I restore an old Wooden Mailbox to its former sheen!
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Step 1: Disassemble the Mailbox
I first begin by removing the mailbox from the wall. I then disassemble the mailbox into its various parts beginning with the door.
Step 2: Locking Hardware
Upon inspecting the closing hardware I knew I would have to replace it. The glass pane is next to be removed.
Step 3: Hand Plane
Once disassembled, I begin by hand planing the various edges to remove the existing lacquer.
Step 4: Sanding the Mailbox
I then proceed to sand the edges beginning with 80 grit sand paper. I progress all the way down to 220 grit. The parts that I can’t reach with the hand sander, I use my rotary tool.
Step 5: Knob & Locking Mechanism
Once I’m finished with the sanding, I mark out and drill a hole for a knob. The new locking hardware is next and I have to modify the edge of the wood slightly. With the modification complete I test fit the new locking mechanism and screw it in permanently.
Step 6: Prepping Surface
I wipe down the entire mailbox with isopropyl alcohol to remove all the wood dust and grit.
Step 7: Sealant / Polyurethane
I then start to apply water based polyurethane with the aid of paper towels.
Step 8: Wet Sanding
After a few coats, I begin the wet sanding process by progressing through the grits to around 440 grit. Since this is not really a show piece, I don’t go any further than 440 grit.
Step 9: Repairing Hinge
With the final layer of polyurethane applied, I move on to the hinge hardware. I clean and straighten it.
Step 10: Reasemble the Mailbox & Install
Once complete, I begin reassembling the mailbox. With the locking hardware in place, I test the keys.
I then put the mailbox back on the wall and it’s ready to be used.