Mini-Makeover: A “New” Mailbox and The Goods To Match For Under $10

Just as I was fretting about how to make all the disparate rusted metal and faded plastic items on the front of the house play well together, I got a package in the mail from Rust-Oleum. I’d seen the metal effects spray paint in stores, and had wondered if it might be the trick that would pull all the stuff on our stoop together without shelling out tons of money to replace everything.

The Rust-Oleum Hammered spray paint is a little different from its aerosol brethren in that it gives the painted item a textured, more realistic metal effect. Have you ever seen something spray painted “silver” or “gold,” and it just ends up looking like a flat, drippy mess of finely ground (and somehow matte) glitter? There’s really nothing sadder – other than the fact that I suspect that exact finish may be evident upon close inspection of MC Hammer’s “HammerTime” mansion gate.

This paint is no less fume-y than typical spray paint, so I waited for a breeze-less, warm day to try it out. Even though it felt like there was no wind, the paint still wafted through the air when I used it. If you try this out yourself, wear protection on your mouth and eyes to avoid getting any errant spray in them, and don’t wear the clothes you’ve been saving for the day when Kate and Wills drop by.

After One Light Coat

The technique stated on the can is pretty much like any other spray paint: Keep the can 8 to 12 inches away, and use a sweeping motion to spray. You need to shake the can for a full minute before use, and I did find that very frequent shaking during the painting process seems to help coax the hammered texture along. There are seemingly metallic/glitter, clear gloss, and color components, so if the can is not shaken you’ll get a lot of seperation. As you can see, even on the initial coat the paint is already taking on a nice, mottled finish.

There is a slight leveling effect (similar to nail polish) with this compared to typical spray paint, so you can be a little bit lax in your distance from the item during the application. Painting more on the 8 inches away side of the spectrum (still moving the can) really gave it a more mottled, pitted look when wet than staying 12 inches away, which is just what I wanted.

Impatience = Drips!

I did try to go closer than 8 inches in a few spots. Once dry, that leveling effect made that technique a mistake. Use several, lighter coats instead of really globbing it on once. I also found that if you stop using a sweeping motion the paint builds up and drips quickly. This of course destroys the illusion of your item being actual copper. Copper does not drip after being hammered.

After more painting (light coats, with lung breaks indoors) the effect looks more similar to real copper than I expected it to. The really high gloss is, to me, what makes this look somewhat inauthentic. The end result has the color and even texture of hammered metal, but hammered metal that has been coated in clear gloss. However, considering I was able to restore my rusty mailbox, and make the porch light fixture and two plant hooks match with a single can of paint, this is a good method for a quick change.

The Finished Mailbox

The illusion of real hammered metal seems to be slightly stronger on the smaller pieces. The thin bars of the plant hooks look pretty convincing. I think this is because there is less chance of leveling, and less space for the glossy effect to really show compared to a larger piece. Although, it is worth noting that larger projects are seemingly very doable: while reading online reviews I came across a man who had painted his entire refrigerator with the Hammered Copper paint!

One more thing to note: The Hammered collection is available in a few colors, and as you can see in the photo of the finished light fixture hardware next to the paint cap, the final effect is ever so slightly lighter than the cap, but overall the cap is a pretty good indicator of final color. Since you are dealing with a metallic effect, it will look lighter when the sun hits it. If you like things on the understated side, you may be better off going with one of the darker shades.

Most importantly to me, the Rust-Oleum covered the rough spots on my formerly scratched and rusty (read: tetanus risk) mailbox well, extending it’s life well into the the future.

*Rust-Oleum provided me with complimentary paint for this project. The opinions I’ve expressed are my own, and there was no agreement that I would review the product when it was sent to me.


4 Responses to Mini-Makeover: A “New” Mailbox and The Goods To Match For Under $10

  1. Wow, that looks amazing! And you’re getting promo items in the mail? I think I’ll start a blog that discusses high-quality chocolate, fancy interior design, and mid-life-crisis cars.

  2. Alexis says:

    That looks so cool! That might be good for curtain rods too! But why does that capcha make me do math???

    • The Wife says:

      Great idea! Curtain rods are one of those things that if you buy them cheap, they look really cheap. This might be a solution for that!

      And about the capcha, I felt like simple math problems were better than trying to read psychedelic word jumbles :) Bots are as bad at math as they are at colloquialisms, so now when a bot tries to leave the spam comment, “A rolling stone is worth two in the bush thanks to your post!” the math makes them go away.

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