When we first moved in, one of my first projects was the mailbox. We didn’t have any money then, so all I did was spray paint the mailbox, add some house numbers, straighten the post using rocks, and plant some hostas that my friend had given me.
I enjoyed my red mailbox, but it was dented and the post still tended to lean after a good rain. Last fall, we picked up a new white mailbox that I wanted spruced up.
Then I saw the artwork of one of the teens from our church youth group. I decided to commission her to paint the mailbox. My only criteria was that I wanted “something pretty”. Other than that, I told her to do what she wanted.
She returned the mailbox to us this week and wow! Inspired by van Gogh, she painted a swirling sky and sunflowers.
It couldn’t be more perfect. The teen, Rachel Brainerd, is super talented and is preparing to go to art school next fall. I love her work and I can now boast that I have a Rachel Brainerd original. Here’s a link to her work if you want to see more (or commission her yourself .
Rachel used regular acrylic paint on the mailbox, and then sprayed it with an outdoor paint sealer that includes UV protection to keep the colors vibrant. I plan to spray a new coat every year to protect the art.
Now that I have my beautiful new mailbox, I can’t put it on my crooked post. It was time to dig up the old post and steady it permanently.
Installing a mailbox
If you have never installed a mailbox post, it’s pretty simple – especially if you use a fast setting concrete mix. We used the Quickcrete brand and here was our process:
- Dig a hole about a foot deep.
- Insert the 4×4 treated post in the hole and make sure it’s level. (They actually make levels for this.)
- Empty the bag of dry Quickcrete into the hole.
- Poor two quarts of water on top of the dry mix and let it set.
It hardened in about a half hour.
We also purchased a fancy vinyl post cover from Home Depot that slips right over the wooden post. We were able to put this one and secure it with screws after the concrete set. Then we attached our mailbox.
The project took about two hours in total – including digging the hole.
I love the way it turned out. It brings a bit of spring and cheer to the end of winter drab at the end of our driveway.