Retrieving My Snail Mail in Style

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This post is brought to you by the folks at True Value Hardware.

How-to-install-a-curbside mailbox

When True Value asked me to come up with a DIY project for the exterior of my house I didn’t have to think long.

I love to get mail – even though my life is centered around my inbox filled with email. It is real-honest-to-goodness-mail in a mailbox kind of mail – a package or a letter from someone far away that truly makes my day.  It kind of feels a little like Christmas.   Ed and I sometimes race out like two little kids when we see the mailman stop in front of our house.   There is always lots of junk mail inside that goes straight into the recycling bin, but it is so exciting when there is a package or personal letter addressed in a familiar script waiting inside the mailbox for us to open.

How to install a curbside mailbox

My old mailbox was in a sad state – both the mailbox as well as the wood post with paint peeling off in many places.

I enjoyed a trip to True Value to pick out a new one.  There were many to choose from – plain and simple to ornate and fancy. I chose to create my own look.  Not too plain or too fancy.

I like low maintenance and chose the fluted polymer constructed column on a Rubbermaid Highland Park post that won’t rot or rust, but I didn’t like the mailbox that went with it.   Instead, I bought a Tuff Body metal mailbox to pair with the post.  I liked the fact that the post does not need to be painted.  The mailbox is guaranteed not to rust or dent.

How to Install a Curbside Mailbox

supplies needed:

The mailbox post comes with step-by-step photo instructions which made the installation very easy.

How-to-attach-a-curbside mailbox-to-a-post

1. Attach the mounting board to the underside of the mailbox.

2.  Attach post to mailbox with screws.

  • When mounting you have two options – “centered” or “set forward”. I decided to go with “centered” for one reason.  When I see “set forward” mailboxes in front of houses, they all seem to lean  forward. I don’t like that look, so I am hoping by centering my new mailbox – the post stays straight and my mailbox won’t look like a leaning tower.


Ed helped me install it. We first had to remove the old mailbox.


and dig a deeper hole.


18 inches deep.


3. To make sure the post stays straight up and down, we decided to mount the 2 x 4 into concrete. You don’t have to use concrete, the post does come with a 32″ground stake to hold it up, but I wanted to make sure the post will be straight for many years to come – concrete will help ensure this.


4. Place 2 x 4 or 4 x 4 in the hole. Cover with cement. Use a level to make sure the post is straight up and down on all sides.  Let dry


5. Place mailbox and post over the 2 x 4.


6. Attach it to the post using the screws it comes with.


7. To cover screw heads – push the small white caps (also included) into the top of each screw.  This was not easy. I did manage to get them in place, but I think they are going to fall off eventually.  When that happens, I will dab some exterior white paint over the screw heads to hide them.


This step is optional, but you know me, I like to put my own style on everything.


Since red is not one of my favorite colors, I painted the metal flag more to my liking – turquoise.  When there are so many colors of paint to choose from, why not?   Plus it gives the mailman a little dose of color therapy every day not having to always  pull up red flags.

Plan A was to just remove the flag with a screwdriver and paint it, but the mailbox is constructed so well, it would not budge, so I went to Plan B.


I used painters tape and paper to protect the mailbox from overspray from the spray paint.   Once it was covered, I lightly sanded the metal flag, cleaned off the grit and then sprayed 3 light coats of spray paint on the flag, letting each coat dry for about 10 minutes before applying the next.

I love my new mailbox – nice and roomy– no more rust, mold, and peeling paint.  Hopefully it gets filled every day with lots of personal letters and packages. No bills and junk mail. Wouldn’t that be the best mailbox ever?


For more project ideas to update the exterior of your home, visit StartRightStartHere.com or follow True Value on Pinterest.


I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.





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  1. Your article has totally inspired me as we just had our old gravel driveway re-done in beautiful paver stones and now need to continue the curb appeal to the rest of the front yard. I am thinking of painting the flag on the same mailbox you bought (tuff body) with a different color – yellow, to match the front door – but the same Krylon paint. Curious – how has your 3 coats held up over the last couple years? Anything you would do different?

  2. I hope you can keep this color of flag too, cause it is ever so adorable and I think highly visible.

    I knew how to mount a curb side mail box due to having drunk drivers demolish mine at the old property. But I like the way that fancy new one mounts over the post and does not need painting and does not rust.

    I have been procrastinating about spray painting mine again, because I have not purchased new house numbers for it. And this one is mounted on my house, just outside my front door.

    Which reminds me to ask you about painting some wood numbers that are 6″ high and 4″ wide that I ordered from Jo-Ann’s…… should I spray paint or craft paint them? I have some black and dark green in the craft paint, but only the black is for outdoors. And by the way, these ‘Darice’ numbers from Jo-Ann’s are poor quality….. I could not even sand them with the groove and even the grooves were partially just not there.

  3. I like your new mailbox post a lot. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but according to postal regulations you cannot have a blue flag! I have learned the hard way about postal regulations as our postal carrier is a nit picker and drives us all crazy, except of course, when it comes to her…..she folds my mail which drives me crazy!! Here is a link….see section 3.10 http://about.usps.com/publications/engineering-standards-specifications/spusps-std-7b01/welcome.html Bet you didn’t know there were so many regulations regarding mailboxes! I sure didn’t until our carrier sent us all notices regarding the height of the box.

    1. Hi Charisse – I do know there are many regulations about mailboxes especially about height and how close to the street they have to be. What our post office enforces is that when it snows and the snowplow plows up the snow in front of driveways and mailboxes, we have to shovel the street to make room for the mail truck to get to the mailbox. If we don’t, we don’t get mail. I painted my last mailbox flag – purple. It has been that color for over 20 years – so far so good. :) I will keep my fingers crossed.