn’t actually do anything until this last week.We bought our house 5 years ago and have barely done anything to this little 1920′s home. Home improvement projects can be intimidating/pricey/and so very final. Know what I mean?

So, I got some guts and changed the mailbox. The best part about this project: it was free for me. I already had all the supplies to fix up this old guy. If you don’t have a crazy supply of spray paint/wood/and glue lying around, not a problem. It may cost you around $15 to update your dated mailbox.

Supplies:

- an old mailbox

- medium-grit sandpaper

- white metal primer spray paint

- gold spray paint

- hot pink spray paint

- clear acrylic sealer spray

- E6000 adhesive

- black acrylic paint

- roughly 42 inches of 2 inch wide x 1/4 inch thick pine wood (the amount you need will depend on your mailbox)

- paintbrush

 

Directions:

Step 1:

Remove any lose paint and rough up the metal surface with the medium-grit sandpaper.

Step 2:

Remove any dirt/dust with a wet rag.

Step 3:

Let’s paint!

Spray in the inside of the mailbox: In a well ventilated area (preferably outside wearing a mask and eye protection), spray paint the inside of your mailbox with multiple coats of the white primer (following dry time instructions on your paint can). Follow the primer with 2 – 3 coats of hot pink spray paint. Let the inside of your mailbox dry completely (24 hours +). When the paint has had a chance to dry for 24 + hours, cover the inside surface of the mailbox with painters tape and plastic to protect it from this next step.

Spray the outside of the mailbox:  In a well ventilated area (preferably outside wearing a mask and eye protection), spray paint the outside of your mailbox with multiple coats of the white primer, following dry time instructions on your paint can. Follow the primer with multiple coats of gold spray paint. I applied around 6 coats of this stuff. Let the inside of your mailbox dry completely (48 hours +).

Note: metal can be difficult to paint. If not done properly, it will peel or chip off easily. It’s pretty important to follow your spray paint instructions on your can. I find getting all the coats of paint done within 2 – 3 hours is best. If you wait too long in between coats, sometimes the paint will bubble. Applying multiple thin coats of paint will help avoid drips of paint. 

Step 4:

When I finished the painting steps I decided I really didn’t like the fleur de lis piece of the mailbox, so I pried it off and added a wooden frame over the space.

I used 42 inches of 2 inch wide by 1/4 thick pine wood. Your amount will depend on the size of your mailbox. You’ll need two pieces for the front, and 4 little pieces for the side. Measure out your wood pieces for the front and sides. Use a mitor box and saw to cut angled corners for your wood pieces.

Note: Don’t have a mitor box or saw? You can find them for pretty cheap at any home improvement store, or you can skip the side pieces and just put the wood on the front of the mailbox. I think that would still look lovely. 

Step 5:

Use your E6000 adhesive to glue the wood pieces onto your mailbox. Let the adhesive dry overnight.

Step 6:

Create a house number template on your computer and print it out. The font size will depend on your mailbox. Cut out the font template you made. Use a pencil to trace the numbers in the center of the wood frame. FYI: I used the free Chunkfive font for my template.

Step 7:

Use a fine point paintbrush to carefully paint the black acrylic paint into your traced numbers on the wood. Let the paint dry a couple hours and use a pencil to erase any left over pencil marks.

Step 8:

Let’s finish this project! Use your clear acrylic spray to seal the whole mailbox. Note: the spray will dull the gold a bit and darken the wood, but it will add some more protection to the paint and wood (so it was worth it in my mind). Let the spray dry for 24 – 48 hours.

Step 9:

Install your fancy new mailbox!

I’m so happy with how this turned out (my favorite part is the pop of hot pink inside).

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama