Revive That Rusty Mail Box: DIY Country Mail Box and How to Install It

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Got a rusty, weather-beaten mailbox post you want to get rid of? If you’re most people, you’d simply run to the nearest hardware store to get a mailbox kit and install it on your own. But if you want to get creative, you can bring life back to an old mailbox!

Making your own mailbox is not as convenient but you can customize it according to your preference. And you can do this without any experience with power tools! So let’s turn that unsightly, decaying mailbox into a classic country mailbox with a twist:

You will need:

Your old mail box
a six-foot long, 4”x4” pressure-treated wood
a steel brush
screws
screwdriver
a shovel
a bag of concrete mix
a post level
a 1-inch thick 4 inches long piece of wood
ruler or measuring tape
a chisel

Instructions

Step 1: Removing the Rust

If the mailbox hasn’t fallen off its post yet, remove it by unscrewing it from the wooden post. If the mailbox is rusty, start brushing off the rust using a steel brush. Once the rust is smooth over, apply a primer. Let the primer dry before painting it over with your desired color.  Choose paint that’s meant for outdoor use. This way, the paint can withstand the harsh climate. You can get creative at this point. You can either use a stencil to design the mailbox or go totally freehand.  Leave the mailbox to dry for at least half a day. Once it’s dry, coat the mailbox with UV protectant so the color remains vivid even when it’s under direct sunlight. You can also paint a semitransparent stain to keep the paint looking fresh.

Step 2: Meeting the Federal Specs for Mail Boxes

If you live in the US then you’ll have to meet a specific guideline for mailbox by the United States Postal Service. The position of the mailbox should be 41″ to 45″ above ground level. The mailbox should be placed 6″ to 8″ back from the curb. You’re also required to post your house number on the mailbox.

As for the mailbox post, it should be mounted on a 4″ x 4″ wooden support or a 2″-diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe. The mailbox post should be buried no more than 24 inches into the ground.

Step 3: Mounting the Mail Box

Once you found the right spot, start digging for the wooden post using a shovel. Again, the post should be buried 24 inches into the ground. Then, add the concrete mix to the bottom of the hole. Install the post then check if the post is level. Then, let the cement mix dry.

After installing the post, it’s time to add the mounting. Get the 4-inch think piece of wood and use this as the base for the mailbox. Get the screwdriver and start attaching the mail box into the wooden mounting before installing it directly onto the wooden post. Check if the whole construction is sturdy and if it is, then you’re done!


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