Looking for a small and easy home renovation project? A great way to get started is your mailbox post! You might be thinking about whether you should or not and what comes with the process. No worries, we've done the research for you to find you.
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According to USPS, you're more than welcome to paint your mailbox post. This project can be finished in one day and bring a little more excitement to your front yard. You'll be using either paint or spray paint depending on what material your post is made of and below we've put together a list of the advantages and disadvantages.
- Complement your home color
- Add personality
- Easy project
- No permits needed
- Neighbors might not like it
- Patience for even coating
- It is an outdoor project
With even advantages and disadvantages, it could come down to personal choice. It is an easy enough project for beginners and won't cost a lot in materials. We've outlined step-by-step processes for painting different surfaces of mailbox posts, plus some insider tips and tricks. Keep reading to learn about your upcoming project!
Painting your mailbox post
Sprucing up your mailbox post requires only a hand full of materials, many of which may already be around your home, including:
- Krylon All-In-One spray paint
- Painters tape
- Cleaning supplies
- Drop cloth
For any type of post, you'll want to remove everything off it first. Start by taking the mailbox off, then the house numbers, and if you're able, to any sort of flag, flag holder, or clip. If there's something you cannot remove, this is when you'll use the painter's tape to cover and protect them from the spray paint.
How Do You Paint A Pressure-Treated Mailbox Post?
Pressure-treated wood is often used for outdoor settings due to the inlaid chemicals that protect it from many weather conditions. This wood will be denser and, therefore, have more strength and mold and insect resistance. Wood posts should be painted with exterior latex paint and primer.
To begin, evaluate the moisture content of your post. If it is a brand new piece of wood, you should wait about 3-4 months for it to cure fully. If it is not brand new, you'll be able to start right away. You'll want to use a wood filler to fill in any cracks or holes. And then sand it down to a smooth finish.
While spray paint will stick to wood, it doesn't have as satisfying of a final look. Using your outdoor approved paint, add two coats of primer and allow them to fully dry in between coats. Once those are on and dry, now you can add on the desired topcoat.
Tip: Make sure to take your time and apply even strokes to avoid brush marks when it dries.
How Do You Paint A Metal Mailbox Post?
Metal mailbox posts will start with the same process of removing the mailbox and any extras. If you have a shared mailbox post with neighbors, talk with them beforehand to give them a heads up. You'll want to thoroughly clean the post to remove any grime build-up, dust, or mold. Rinse and allow the post to completely dry.
If the post is rusting and flaking, you'll need to give it a very deep sanding to make it smooth. A peeling metal post won't grip the paint as well as a matte surface, and if it continues to peel, the previous color will show through. After it's been sanded, wipe it off with a damp cloth to remove the remaining flakes.
Using spray paint for this project, you'll want to hold the can 6-8 inches away and spray in an even side-to-side motion. Once the first layer is put on, give it about a minute to dry. Then you can apply the second coat. Continue to coat the post until the color meets your standards. Allow 25-30 minutes for it to completely dry.
Tip: Make sure you do this on a calm day with little wind to reduce the chance of the spray paint getting everywhere!
How Do You Paint A Plastic Mailbox Post?
With the mailbox removed and the surface clear of any objects, it's time to get started. Begin by using an all-purpose cleaner to clean the entire post surface completely. Plastic posts are notorious for holding onto grim, and if a rag isn't enough to remove it all, consider using a power washer for a deep clean.
Plastic posts can be spray painted but require plastic-approved paint. When looking for spray paint, make sure it states plastic right on the front of the can. Otherwise, you may run the risk of it not sticking or eating through the plastic. Follow the 6-8 inches sweeping motions to apply the paint and continue until the color is as thick as you'd like.
Tip: If you want an extra layer of protection, you can add a final coat of a plastic sealer to the post.
Can You Use Spray Paint On A Mailbox Post?
Yes! Spray paint is one of the most used products for paint mailbox posts. It's durable against outdoor weather conditions and can last for years. On the other hand, depending on how much direct sun your post receives, you may have to repaint the mailbox post after 5-7 years due to fading. This isn't too bad since it means you can always switch it up!
Tip: Buy stencils to add more creativity to your post!
Can You Paint Your Mailbox Any Color?
The mailbox post and mailbox itself can be painted any color in any design you'd like. You'll often see some homeowners that go all out and put their mailboxes in full statues, such as a manatee. While you don't have to worry about the color of the mailbox and post, the carrier signal flag is another story.
The carrier flag must not be painted any shade of green, brown, yellow, blue, or white. Red or orange are the only suitable colors for the flag to be easily seen. Keep in mind that your carrier flag will most likely need to be very bright orange to stand out if you have a red mailbox.
In terms of placement, the only rule of thumb is that the height and width towards the street must be within USPS regulations to make it easy for post drivers to access. If you're unsure of the size regulations, contact your local post office for advice. Also, if you plan on moving your mailbox post at all, even an inch, you'll need approval from USPS.
You should paint your mailbox post if you're looking for an easy project to clean up the front of your home. No matter what type of material your post is made out of, there is a type of paint and color out there for it. Just make sure your neighbors and homeowners association don't mind looking at a bright purple post!