What to Do With An Old Mailbox?

We get that question a lot. Most folks want us to recycle their old non-locking box when we install a new post and locking mailbox for them. It is part of our service, but a few weeks ago, a unique old box came in. Since it was not metal and could not be recycled, it was destined for the garbage and from there to a landfill, where it would never decompose. It was big. We are Oregonians. We take our recycling very seriously. The big question? How do we keep this out of the landfill?

Old mailbox shaped like a barn

The old barn mailbox. Too big to sit in a landfill for eternity. Could it be repurposed?

First it got washed. I took a photo, and then another. There must be a way to use this.

Yes, molded into the plastic box was barn doors.

Cute barn doors. Could this be put in the garden to hold a few tools?

The black barn got attached to the garden shed.

We attached the old barn to the side of the garden shed. My other half was unsure about this project, but being a good sport he went along with it.

A place to keep some clippers and garden gloves by the garden

A few small hand tools for little garden cleanups, dead-heading, trimming and so forth. Handy by the garden.

But I didn’t like it being black. It did not fit the character of the garden shed. It just looked like a big black box attached to the garden shed. I decided it would be fun to paint it. That brought raised eyebrows from the other half, but I told him if it didn’t work we could always just throw it away.

A base coat of barn red paint.

It had to be a weathered barn red, not burgundy or fire engine red. After some trial and error and more mixing of colors the barn had a base coat.

A base coat of light greyish tan was put on the roof

A base coat of a mix of grey and light tan was put on the roof. And a second coat of a softer and slightly darker red on the barn.

Shading, weathering and trim were added.

Shading on the roof “shingles” to give them more depth and to emulate cedar, weathering via paint lightly brushed in shades of brown and dark grey was added. And the trim in pure white was too stark, but made a perfect base coat. It was re-coated in a creamy off-white.

The tool barn was ready for action. It works perfectly by holding clippers, a trowel, small hand rake, trimmers and garden gloves. Even my better half decided it looks great, like it belongs and it is so handy. He loves it.

It was such a fun project. It was done with the little bottles of acrylic craft paint that I found for less than a dollar a bottle. In all I used five different colors. Of course bought a couple of colors that I didn’t except to test the color and quickly decide it wasn’t what I wanted. It took all of an hour or so three days in a row. I had fun. It didn’t go to the landfill. It is the TOOL BARN.

I hope you can come up with some ideas of how to repurpose an old mailbox. I’m now thinking up projects to use the craft paint on.

Remember, we make great locking mailboxes right here in Oregon. MADE IN THE USA is an important step toward the recovery or our nation.

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