One of the projects that has constantly been on my mind since we found out we had a mailbox, has been making it look a little less offensive.
(Address numbers and street names have been blurred to protect our privacy and make my Mom worry less)
As you can see, our mailbox has been customized by the last owners of the house.
For some reason, they loved red and yellow (there was a trellis out front that was red and yellow, which they removed and took with them with no objections from us) and they must have decided the mailbox would be much better when painted in those colors. Combined with the paper box it has a kind of stop light feel to it. Recently our box was further customized by someone who put a flier behind the flag just before a rainstorm on a humid day…which made the flier stick. Nice.
Doesn’t look much better on this side. They even painted the hook on the front yellow. Sheesh!
First thing I had to do was get the box off the stand. As soon as we got our mail on Saturday, I was out with my screwdriver trying to release the box. Of course the screws were painted in place as well as rusted, but with the help of a friendly neighbor who was passing by, the box was freed and ready for its makeover.
I went to the hardware store to get some spray paint and new numbers/letters for our address. This is the style I chose (they didn’t have too many to choose from) because the letters/numbers are set in a sans serif font (which made the graphic designer side of me happy) and I liked the retro looking angle of the letters/numbers as well as the stainless steel and black color scheme.
I tried to peel as much of the old letters/numbers and the flier off the box as I could, then I used goo gone to get the “sticky” off the box as well. After that, I lightly sanded the outside of the box to de-gloss the old finish and then wiped the surface clean and let it dry.
Then it was time to spay paint! I used Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze metallic spray paint. It was a little more interesting than plain black and the metallic finish is very forgiving when it comes to making old paint drips and stickers less noticeable.
I painted the entire exterior of the box, including the bottom (which was starting to get some rust on it). Then I painted the inside of the door as well as an inch or so into the box to cover up all of the old paint that had been splattered on the inside of the box.
After that I went out to the post and lightly sanded the hook, wiped it off, let it dry, taped off the area to be painted and gave the hook a coat of new spray paint as well. Much better!
I had some red spray paint left over from a different project, so I decided to spiff up the mailbox flag.
After a quick trip to the hardware store to get some new screws and nuts to hold the mailbox in place, we reinstalled the box back on its post.
Sure it looks more ordinary now, but that’s a good thing. I am a firm believer in not having the mailbox draw too much attention away from the house. Like the revamped pole light I prefer to have it fade into the background a bit and let the house and surrounding gardens steal the show.
Not a speck of yellow remains on the box or the hook. and the only red is on the flag – where it should be. No more stop light boxes here.
Jim and I decided to splurge and put the address on both sides. Since we live on a corner and our house numbers are on the front of the house only, this will help our visitors locate us more quickly if they happen to be coming from this direction.
For about $14 total (paint, numbers/letters and new screws and bolts), this mailbox makeover makes me happy.