Monday, April 20, 2009

Disaster struck my Mailbox...yikes!

Very early in my Decorative Painting journey, I built this oversized mailbox, with full intentions of hanging it proudly outside our front door.

I had spent 3 months at my weekly class painting it, until it was finally ready to be installed. I even put an extra coat of varnish on to protect it from the outdoors.

Hubby volunteered to hang the mailbox on the brick wall just outside our front door, under the porch. I had some errands to run, and in the meantime the mailbox sat on the cement porch baking in the afternoon sun... very strong sun.

When I returned, thinking my mailbox would be hung, instead hubby was beside himself... something was wrong, I could tell by the expression on his face.

Yup!! my months of hard work were all blistered, not just tiny bubbles, but 3" - 4" bubbles sticking out all over the front of my painted mailbox. Just take your hand and make a cup, that's about the size of each bubble. It was completely ruined, and for some odd reason, I was pretty calm about it. Hubby was more worried than I was.

When the bubbles collapsed, it looked like sagging paint sections. I actually peeled off the paint skin sections, which were complete paintings of a piece of the window and door, every detail was intact. The funny part was that when the bubbles were removed, the surface had clear wood circles all over the mailbox, like it had never been painted, this was very strange.

What had happened: In those days (early 1990's) it was common practise to use Thompson's water sealer from the hardware store to seal your raw wood before painting, which leaves a wax film behind clogging the pores, but also makes the whole surface waxy. With the sun beating on the surface, it softened the wax and caused the paint to separate in bubbled sheets.

To remedy this: I stripped the entire box down to the bare wood; then used bleach to remove all the wax; then sanded the heck out of it; put on a good reliable professional sealer; and painted it all over again.

Guess where my mailbox ended up... yup indoors forever. My Goose sign never graced the front of our cottage property either, since he was also sealed with Thompson's just the month before. Both of these were very detailed pieces, that I didn't have any intention of re-painting, unfortunately, I had no choice with the mailbox, oh well! practise makes perfect, ha.

So alas, you learn a few tricks along the way. I had fun re-painting the mailbox though and it didn't take nearly as long the second time around, plus I fixed some booboos, so all was not lost, haha.
till later Frieda