Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Handpainted Decorative Mailbox

A friend of my husband asked if I would paint a mailbox for her. She wanted to use it as a focal point in her flower garden.

 I have 2 more sides to do.

This was a fairly easy project and hand painted mailboxes are a wonderful way to beautify your home or garden.  You, too, can make a beautiful, hand painted mailbox... even if you have never picked up a paint brush! I sketched this one freehand before painting it, but you can find some excellent stencils to make your design if you rather go that rout.

What you will need:
  • Mailbox (obviously) - This one was purchased by the person who asked me to paint it. A simple, metal white or black one works well.
  • Sandpaper or steel wool
  • Multi-Surface Indoor/outdoor acrylic paint (in whatever colors you like. I used FolkArt brand - Red, Blue, Yellow, Black and White. Mixing any  combo of these 5 colors, can make pretty much ANY color you need.)
  • A clear coat sealer spay paint. (I used Rust-Oleum American Accents 2x Ultra Cover Gloss Clear, because it is fast drying, non-yellowing and UV Resistant- so it will protect my "art" from fading too!)
  • Optional spray base coat - (The mailbox was white. I wanted a colored background. The easiest and fastest way to achieve that was with a spray paint. I used Rust-Oleum American Accents 2x Ultra cover for wood metal a plastic and more, in Satin Aqua)
  • Paint brushes - various sizes - you can get an inexpensive pack of 6 or so at Walmart.
  • Stencil and Blue Painters Tape (Optional)

Step One

Prepare the mailbox surface with the steel wool. Lightly sand the shiny gloss paint of the mailbox to make it dull and scratched enough to allow our art to adhere properly.  You don't have to remove the paint/finish, just scratch it and make it dull - not glossy.

When you feel you have sufficiently scuffed it, wipe the mailbox down with a damp cloth to remove any paint dust, and steel fibers. Allow to dry.

Step Two (Optional)

If you plan to paint the background a different color than what it originally came with, this is the time to do it. Take it outside and use the colored spay paint to cover all sides evenly.

REMEMBER: Spray paint tends to "drift in the wind" so, be sure you are far enough away form any surface that you do not want speckled with paint.

Let each side dry completely before touching it. I made the mistake of adding fingerprints! Which made extra work... had to sand them off, and re paint that spot!

Step Three

If using a stencil, lay out, position it on the mailbox and secure with tape. 
Or if freehand sketching use a light pencil to gently draw in your design. A #2 Pencil worked great on the satin finish of the base color spray paint I used. But on some surfaces, you could use a dry erase marker.

(By the way, you cam make some really beautiful stencils with adhesive vinyl and a craft cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo. Its on my Art Project TO DO list.)

Step Four

Paint your design. Either paint in the stencil, and let dry before removing the stencil.
Or hand paint your design using the Acrylic Paints.

Here is a little color tip...
Add black or white to make these colors lighter or darker.
Play with the amounts of each color in the mixture to get variations of all these colors... i.e. add more blue than yellow to get a bluer green etc.

Have fun with it!

Step Five

Let the acrylic paint dry completely - I know it dries pretty quick, but I would let it stand overnight, just to be sure.

Take your masterpiece outside and seal it with the clear coat spray. I did two even coats all over (even though the Rust-Oleum label said that it covered 2x better!)

I painted the flag too. If you do not want to paint that, be sure to cover it with painters tape before painting to keep it "drip free".

Two Major Updates

I know it's been a while since my last post, but I have some exciting news to share today.

First, my painting "Chasing Moonbeams", that was entered into the show at the Johnson City Community Theatre during the run of the play "Like Kissing Moonlight", sold during the theatre's silent action. The auction was a charity event to raise money for the much needed renovations to the building. I am so very excited that I was able to sell one of my paintings and help a great cause in the process.

Prints and note cards of this painting are available at Fine Art By Kimberly.
Or by clicking here....
Please take a stroll on over. You will find tons of great products showcasing my artwork.

Second, I got my Silhouette Cameo a few weeks ago. It has been on my wish list for a few years, but at the time, I didn't have an art room, or any place that I could use it without disrupting the entire house. Since moving South in 2013, I have been pecking away at getting rid of art supplies and craft items that I don't need or want anymore, to make way for new toys! (It is horrifyingly amazing how much STUFF two people can accumulate in 10 years!)

We are finally settled into our new home, (for the most part) and, we converted the extra bedroom into a home office/art room that my husband and I both share. So, after two years of collecting cutting projects and Silhouette tutorials on Pinterest including Scrappbooking projects, and paper-craft (cards mostly,  I can now start making them! So, keep an eye out for some really cool papercutting posts.

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