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Classy Copper Mailbox Is Really Painted Plastic

Ya’ll I used a can of spray paint on a new plastic mailbox and now I have a copper mailbox. At least it looks like copper. My neighbor was taking her daily walk as we were replacing the old mailbox with the new “copper look” box and she said “I like your copper mailbox”. That tells me it looks like the real thing.

Metallic Copper Mailbox

A mailbox tells you a lot about the occupants of the home. For instance……do they take care of the inside of their home, messy or neat, stand out bold or conventional, updated or outdated…. Our new copper colored mailbox says we are keeping up with the times and like a little attention!

Mailbox needs a makeover

I wrote a blog post about choosing paint colors for our mailbox 3 years ago and I’m just now getting around to painting the box. Actually I’m painting a new one because the JTS came home with a new mailbox in a box several months ago.

new white plastic mailbox needs a coat of paint

He knew when he brought the mailbox home that the white would not stay white. He knows me so well. I would have been happy just to paint the old metal box.

Rustoleum primer for the plastic mailbox

Since the box was plastic or poly something I used Rustoleum Primer before I sprayed on the metallic copper. Notice how I put painters tape all over that little red flag. I also opened the door of the mailbox in order to paint the area covered by the flap.

Rustoleum Metallic Copper Spray Paint for my plastic mailbox

Once the primer was dry I spray painted the mailbox with Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish in Copper. I LOVE this color. I painted a mirror, furniture legs, a vanity stool,  and various other pieces this color.

Krylon Clear Sealer for the mailbox paint project

I ran in to what could be a problem. I didn’t notice until I was painting the box that the metallic copper spray paint is for indoor use, no mention of outdoors. I decided I better apply a coat of sealer and hope for the best. I bought the Krylon Satin Crystal Clear because that was the only clear satin sealer the store had on the shelf. I sprayed several coats of the sealer on the mailbox allowing for time to dry in between coats.

reflective mailbox numbers

The stick on numbers were not my first plan. I was going to stencil our name and the box number but then I got to thinking. The numbers should be the reflective type and I didn’t have paint that would do. So stick on numbers it is.

mailbox pole ready to paint

While all that stuff was drying I cleaned up the mailbox and paper box. The paper box had bird poop all over it and I used sandpaper to get it off. Whatever works right. The only problem is the scratches from the sandpaper showed up under the metallic paint. Oh well, that paper box is so old. I need to see if I can get a new one…….then paint it.

Rustoleum Metallic Copper spray paint for the mailbox pole

I sprayed the paper box and the mailbox pole with the metallic copper paint and then with the clear sealer. I hope the clear sealer prevents the paint from chipping.

Ray working on the Copper Mailbox project trying to remove old mailbox

I was going to change out the mailbox myself but if I did that I couldn’t get photos of the process. I’m glad I got the JTS to do it because as you can see there were issues. That mailbox has been on the pole for many, many, years and the bolts and screws were rusted and set in stone.

working on the mailbox in the shop

Hubby finally took the box with the pole fitting things (?) off of the pole and took them to the workshop. After a bit of time he was able to get the box off of the fittings and put the new box on them.

putting the mailbox up

Only thing left to do was put the new box on the pole. I still need to touch up the new screws to match the mailbox. Once the paper box was back on the pole the area I didn’t spray paint was covered by the box.

copper mailbox is really painted plastic

Lookin’ good. I just hope it stays that way. Maybe the sealer will keep the paint looking fresh. I’ll keep you guys updated. If the metallic paint washes off I’ll paint it again with an outdoor paint. My original plan was to paint our old metal box while it was on the pole. That would definitely have worked. I didn’t get rid of the old box. Maybe use it as a flower planter this Spring and Summer.

how to make a plastic mailbox look like real copper

How do you like our copper mailbox? Does your mailbox need painting? It doesn’t have to be copper. Leave me a note! One more home improvement project down. I’m thinking we need to paint our shutters and front door a different color. Stay tuned.

Find the metallic spray paint on the Petticoat Junktion Amazon Page along with my other favorite diy supplies. Tomorrow I have a furniture project for you along with a new distressing technique. Thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Has your mailbox withstood the weather? I used outdoor copper spray and a sealer but unfortunately it has still chipped in multiple areas. In my experience, Rustoleum products do not last.

  2. Kathy, I love everything copper, so of course your mailbox is a winner. Love that you painted the post and paper holder. Looks great.

  3. Thank you Naomi! You are so sweet. Too sad about your rustic mailbox. If you do paint a new mailbox I would suggest getting an outdoor paint then you won’t have to worry about the paint coming off or applying a sealer.

  4. Pretty ritzy-looking, Kathy! Yes, my mailbox needs something! Two or three years ago I had a nice, rustic wooden mailbox. While the crew that was resurfacing the streets in out neighborhood was working in front of the house they knocked it off and it broke apart. They replaced it with a dumb old metal one. I was so mad! Ever since I have meant to have the old one fixed or get a new one or—something. After seeing your mailbox replacement I think I might just go for a new one and perhaps paint it, too! I’ve been planning to re-paint our front door and I think I”ll paint the new one to match.

    Thanks for the inspiration! I love your blog!

  5. Kathy, it looks fabulous. I am inspired to paint my old black metal mailbox that hangs by the front door. Thank you for all your interesting ideas and project. You are great!!

  6. Love that! I have used the copper paint on some hanging baskets & it is one of my favorite colors.

  7. I love that copper look. I have several things I want to try that rust-oleum metallic spray on. I was wondering if I could use it on outdoor projects and I think rust-oleum does make a clear poly spray. Keep us informed as to how the mailbox stands up to weather and sun. I hope the finish stays for you,k because it really looks cool!

  8. Wow, Kathy, your mailbox looks beautiful! You did an exceptional update and the two of you make a great team!