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Forget those outdated instructions telling you to re-seal your mailbox each year, and disregard what you’ve heard about the need for constant and frequent washings of your mailbox.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.
Tina – Cottage and Cabana