While I do not recommend re-sealing a painted mailbox each year, as was once thought to be a good practice. (I recommend car or boat wax. Please see my FYI Article, “How to Care for Hand Painted Mailboxes” for instructions.) However, there are a few reasons a hand painted mailbox might need an additional coat of sealer. I’ve had customers who have had to repair their mailbox for different reasons. The most common, believe it or not, is someone accidentally backing their car up and running the mailbox post over. I had no idea how often this happened, but for whatever reason it might be called for, I want to give some basic instructions for anyone needing to re-seal their mailbox.
Re-sealing a mailbox appears to me to be something most look upon with fear and trepidation. Truthfully it is an easy process and once you’ve done it, you’ll see that it’s a snap. There’s just a few things to know ahead of time and a few basic steps of direction in application, which will make your re-sealing job look professional and leave your mailbox looking beautiful again.
Before you seal your mailbox, first you’ll want to remove your mailbox from the post and clean it thoroughly. I like using a simple dish soap such as Dawn. Be sure the mailbox has been completely rinsed off and is thoroughly dried. Gently sand any areas where the old sealer might be cracking off or lifting off and wipe clean. Next you’ll want to find a good location to spray. It should be well ventilated and be at least 50 degrees.
I use “Rustoleum Stops Rust Crystal Clear Enamel.” I find it easy to use and offers durable protection. Set the mailbox on a hard surface, but understand that whatever you set it on will get coated with the sealer too, so you’ll want it to be something disposable. Shake the can of Rustoleum vigorously. (You should always keep spray sealers away from flames!) Hold the can about 12 to 14 inches away from the mailbox and spray in a smooth, even, back and forth direction, slightly over-lapping each stroke. Apply 2 more light coats a few minutes apart. For best results, apply multiple light coats versus applying one heavy coat. Allow mailbox to dry.
It dries to the touch in 15 minutes, and dries enough to handle in about 30 – 45 minutes and can be re-coated at any time.
Once you’re done sealing your mailbox, give it about 24 hours to cure well before putting it outside in the outdoor elements. Then reinstall your mailbox and sit back and enjoy its beauty and a job well done.