Colorful Hibiscus Hand Painted Mailbox

Choose your own custom colors on this pretty mailbox!

hand painted mailboxes colorful hibiscus flowers

At Cottage and Cabana all hand painted mailboxes and signs are painted in acrylic/enamel paints and then generously treated with a clear coat made specifically for outdoor use.  Cottage and Cabana mailboxes can be customized and personalized for no additional cost!  Take part in designing your own hand painted mailbox!

Choose the color of your decorative mailbox, choose your personalization, and even choose the color of painted design elements on your hand painted mailbox at no addition cost!  We carefully paint-to-order your customization requests with our own original hand painted design.

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How to Re-Seal a Painted Mailbox

 

While I do not recommend re-sealing a painted mailbox each year, as was once thought to be a good practice. (I recommend car or boat wax. Please see my FYI Article, “How to Care for Hand Painted Mailboxes” for instructions.) However, there are a few reasons a hand painted mailbox might need an additional coat of sealer. I’ve had customers who have had to repair their mailbox for different reasons. The most common, believe it or not, is someone accidentally backing their car up and running the mailbox post over. I had no idea how often this happened, but for whatever reason it might be called for, I want to give some basic instructions for anyone needing to re-seal their mailbox.

Re-sealing a mailbox appears to me to be something most look upon with fear and trepidation. Truthfully it is an easy process and once you’ve done it, you’ll see that it’s a snap. There’s just a few things to know ahead of time and a few basic steps of direction in application, which will make your re-sealing job look professional and leave your mailbox looking beautiful again.

Before you seal your mailbox, first you’ll want to remove your mailbox from the post and clean it thoroughly. I like using a simple dish soap such as Dawn. Be sure the mailbox has been completely rinsed off and is thoroughly dried. Gently sand any areas where the old sealer might be cracking off or lifting off and wipe clean. Next you’ll want to find a good location to spray. It should be well ventilated and be at least 50 degrees.

crystal clear enamel

 

I use “Rustoleum Stops Rust Crystal Clear Enamel.”  I find it easy to use and offers durable protection.   Set the mailbox on a hard surface, but understand that whatever you set it on will get coated with the sealer too, so you’ll want it to be something disposable.  Shake the can of Rustoleum vigorously. (You should always keep spray sealers  away from flames!) Hold the can about 12 to 14 inches away from the mailbox and spray in a smooth, even, back and forth direction, slightly over-lapping each stroke. Apply 2 more light coats a few minutes apart. For best results, apply multiple light coats versus applying one heavy coat. Allow mailbox to dry.
It dries to the touch in 15 minutes, and dries enough to handle in about 30 – 45 minutes and can be re-coated at any time.

Once you’re done sealing your mailbox, give it about 24 hours to cure well before putting it outside in the outdoor elements. Then reinstall your mailbox and sit back and enjoy its beauty and a job well done.

 

hand painted mailboxes beach

Painted Mailbox – hand painted mailboxes beach

 

How to Care for a Hand Painted Mailbox

Taking care of a hand painted mailbox is much easier than you think.

Forget those outdated instructions telling you to re-seal your mailbox each year, and disregard what you’ve heard about the need for constant and frequent washings of your mailbox.  These things are simply not necessary.

An important step to remember in taking care of your hand mailbox is to not do anything to your mailbox for 3 weeks and let your mailbox do all the work.  Yes, during the first three weeks, your mailbox needs to do a work-out of its own.  You might be wondering just what kind of working out does a hand painted mailbox do?  Naturally, it will need to do an aerobic work-out.  Well, not THAT kind of aerobic work out; its an aerobic curing to be precise.  An aerobic cure is more technically referred to as an out-gassing.  The solvents in the sealer need to out-gas (evaporate).

Once your hand painted mailbox has out-gassed, you can then wipe it down with a soft, damp cloth to make sure its dirt free.( Its important that there is nothing that will be abrasive on your mailbox.) Then gently apply a liquid car wax and with a soft cloth, very gently buff it.  The car wax (any brand) will provide an additional layer of protection for your mailbox.  Waxing your mailbox twice a year is sufficient, but for those of you who live in extreme climates, waxing your mailbox once each season is optimal.

As I mentioned, its important that you wait 3 weeks to allow your mailbox to out-gas before you wax it however.  Waxing before the mailbox has out-gassed can cause the sealer to permanently cloud up.  An additional measure to keep your mailbox looking new is to use galvanized screws to mount your mailbox.  This will help insure that no rust from the mounting screws will stain your mailbox.

Waxing your hand painted mailbox will significantly prolong the life of your mailbox.  Its an extremely easy and cost effective method of getting additional years to enjoy your beautiful new hand painted mailbox.

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How to Properly Install a New Hand Painted Mailbox

Did you know that customers are required to contact the local Post Office before installing a new mailbox?

Cottage and Cabana (CottageAndCabana.com) uses Solar Group mailboxes, and on the box of Solar Group mailboxes, I read that customers are required to contact the local Post Office before installing a new mailbox.  Are you asking yourself why you would need to contact the Post Office in order to install your mailbox?   The reason is to merely ensure the mailbox’s correct placement and height at the street.

Wanting to know more about these USPS Mailbox Location requirements, I researched and found the USPS requirements.

2.7 Location:
Subject to state laws and regulations, a curbside mailbox must be placed to allow safe and convenient delivery by carriers without leaving their vehicles. The box must be on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of travel of the carriers on any new rural route or highway contract route, in all cases where traffic conditions are dangerous for the carriers to drive to the left to reach the box, or where their doing so would violate traffic laws and regulations.  “D041 Customer Mail Receptacles.” N.p., 9 Dec. 2004. Web.

Additionally, in regard to customization and personalization of your new hand painted mailbox, you might want to keep in mind the USPS Address Identification requirements, which reads:

2.3 Address Identification:

Every curbside mailbox must bear the following address information:

a. A box number, if used, inscribed in contrasting color in neat letters and numerals at least 1 inch high on the side of the box visible to the carrier’s regular approach, or on the door if boxes are grouped.

b. A house number if street names and house numbers have been assigned by local authorities, and the postmaster authorizes their use as a postal address. If the box is on a different street from the customer’s residence, the street name and house number must be inscribed on the box.  “D041 Customer Mail Receptacles.” N.p., 9 Dec. 2004. Web.

Solar Group tells us that generally, mailboxes are installed at a height of 41-45 inches from the road surface to inside floor of the mailbox or point of mail entry and are set back 6-8 inches from front of face of curb or road edge to the mailbox door.

Do these requirements seem tedious or regulatory to you?  Initially, they might.  However, can you imagine being the postal carrier trying to deliver mail to a mailbox which is too far from the roadside for arm’s reach?  Or perhaps the mailbox’s height is problematic for opening or closing the mailbox door for mail delivery?

Following these simple requirements is a fair practice for us all and is curtious to postal carriers as well.  Besides that, it can help insure a happy postal carrier, which in turn can help to insure easy and prompt delivery of your mail.

“D041 Customer Mail Receptacles.” N.p., 9 Dec. 2004. Web.

The Opening of Our New Online Store, Cottage and Cabana

Cottage and Cabana – A panorama of magic for your home, cottage and cabana.
We invite you to browse our new store filled with beautiful hand painted mailboxes, switch plates, decorative signs, house plaques, home decor, and soon, much more.
www.CottageAndCabana.com

3 Chic Cottage Shabby Roses

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Beach (Nautical) Scene with Palm Trees

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