Friday, March 2, 2012

Mail Slot Rescue

When we bought the house, the inner front door had a flimsy plastic mail slot. When we re-finished the door the first time several years ago, we found a vintage cast iron mail slot on eBay. Unfortunately it had been coated with multiple layers of black paint and the worn black finish was just not going to cut it against all of our shiny new bronze hardware.

Dave sandblasted off all of the existing paint - thank goodness for friends who have sandblasting machines - exposing the bare cast iron below. While removing the paint did accentuate the text on the mail slot, unfortunately the grey cast iron didn't match the new door hardware any better than the previous black.

Spray paint to the rescue!

I had recently seen some posts on Young House Love where they had spray painted door hardware, patio furniture and furniture legs oil rubbed bronze - or ORB as they call it - so I thought it was worth a try.

Our door hardware is not actually oil rubbed bronze. The finish is referred to as "medium bronze" - which is a matte black-brown with highlights of gold on the edges. Over time it is supposed to wear to reveal more gold and develop a nice patina... unfortunately no one sells a single spray paint colour that meets that description. Believe me I searched everywhere.

So in order to replicate the "medium bronze" finish, I had to get creative.

I started with a coat of gold Rustoleum Universal Metallic "True Gold". Then I applied a coat of Rustoeum Universal Metallic “Oil Rubbed Bronze” - the same shade used by Sherry at Young House Love.

In order to get the matte finish, I then applied a thin coat of Tremclad Flat Black trying not to completely cover the bronze.

Three coats of spray paint = a lot of paint fumes!

To finish it all off, I sanded the edges with fine grit sandpaper to reveal the gold hues underneath.

Viola! A medium bronze mail slot!

Sure looks better than the green masking tape that had been temporarily blocking drafts.

Now I just have to convince Dave to install it.



  1. Ahh i love that! Great work.. it looks amazing and so cute!


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