Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links. I received free materials in exchange for an honest review.
Wood is like a big magnet for me. Doesn’t really matter what kind of wood or what the actual item is. I seem to like it all. Wood furniture, wood boxes, wood spoons, wood things that don’t have a name.
It’s a true obsession at this point. My mom will call me up and say, “I came across this wood….thing…and I thought you would love it, even though I have no idea what it is.”
Which is just awesome and the very perfect gift for me. I’m easy that way.
This little box drew me in last week. It’s heavy but it’s made out of particle board instead of being solid wood. That’s ok though because this little guy is good at faking the wood look.
Someone had turned it into a cd organizer with a ton of storage located behind the 10 cd’s it held. What? Why? Makes me wonder what they were hiding behind those cd’s.
When I saw it in the thrift store, I thought I would repurpose it one more time. It was solidly built and had many more lives left in it, so why not?
And I knew exactly what I was going to use it for…
I was going to turn it into a mailbox. I hate piles of incoming and outgoing mail stacked in the kitchen and this guy was going to become the best little mail organizer ever.
I patched a couple of small holes, gave a scruff sanding using a sanding block, and then wiped the box down with a tack cloth.
I also thought this would be the perfect project to give Poppie’s Paint Powder a try. This is a “homemade” chalk powder that you can mix with any acrylic or latex paint, even with primer-based latex paints. You can’t do that with other homemade chalk recipes.
I started out with Elephant Skin Gray from Behr which you can buy at Home Depot.
I followed the directions on the back of the box and mixed it into a smooth consistency. I’ve used other homemade chalk recipes in the past and they often turned out with small little lumps in them no matter how well I stirred the mixture. I didn’t have any issues with Poppie’s. So far so good with the new type of paint!
As you can see, it was a nice, smooth mixture.
The youngest got in on the action. You can tell he was taking his work very seriously!
He painted the base coat of the Elephant Skin Gray chalk paint. I smoothed out a few places for him, but overall he did an excellent job.
The base coat dried super quick even though it was in the 50s and windy. I was happy about that because a storm was moving in quicker than I had expected.
At this point I mixed up my next batch using Poppie’s Paint Powder and Dove White from Glidden.
I could still see wood grain showing through the gray paint, but that’s actually what I was wanting for this project. I thought the grain would add to the look I was going for.
I painted a light layer of the dove white in a small section and then I immediately took an old t shirt and wiped the paint off. I “pressed” the paint into the grain as I was doing this.
You can remove as much or as little of the white paint as you want, but you need to remember chalk paint dries extremely quickly so work quickly! If you mess up, then you can always paint another layer of the gray base coat, let it dry, and then try painting the white coat on again.
I painted the bottom section all at once as you can see in the picture below. The picture was taken before I wiped the bottom section.
You might prefer to work in small sections to make it easier until you get a good technique going. I had to move super quick to get that big section of paint off before it dried. Don’t make that mistake!
I repeated these same steps for the rest of the box including the inside. The bottom slot holds a drawer so I wasn’t worried about painting all the way to the back.
This is how the box looked when it was finished.
I decided to do a stencil on the side. I know graphic transfers are really “in” at the moment, but I don’t get into too many trendy things…so a stencil it was…
I used a stencil from Martha Stewart. I poured a little bit of the gray chalk paint into a small cup and then I added a touch of Blue Gray Slate latex paint and mixed well until I had the color I was wanting.
I prefer to use a small round stencil brush and I apply the paint in a circular motion being careful not to get paint underneath the stencil.
This is how it looked after I had completed the stencil. I lightly sanded it at this point and called it a night.
The next day I decided to do a little more light sanding over the stenciled area and the edges of the box. I wiped the dust off with another tack cloth and then it was ready to be sealed.
I really like matte finishes on projects that like this. I used Varathane’s Matte Finish. It goes on milky but dries clear.
That’s a plastic table cloth underneath the mailbox by the way. I often use those as drop cloths. Just be aware spills won’t be absorbed into the tablecloth so have a rag handy to clean up any messes.
And here’s how it turned out:
A little farmhouse rustic…
A little weathered…
And a little distressed…
With the original hardware…
It’s the perfect size for holding mail!
And I bet this same technique could be used with a dark brown paint as the base coat and maybe an antique white on top.
Think I’m gonna try that next.
I received free products for this project; however, the opinions on the products are mine. I would never use or endorse a product that didn’t meet my high standards. Please remember to read all directions and follow safety precautions for each individual product.
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