When visiting Maine recently, I was fortunate enough to come across a vintage postal sorter. I don’t think it was used in a post office – but it was clearly used for sorting some type of paperwork or mail. If I were to guess, I would say it was from between 1950-1960s. In typical Maine fashion, some one used an old For Sale Sign on the back to replace some of the backing. Mainers are always putting everything to use. They are ingenious at re-purposing items.
As you can see, because part of the back was replaced, there are two different colors. Initially, I wanted to keep the piece as wood but the more I tried to style it and work with it – the more I realized that I needed to paint it. It was too dark in the cubbies and everything just go lost in the rough brown color of the piece.
In the photos here, the postal sorter is on its side. It’s about 6 feet tall. So, for me to work on it, I had to lay it on its side. The wood is very dry and so it took a ridiculous amount of paint to cover it. At least two coats which equated to at least two cans.
This piece will be great for displaying items at the next Fair or Market I participate in. I can’t decide if I should fill it with gardening related items such as vintage flower frogs and charming gardening tools or kitchen items – such as ironstone and tarnished silver. What are your thoughts? I also thought it would look great filled with old linens. Maybe rolled up grain sacks? Or pillow covers? Or even scented candles? The ideas are endless.
When I finish this piece and can stand it up to its proper height – I will photograph it for you. Until then, here some in process photos.
Painting the postal sorter