The Easiest Exterior Update

This wasn’t on any of our outdoor to-do lists, but it was such an easy facelift to up our curb appeal. By no means is it perfect – it’s still a dented, old mailbox! – but it’s a major improvement over what we had going on before:

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Our sad mailbox is welded onto our front gate, so it wasn’t as simple as undoing a few screws and attaching a new one. We considered going the new route, but the effort hardly seemed worth it (right now), as it would also require an unwanted dance with the post office of transferring locks and coordinating proper keys with our mail lady. A few months ago, I even called our local branch to ask what would be required, and the helpful woman on the phone sounded exasperated just explaining the protocol! When I asked if it was within our rights (not to sound overly dramatic, but Chicago has a lot of strange laws) to just paint the box, she said, go for it!

mailbox-03

It looks like someone had glued something to the front at one point, and old names were written on with permanent marker. Despite scraping, scrubbing and fingernail picking, the metal still looked absolutely filthy, so we used a combination of Goof Off (for a final cleansing) and spray paint to get it looking, at the very least, cuter!

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We discussed a handful of options for the color – Red? Emerald green? Soft blue? Hot pink! (kidding!) – but knowing that our neighbors would be seeing it much more than we would, we wanted something a little more safe and unoffensive. We even considered going with black to blend in with our fence (which admittedly could use a new paint job as well), but nixed that for something a little more fun. Why not? It’s just a mailbox! We’ve used Montana brand spray paints in the past, and it holds up really well (it’s made for all-weather graffiti artists!), and after going through the colors available, we both agreed on the color ‘Neptune.’

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This brand of spray paint is known to have better control, so I didn’t have to worry about taping off too much of the fence. A few sheets of paper did the job! Once dry, it’s a slightly brighter and more green blue than our front door, but they’re similar enough that they also play well together!

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Before starting the job at all, I did still have to ask our mail lady to keep the box unlocked so we had access to the inside to remove the locks, making it easier to spray paint. When I told her our plans, she said, I can’t wait to see what you do!, so hopefully it’s one of the more cheery stops in her daily routine now. (On a side note, wouldn’t it be fun if it was the norm to have the brightest, most colorful mailbox? Houses would look so happy! Getting your bills could be tolerable! I call pink!)

Eventually, we may upgrade our mailbox altogether, especially since we don’t need three separate locks. But for now? Cute!

PS… You’ll now be able to find us over at Bali Blinds, where we’ll be blogging alongside an inspiring crew of contributors! Check out our latest post – and update to our DIY Suds – because yup, we’re still using ’em!

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  • Jodi - August 8, 2014 - 8:29 AM

    SO CUTE! that’s great that your mail lady is excited to see it, too. =)ReplyCancel

  • Cammee - August 8, 2014 - 8:32 AM

    I can’t even believe that is the same mailbox!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - August 8, 2014 - 9:08 AM

    Great updating idea! We’ve got a really old purple (yes) rusty metal mailbox that I am thinking of painting, but it’s also really bent out of shape. Probably better to just get a new one. Maybe I’ll get a plain one and paint it something fun.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - August 8, 2014 - 9:48 AM

    Speaking of crazy Chicago laws, since it’s illegal to sell spray paint in stores in Chicago, where did you get this lovely shade of blue spray paint? (I.e, who sells this brand?) (ie how far into the burbs were you forced to venture, haha, the dreaded burbs!)
    Thanks!
    KReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 8, 2014 - 10:18 AM

      So true! I should have mentioned that. We got this at the Blick’s Art Supply in the ‘burbs. Scott works in the (farther away) ‘burbs and can pick it up on his way home from work, but in a pinch, you can at least go to Evanston and go to the art supply stores there to get your spray paint fix!ReplyCancel

    • Nicole S. - August 8, 2014 - 11:17 AM

      I frequently order spray pain from Amazon to fulfill my Chicago spray paint needs. Super easy!ReplyCancel

      • Katherine - August 8, 2014 - 2:24 PM

        Oh, Cool. I guess I never thought of Amazon for spray paint! Thanks guys!ReplyCancel

  • Felicity - August 8, 2014 - 12:13 PM

    Huge improvement. So fun!ReplyCancel

  • Uncle Brain - August 8, 2014 - 1:43 PM

    Hey, was that color my idea or yours? Doesn’t matter, I am going to pretend is was mine since it looks so awesome. HA!

    I think I will send you a letter just so it can hang out in that box for a few hours.

    Also, the dinosaurs were the right choice as well–so much fun! And the drapes… sheesh, I can’t even keep up with the commenting. You guys are amazing.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 8, 2014 - 2:05 PM

      Thank you, Uncle Brain! Looking forward to seeing you SOON!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - August 8, 2014 - 2:09 PM

    OMG, so easy and such a fun change!

    Do you still separate the mail for your downstairs tenant? Also, how is that working out?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 8, 2014 - 2:18 PM

      It’s going great! If anything, we worry that we’re the annoying neighbors to THEM (all the power tools and dogs running above their heads…). Also, their mail gets delivered to one of the 3 compartments in the mail box. :)ReplyCancel

  • q - August 8, 2014 - 6:36 PM

    Well done! Looks like the new one; suits to the door.ReplyCancel

  • Megan - August 10, 2014 - 8:53 AM

    Looks great! I love the color!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - August 11, 2014 - 1:35 PM

    We just got back from Iceland, and we LOVED the bright houses there. Whole houses the same color of your mailbox, topped with bright red roofs! Gray homes with blue roofs! White homes with red trim! Pink doors! Lime green houses! We loved it all, and are now contemplating painting our red brick house. I wonder what our neighbors would say to a whole house in the color of your front door….ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 11, 2014 - 2:02 PM

      That sounds AMAZING! I grew up in a small town where a lot of the houses were different crazy colors. I’ve always loved the charm in that!ReplyCancel

  • […] a little bit of elbow grease and the perfect shade of spray paint, the folks at Yellow Brick Home refreshed their mailbox for a pop of color and curb […]ReplyCancel

  • Lander Electric - August 14, 2014 - 5:39 PM

    Can’t get enough of a good DIY. This change looks really good and matches your door. Now, that’s a neighborhood mailbox I can get behind.ReplyCancel

  • Kaileen Elise - August 28, 2014 - 12:30 PM

    Love it! Looks so great… and I’d definitely love to check mail if I were you.ReplyCancel

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