Last time we started our search for more joy in our lives.  We started our exploration of color to make our home feel the way we want to.  We worked up a little passion and now where should we go to relax?

Take a deep breath and feel the serene calmness of the beach blues and greens.  The lighter brighter blues are hopeful, calm and stable.  They signal no storms on the horizon.  Also, remember that appetite suppressant?   Thin of a bright light blue for diet by color, oh yeah!!!!

Coastal greens reduce anxiety and give the feeling of success.  The yellow hue in green can relax your tired computer strained eyes.  Green is the color of prosperity and wealth a very positive feeling.  An added benefit for some is the fact that green encourages people to be together.  Coastal decor  green colors are the best color for family gatherings.

Side note;  Pssst!! Hey single guys these are the perfect choices to wear on your dates.  These coastal beach decor colors will work their magic on your date helping them see you as stable, calming and successful.

Back to your rooms.  The most. Important thing to consider with blues and greens is the natural light in your room.  These are colors that can wash out very easily, too much light changes the hue and the effect.

This color family is the reason beach and coastal decor is one of the most popular decorating choices.  Which is perfect for walls, furniture and accessories.   My seahorse pillows in blue green make me feel joy and were the inspiration for this blog.  We are drawn to the warm relaxing feelings that make us feel successful and prosperous.  The open brightness of a summer home or cottage.  This is a place to reward yourself, relax and spend time with family and friends.

I can hear the waves lapping against the shore and smell the warm summer beach breeze.

So, do we have some great decorating ideas?  No?  You want to explore those yellows and neutrals?  Next time!


Denise ~ Cottage and Cabana

Can Joy Be Found In Nautical Throw Pillows Or Jellybean Rugs? YES!

Money might not buy me happiness, but it can buy the perfect pillow to accent my favorite chair in the room that brings me joy.

Joy (joi) noun. A feeling of great pleasure and happiness. I certainly want more joy in my life, and I invite you to come with me to find the simple ways to have more of it.

First stop; COLOR, it can make you joyful, it can also make you happy, sad, relaxed, stressed, energized or lazy. Color can even make you skinny!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well not exactly, but it can help suppress our appetite.

Any weekend decorating warrior knows picking a color for your room can be anything but joyful. There are just too many choices. Most people start with colors they like or colors that are supposed to bring better resale value like the neutrals. Each choice is fine but usually leads to a labyrinth of paint samples and fabric swatches, tears and wall shaking screams. I would like to take a moment and say I am sorry to my neighbors.
How can this be easier? By deciding what you want to feel in each room, warm? Relaxed? Hopeful? Or maybe passionate?

nautical pillow

Calm down, we are on the same page…. we begin with passion. Save money on candles invest in the light purples and pinks. Each of these evoke feelings of nostalgia and passion. They make women feel more feminine and beautiful. Men feel calmer and more hopeful about romance. Some athletic teams paint the opposing team locker room pink to make them more lethargic and get their minds off work.
The color purple is not just a movie starring Oprah, its the color of power and royalty. How is that for an aphrodisiac!!

How can we talk about romance without red the color of hearts and love. The color most people think of as passionate, red makes us feel loved and more sexy. It is also the the color that makes men think about romance the most. I must warn you, red can also overwhelm and over stimulate so it is better as an accent, maybe some pillows or small touches.

When you are finally ready to leave the bedroom you will probably want to relax. What color or colors will help you achieve this? It is smooth sailing ahead.

hand painted mailbox with beach palms

Painting Mailboxes Brings Me Joy; What About You?

Welcome to Cottage and Cabana’s new weekly blog!  While in the past we have written FYI and DIY articles about hand painted items, mainly hand painted mailboxes, we’ve found that blogging is not only enjoyable, but can be helpful and enlightening to you, as well as us.   With my background in Nursing, Small Business, Teaching, and Arts, there’s a great variety of fun and interesting topics here.  I would like to focus our blogs on the helpful and fun aspects of art and hand painting, home decor, health and well being, and small business ownership.  Why?  Because joy can be found here.   Yes, joy, even in small business ownership.   Read our blogs and along the way, you will see it all unfold before you.  And, I hope you will join us by leaving comments, and as well, please  follow us!

What is joy?

Joy (joi)  a state of happiness or felicity.  This is the definition according to Merriam-Webster.  I see joy as small bites of happiness.  Little building blocks of happy that connect to make a big, more permanent feeling, joy.  This is a life style and a choice.  Happiness ebbs and flows, but joy, once discovered, becomes a part of you.    I want to find these little happiness pieces and make them a part of my everyday.  Wouldn’t you like to do the same?   My aim is to find what gives me joy and learn to focus on that, and not the parts of my life and the world around me that try to destroy joy.  We want to invite you, the reader, on this journey and hopefully find your own joy.

Joy can be found in the little things; some examples are; colors, trinkets, pillows, comfy furniture, flowers, foods, health and maybe even the sounds of typing on an old typewriter.   The secret of joy is less is more.  The best selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, tells us joy can be found by getting rid of things. She teaches that we should look at the things around us and say goodbye to all the things that do not bring joy.  Some of the things we keep around can make us feel guilty or sad.  We keep them because we feel we have to.   We don’t!  Be selective, clutter is the killer of joy.  Invest in yourself, give yourself the best you can of what you discover brings you joy.

Most people think they know what makes them happy and most find themselves dissatisfied when they have it.  Knowing what brings you joy is something people do not spend a lot of time on, but I have said before, I believe this is how you build happiness.  This blog is going to explore the simple and small joys in life and how to identify them.  I am very excited to  begin the search for joy, and I am so excited to share it with you!

hand pianted mailbox with bluebird
Hand Painted Mailbox – Happy Bluebird

For a variety of custom hand painted mailboxes, please visit our store: Cottage and Cabana

How Custom Painted Mailboxes are Made by Cottage and Cabana

Beautiful custom painted mailboxes are left out in the elements and take a beating, so correctly painting and sealing the mailbox is priority.  The following article will show the process of how Cottage and Cabana paints steel enamel coated mailboxes.

The first step in painting custom painted mailboxes is to prepare the mailbox for painting.  In its production, a mailbox might have oil residue left on it, and in shipping and storage it can collect dirt and dust, so the mailbox needs to be cleaned. Dish soap removes both, dirt and oil, so we use dish soap and water and then rinse and dry well. Then the mailbox flag needs to be removed or taped up with painters tape if it cannot be removed.

The next step is priming the mailbox.  Understanding that the purpose for priming is to ready the mailbox to best receive the paint, and there is more than just one way to prime a mailbox for painting.  The enamel coating on metal mailboxes is too smooth and the paint on your paintbrush will not adhere to it very well, so the enamel needs to be roughed up a bit.  Our preferred method is to use fine grade (around 300) sandpaper and sand the entire mailbox.  The reason this is our preferred method is that it creates a surface where the clear coat sealer will also adhere much better.  Once the shine has been lightly sanded off the mailbox, wipe the mailbox off with a damp cloth.

Now is the time for the magic to begin.  The mailbox is ready to be decoratively hand painted.  We use acrylic paints as well as enamel paints.  They are relatively inexpensive, have a large assortment of colors available, are easy to work with, and offer soap and water clean up.

The last step is to seal the mailbox.  Once the mailbox has been decoratively painted, we leave it over night to dry thoroughly.  Giving it ample time to thoroughly dry is another way to help the sealer adhere to the mailbox.  The purpose of sealing the mailbox is to add a clear outer covering that forms a shield/shell in which to protect the mailbox’s painted artwork.  There are clear coat sealers which can be brushed on or sprayed on, as well as made for metal and plastic application. Though the spray clear coat is more expensive, it is our preference because of its ease of use.  Spray the clear coat in slow and steady even sections, being careful to lightly coat every inch of the mailbox.  We apply 3 light coats of the clear coat sealer.

Once the clear coat is completely dry (the can will indicate the wait time) reattach the flag.  Now its time to mount your beautiful custom painted mailbox and show your artwork off to the world.


hand painted mailbox with beach palms
Beach Palms Hand Painted Mailbox by Cottage and Cabana

How to Keep Hand Painted Mailboxes Looking Beautiful

Keeping  hand painted mailboxes looking beautiful is much easier than you think.  And if you’ve watched the movie, Karate Kid, you already have one leg up on everyone else.  (Karate Kid – one leg up!  get it?!)   Okay,  don’t groan, that’s enough with the lame jokes.   If you think I’m about to tell you that caring for your mailbox is a ton of work, just as Martial Arts can be, you’d be wrong.   As I said, it’s actually very easy.  So now you might be wondering what the connection to the movie and caring for your mailbox is.  While there won’t be a Mr. Miyagi coaxing me along,  if you listened very carefully while I cared for my own mailbox, you might hear me quietly chanting, “Wax on, wax off….”   For any Daniel-san want-to-be or anyone wanting to keep a beautiful mailbox,  I have outlined here in this article, the most important thing you can do to keep your hand painted mailbox looking great.

Forget those outdated instructions telling you to re-seal your mailbox each year, and disregard what you’ve heard about the need for constant and frequent washings of your mailbox.  These things are simply not necessary.  Provided your mailbox has been finished (sealed) with a quality sealer, such at Rustoleum, (which is what Cottage and Cabana uses) you’ll find that keeping your mailbox beautiful will be a snap.   The formations of clear coat sealers has improved greatly over time and now have long lasting and durable finishes.

First, an important step to remember in taking care of hand painted mailboxes is to not do anything to your mailbox for about 3 weeks and let your mailbox do all the work.  Yes, during the first three weeks, your mailbox needs to do a work-out of its own.  You might be wondering just what kind of working out does a hand painted mailbox do?  Naturally, it will need to do an aerobic work-out.  Well, not THAT kind of aerobic work out; its an aerobic curing to be precise.  An aerobic cure is more technically referred to as an out-gassing.  The solvents in the sealer need to out-gas (evaporate).

Once your painted mailbox has out-gassed, you can then wipe it down with a soft, damp cloth to make sure its dirt free. (Its important that there is nothing that will be abrasive on your mailbox.) Then gently apply a liquid car or boat wax and with a soft cloth, very gently buff it.  The car or boat wax (any brand) will provide an additional layer of protection for your mailbox.  Waxing your mailbox twice a year is sufficient, but for those of you who live in extreme climates, waxing your mailbox once each season is optimal.

As I mentioned, its important that you wait 3 weeks to allow your mailbox to out-gas before you wax it however.  Waxing before the mailbox has out-gassed can cause the sealer to permanently cloud up.  An additional measure to keep your mailbox looking new is to use galvanized screws to mount your mailbox.  This will help insure that no rust from the mounting screws will stain your mailbox.
As you can see, it’s easier than ever to keep your mailbox art looking great.  Waxing your painted mailbox will significantly prolong the life of your mailbox.  It is an extremely easy and cost effective method of getting additional years to enjoy your beautiful hand painted mailbox.
hand painted mailbox cottage roses
Please visit Cottage and Cabana and take a look at our beautiful hand painted mailboxes.

Tina – Cottage and Cabana

What’s the Use of Having a Painted Mailbox?

Sure hand painted mailboxes are beautiful to look at, but what is the use of getting one?  I mean, what's the point?  If you give me a couple minutes of your time, I will show you that there are many reasons to own a hand painted mailbox, and many uses for them too.

In a word, "Driveway Art Galleria,"  okay, that's three words, but I think you get the point.  Whether you have a curbside post mount mailbox or a house wall mounted mailbox, your mailbox is either at the beginning or end of your driveway.  Either way, your mailbox is at the approach of your home and is one of the first things noticed. Animal, floral, and nature lovers will enjoy displaying their beauty on their painted mailboxes to enjoy each time they drive up to their home, but just as enjoyable is sharing that beauty for guests and all who pass by.

Another reason to own a painted mailbox is to prolong the life of a mailbox.  Whether the mailbox has a life of 5 years or 10 years, adding acrylic paint and a clear top coat on any mailbox will prolong the life of that mailbox.  The clear top coat used on a hand painted mailbox seals over the baked enamel finish of a mailbox providing additional years of longevity to the mailbox life.

Let's not forget all of the uses for a painted mailbox.  They make thoughtful and lovely gifts for weddings, holidays and housewarmings.  A beautiful hand painted post mount mailbox is the perfect envelope gift-holder (and centerpiece) at a wedding reception. A decorative painted post mount mailbox also makes a wonderful garden box for storage of hand tools and gloves.  I've painted post mounts with kitchen decor to use as a breadbox.  I've even seen them placed on the floor with their lid up and opened to make for a lovely umbrella holder.  A decorative painted wall mount mailbox hung indoors makes for a lovely and versatile mail/bill holder, as well as a lovely wall pocket; hung outdoors, it can be turned into an adorable plant holder filled with small potted plants.

The list of uses for decorative hand painted mailboxes is endless and only limited to your imagination. If you have any uses for a painted mailbox which is not mentioned here, please let me know.  I'd love to hear about it.

Please visit Cottage and Cabana to look at some of my very pretty decorative painted mailboxes.


Tina - Cottage and Cabana