Chippy, Shabby and Chic Antique Mail Sorter

By Diane Lawyer, Owner at Sweet Pickins Designs in Roswell, GA.

This fabulous mail sorter dates to the early 1900s with dove tail drawers and original handles. I kept this piece as original as possible, going as far as to leave one of the well worn drawer handles in place.  These mail sorters were used in small town walk up postal windows in local town shops. Similar sorters dating to this time period are rare and very difficult to find in a good, usable condition such as this one. This is one reason I maintained as much of the originality as possible, by leaving the existing paint and making as few changes to the sorter as possible. The only paint which was not original is the replaced backboard. I replaced the worn out backboard with beadboard and painted it in Behr Marquee Realm. 

I deconstructed the sorter, in order to clean, sand and paint it. There were two layers of paint. I sanded off any loose paint on the top layer of chocolate brown, revealing the fabulous patina of the original layer of turquoise paint on this wonderful piece of history. I sanded each, individual mail slot separator. I sanded all rough edges and sealed the entire piece with GF HPTC. This piece was purchased by a small town South Carolina pharmacist who planned to use the piece in her pharmacy to display antique medical pieces.

Project Category

Upcycling Merit CategoriesShabby Chic

Products Used

  • General Finishes HPTC
  • Behr Marquee Matte, Realm

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