Monday, January 20, 2014

Old Mailbox Turned Salt Bin

The problem looked a lot like this:

Not cute, right?  It was a snow day.  I was buried in the house with no way out, nothing to do, and this thing staring me in the face.  I really wanted to find some sort of more...visually appealing container to store my salt.  Working with what I found around the house, I turned a beat up roadside mailbox into a cleaned up bin to keep salt right next to my front door.

When I'd searched the whole house with no luck, I turned to rummaging through the garage and came out with an old mailbox.  Dirty and dusty, complete with a '$5' garage sale sticker.  I did not buy this mailbox at a garage sale.  No clue where it came from, but I knew it would be perfect for the task at hand.

(iPhone 'before' picture.)

I wiped it clean with some paper towel and my water/vinegar mix (50/50) that I use for general cleaning purposes.  Then I took my hairdryer to the adhesive house numbers on the side, one by one, and peeled them all off very carefully using a razor blade.  This was not a quick process.  The house numbers peeled off mostly in smaller pieces.

Once I had the adhesive off, I used a sanding block to scuff up the outside of the mailbox that I planned on painting.  Even though it started out black, I decided to stick with it.  It definitely needed a fresh coat of paint though and I used semi-gloss versus the very glossy finish before.

First I used a new spray primer that I just learned of specifically for bonding paint to metal, Rustoleum's Clean Metal Primer.  It went on great and is holding up thus far!  I followed one coat of that with two coats of their semi-gloss black, with about an hour in between coats.

When it was all dry I fitted it with a cute antique pull, from one of my many treasure collections around the house, and set it up right in my front entry.  I lined it with a trash bag since there were a few gaps in some places and poured all that sidewalk salt from eye-sore bag to classy salt bin.  Problem solved.

The best part about this cheap mini-project was that this seemed to be the first thing that I've done around the house that Shaun was completely impressed by.  Go figure...

*Cue Liz Lemon eye roll.*

He really enjoys the simple things, I guess.

What have you upcycled around your house recently?  Have any trash that you've made into treasure?  Please share!

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