No cost mailbox re-do {Sprucing up the outdoors for spring series}

sprucing up the outdoors for spring button

I have had a hard time waiting to share this re-do with you – I have been so excited about it!  I am a firm believer in spray paint and that it can practically re-do anything BUT this project has amazed even me! Smile 

Remember my mailbox dilemma post from last week?   


Yes, this was the sad state of my mailbox.  I showed you a couple different options such as painting the post white and leaving the mailbox black, or staining the post and painting the mailbox white.  A lot of you suggested staining the post and painting the mailbox white (which was what I was starting to lean towards.)  Then a few of you also suggested somehow tying in the color of our house with the color of the mailbox. 

So here is what I did!  Remember this is our starting point.


When I got up closer to the pole, I realized how bad it really was.  The wood was mildewed and gross!  But I was determined to work with what I had and not buy a new post.


And the mailbox itself was pretty sad too – very faded and starting to rust around the hinges.  BUT spray paint works magic, so I was willing to give it a try!


First I removed the mailbox from the pole and removed the old faded address numbers from the pole.


Then I gave the whole pole a quick sanding with my power sander.  Already looking better!  Much of the green was gone and the wood was actually starting to look like wood.


Then I applied a quick coat of stain/weather protectant sealant (the same stain and color I used on my front porch re-do that I posted last week.)


Looking even better!


Tip: when staining old wood – use a cheap foam brush you can toss when you are done.  The rough wood tore my brush all up.


While the post was drying, I started working on the mailbox, the flag, the trim pieces holding the flag on, and the latches.

I was amazed how easy these pieces popped off the mailbox.  They had this nifty little clip that you just popped down and off. 

I painted the flag with some red spray paint I had and the trim pieces with some black gloss paint I had.


I gave the mailbox 2 light coats of white primer and then 2-3 light coats of white satin spray paint.


Here’s the other trim pieces sprayed black – they look like new!  By the way,  I know sometimes people wonder how much spray paint projects like this take.  I had already used the red spray paint to paint the red lanterns on my Valentine mantel and there is still probably 1/2 a can left after this project, and I probably used 1/2 a can or less of white primer and white spray paint and this was a bigger project than normal. So one can of spray paint can last you quite a while and do quite a few projects.


I waited for the mailbox and pieces to dry and then put it all back together. 

Then I screwed the mailbox back onto the pole.

Can you even believe that this is the SAME mailbox and the SAME pole?? 


I think I stared at it in disbelief for a while.  Like I said, I know that paint can do WONDERS, but honestly I didn’t even believe that it would turn out this good.

It looks like a brand new mailbox and the pole doesn’t look that bad either!


Here is the before and after just so you can see the change!   I LOVE how the flag is bright red and just pops against the white box. 

mailbox beforeafter

And here is a shot with our house in the background.  I think the reddish tint in the pole and the red in the flag tie in with the burgundy in the shutters while the white matches the house and trim pretty well!  And I am glad I didn’t go with a black box again since that just really seems to look out of place up against our house.  What do you think?


Once again, here is before:


And here is after:


Yes, I LOVE me some spray paint! Smile

I still need to add our house numbers back onto the pole or the mailbox.  I am thinking about trying to make some with some black vinyl using my friends Cricut but we shall see.  If not, I will get a much nicer version of numbers from Home Depot or Lowe’s and screw them onto the pole.  Especially since this whole little makeover has cost my ZERO, zilch, nothing so far! Smile

By the way, just in case you think I am some sort of super-woman and spray paint mailboxes, shop yard sales each week, plant flowers, prepare gourmet meals for my husband, keep a perfect house, AND blog about it all – let me just confess something.  I. don’t. and I probably never. will. 

If I am posting projects like this, more than likely this is what my house looks like, ok? 


I can’t do everything at once.  And to be honest I am not the greatest housekeeper either.    I would much rather be outside planting flowers, or spray painting something than cleaning house Winking smile.    I know how discouraging it is for me to see someone’s perfect house AND great projects and that little comparison bug starts to bite and then you start beating yourself up over it – “why can’t I be like so and so” and on and on we go. But that is not allowed when you read my blog, ok? Cause I have plenty more pictures just like the one below and WORSE that I could share (but I probably won’t because I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public again Winking smile) If you have a clean house and your mailbox looks like my before then we are even ok?  Actually you are probably doing better than me cause your kids and hubby are probably glad to have a clean living room instead of a pretty mailbox.

So excuse me while I try to find a coffee table that has disappeared somewhere in my living room.  After that maybe I can work on adding a flower bed around my mailbox.


Could your mailbox use a little spray paint love? 

Have you ever been amazed at the difference that a little paint can make?


Sometimes I link up to these wonderful parties:

Sarahndipities, Skip to my Lou, Today’s Creative Blog, How to Nest for Less, Home Stories A to Z, Apron Thrift Girl, Tools are for women too, Not just a Housewife, A bowl full of lemons, Uncommon Designs Online, Someday Crafts, No Minimalist Here,Somewhat Simple, 36th Avenue, Sew Much Ado, The Style Sisters, The Thrifty Home, Domestically Speaking, House of Hepworths, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Weekend Blogging party at Serenity Now, Home Happy Home, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, The Girl Creative, Miss Mustard Seed, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Remodelaholic, The Lettered Cottage, Before and after party at Thrifty Decor Chick, Pinterest Challenge at Young House Love, Best DIY Projects of April over at Beneath my Heart


  1. It looks great! Can’t wait to see how you do with the flowers around it! Nice job!

  2. Wow, I am in shock! That truly does look like a brand new box and pole! Unless your neighbors saw you out there, I’m sure they think you just got a new one!! That is amazing! Our mailbox could use some tlc too!
    Renee @ Living, Laughing, & Loving recently posted..Weekly Meal Prep Tips… Part 1My Profile

    • Christina says:

      I know, I was amazed too! I didn’t think the post would look that good AT ALL! And I am sure they saw me out there – ha! they probably think I am crazy! 🙂 Sometimes I think I wonder what YHL’s neighbors think and then I wonder what mine think too 🙂

  3. I does look better white! And like the idea of reusing the stain. I was wondering about the numbers. I might need to go and repaint my flag too. I still think you need some mulch though. Good job!

    • Christina says:

      Oh, I definitely need some mulch! The yard is still horrible working – that is in progress! 🙂

      thanks, Lisa!

  4. It looks amazing! But, I am not surprised—you always do awesome! Love all your cute fabric on your coffee table too! (o: Wonder what other projects you have up your sleeve. Oh, and maybe you can come help me plant some pretty flower gardens in all your “spare” time!
    Molly Swaffer recently posted..Blessings NOT Burdens!!!My Profile

    • Christina says:

      do you like to plant flowers? I love too! 🙂 it is a LOT of work but has a bigger sense of accomplishment that comes with it for me.

      thanks! some of the cute fabric went into my pillows on my bench on my front porch. The rest are mostly for pillows too but I need to get some more pillow forms 🙂

  5. Looks awesome! And thanks so much for sharing a pic that reflects the REALITY of our lives! Sometimes it’s discouraging to see all the “perfect” pics in so many blogs. Balance is a good thing!!! 🙂

    • Christina says:

      yes, I agree it can be discouraging to see all the “perfect” all the time. I promise you whether I share picture of it or not, my house is never “perfect”. maybe that one spot that I am taking pictures of for the post (cause I moved the junk out of the way – LOL!) but the rest is not perfect. 🙂

  6. Holy cow!!!! What a huge difference! I am so impressed that you just used what you had…That’s exactly why you are The Frugal Homemaker! I love that you chose to go with painting the mailbox white instead of black. Thanks for keeping it real with the pic of the inside of your house. I can sooooo relate. I appreciate everything you share with your readers. Many blessings, Misty P

    • Christina says:

      Ha! Thanks, Misty! I am glad I went white too – I don’t think that just repainting it black would have given it the same “after” affect. and I am loving the change.

  7. Your mailbox redo looks wonderful! I’m inspired now to do the same to mine. Unfortunately I don’t have any spray paint lying around, but it’s not that expensive and a new look is worth it. We’re putting our house on the market soon and these are the little things that (I hope) make people want to look at the house. Thanks!

    • Christina says:

      No spray paint is not expensive at all. I get Krylon brand at Walmart – $2.97 a can I think? and it works great! and I didn’t even use a whole can on the mailbox – you usually can get quite a few projects out of a can of paint. And yes, I think the little things like that make a difference when trying to sell your house. You know you can spray paint your light fixtures, air vents, shutters and a ton more stuff to refresh it and give it a quick update too.

  8. Kathy in NC says:

    The mailbox turned out great ! And I’m glad you included the pic of the living room **LOL** I’ve always said I’d rather be working in the yard than in the house any day ! Can’t wait to see the flowers you pick ! You should host a perennial swap and have everybody dig up something they have lots of and can share. Everybody gets something new for the yard – FOR FREE!!!

    • Christina says:

      A perennial swap? never heard of that but sounds like a great idea! I have swapped plants all around my yard each year – splitting hostas, daylillies and more. And I have even passed some on to neighbors but a swap sounds fun!

  9. I love all of your projects and pictures! Your mailbox looks totally different!

  10. wow-nothing new? sure looks it! great job!
    the cape on the corner recently posted..Everyday we’re shovelin’My Profile

    • Christina says:

      nope, nothing new! still need to add new numbers but that will be the only new thing 🙂 amazed me too! 🙂

  11. Oops! Hit the wrong key! Anyway, Christina, i just wanted to tell you i look at hundreds of DIY blogs and websites each week and yours has become my favorite one, simply because of your honesty! posting the pics of your cluttered living room & explaining that it just isn’t possible to do it all, no matter who we are just absolutely endeared you to me. You are spot on with that and you have helped lift me out of the ‘i’m-so-overwhelmed-by-it-all-i-can’t-cope-another-day!’ mood. I have to keep reminding myself “One day at a time/ one project at a time” … we will be moving into a new ‘antique’ house this month and i will be visiting you here regularly for inspiration. Painting your mailbox to coordinate with your house is sheer genius, so simple that alot of us are wondering …’why didn’t i think of that?’ Have a blessed week.

    • Christina says:

      awww – you are so sweet, Brianna! I try to look at hundreds of sites too (when I have time). 😉 I feel that same overwhelmed way almost daily! 😉 sometimes looking at all those blog and Pinterest doesn’t help either.

      Oh, an antique house – wow! I am going to have to add your blog so I can follow your projects 😉 Just clicked over and I am already in love with your blog name! 🙂

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment! I really do want to people to realize that “I” can’t do it all (even with no kids, working at home) so they certainly shouldn’t expect themselves to do it all either 🙂

  12. p.s. your living room isn’t ‘cluttered’ ….. it’s lived-in! 🙂

  13. That’s a wonderful change! It’s amazing to see “before” and “after” photos, especially once it gets fully planted. A couple of thoughts about planting. Plants with white variegated foliage (like variegated liriope) or white blooms (such as like white daisies, white daylilies, white iris, or a white groundcover or small floribunda rose) will definitely pick up on the white of the mailbox. It would also be easily jazzed up with one clump of brighter color, such as black-eyed Susans, purple coneflower, or a clump of Japanese bloodgrass. Also, this is a perfect spot to plant early spring-blooming bulbs among the later-blooming perennials (but I’m not sure your area gets cold enough to grow bulbs well). A lovely project and delightful improvement, even without the planting!

  14. Spray paint is awesome!!! Great transformation for a few bucks. Great job. 🙂
    Happy MOnday.
    Hugs, Gee

  15. This was great! I love the before and after pictures. You made this look great for a small outlay of money. I have a mailbox I want to rescue, and this really helped me.

  16. Deborah Hopkins says:

    You did a great job with your mailbox makeover ! A flowerbed would just be icing on the cake. 🙂 I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work.

  17. Did you first have to sand the mailbox to remove the rust and old paint?

    Thank you!

  18. Wow, that is such a HUGE difference! It really looks great, & just “pops” now! Great job! And I love how you showed a pic of your living room! my house tends to get a little neglected, when I’m working on a project (which is always! Lol) I really enjoy reading your blog! 🙂

  19. Victoria McIntyre says:

    I know this is an old blog post, but you’ve inspired me to stain my sorry-looking mailbox post!

    By the way, I appreciate your openness at the end about your house. I’ve been in my own home for almost a year now, and I feel like everyone else in the world, especially bloggers, has a house that’s always put together perfectly… meanwhile, I’ll have laundry that has to wait until the next day to be folded, a deck that needs sanded and repainted, or dog toys strewn across the floor a minute after I put them all away!

  20. Thanks for the mailbox redo demo. Also, it is wonderful to see a cluttered coffee table. It is the long-lost twinkie to mine! 😉 I just let out a sigh of relief when I saw the pictures and read that someone else would rather be outside than cleaning inside!!

  21. sahmpaw says:

    This is an amazing makeover!! If you had to buy a newmail box because someone ran over yours what would you get? I am in this exact position. We had a white plastic one for 15 years. Last winter someone threw a bottles of barbecue sauce at it and cracked the pole so I get to start over from scratch! I live in the north (Wisconsin) and we get a lot of snow. Not sure what direction to go in.


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