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.
- 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)
Remove any lose paint and rough up the metal surface with the medium-grit sandpaper.
Remove any dirt/dust with a wet rag.
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.
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.
Use your E6000 adhesive to glue the wood pieces onto your mailbox. Let the adhesive dry overnight.
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.
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.
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.
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
Trend: Repurposed Filing Cabinets.
Are you no longer in need of that old filing cabinet? Don’t toss it, instead repurpose it into something more useful!
Kitchen Rolling Cart made from an old Filing Cabinet, via Curbly.
From filing cabinet to vintage kids kitchen, via Kristin Rogers Photography.
Add some color to update your filing cabinet, from Cecily Mae Handmade.
So clever! Filing cabinet turned garage organizer, from Trash to Treasure Blog.
File Cabinet Planters, from Boopy Projects.
File Cabinet + Door Desk, from The Tortoise and The Hare.
Filing Cabinet Table, from Better Homes and Gardens.
Filing Cabinet Side Table, from The Paper Mama on BHG.
Filing cabinet turned fabric organizer! Awesome idea, from Sew Many Ways.
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
The Spring 2013 issue of Kitchen + Bath Makeovers is coming to a newsstand near you any day now! The theme is “Before and After,” so today I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes peeks of a few furniture makeovers from the issue.
When we produced the Budget Kitchen makeover last summer, we hit up consignment shops, thrift stores, and Craiglist for affordable dining room furniture and frames. After some searching, here’s what we found. While some of our pieces needed a deep cleaning, they had good bones.
Here’s a peek at how we used these pieces in a dining room. Hard to believe they’re the same pieces, right?
The chairs and bench each got a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Medieval Times. We removed the rush seats first before priming and painting to keep them their natural color.
The homeowner already had the IKEA cabinet shown in the after photo, but it’s now discontinued and we wanted two storage units for the dining room for balance. We found a used IKEA cabinet that was a close match, but a little large. We trimmed the legs down with a circular saw to make it more closely match the scale of the existing cabinet and removed the door before priming and painting them both in Benjamin Moore Grey Mist.
The frames were a great deal! We found a bunch of them on Craigslist, so we tested out lots of configurations until we were happy with an arrangement. If you’re having trouble deciding how to hang art, try laying out the pieces on the floor first before you put holes in the wall. Snap photos of various arrangements and compare them to decide which one you like best–you’ll also have a guide to help you remember how they looked as you start hanging them. If your frames are really big, you may want to get out a ladder like I did to take good photos from up high! We used a spray primer to quickly coat the intricate frames, and then applied a couple of coats of Benjamin Moore Henderson Buff, Woodstock Tan, and Medieval Times.
If you’re on a budget, I encourage you to consider finding some quality used pieces that you can give a new lease on life. Not only is it an affordable solution, it’s also rewarding to have a customized piece that you refreshed yourself! Check out these furniture makeovers for more inspiration and watch this video for tips on painting furniture.
—Maria Charbonneaux, Associate Editor, Kitchen + Bath Makeovers