Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to make an outdoor chalkboard

On Pinterest (my internet boyfriend) I saw an outdoor chalkboard attached to a brick wall and fell head over heels. Ezra draws on EVERYTHING (my couch, the table, my floors... you get the point) so I thought this would be a perfect blend of his love of outdoors and drawing.
For the supplies you'll need:
*1 gallon latex flat paint (color of your choice)
*1 sheet of treated plywood safe for outdoors
*frameing moulding of your choice
*Liquid nails heavy duty construction indoor/outdoor
*1 small tub of unsanded grout
*latex outdoor paint for the trim in the color of your choice (semi-gloss
or high gloss whichever you like)
*1 quart of Kilz indoor/outdoor primer
*wood screws

I bought a 3/4"x6'x8' sheet of plywood and had it cut down to 4X6.5 feet at Lowes b/c I had to get it small enough to fit in my car and I knew I was going to be hanging it by myself so I just thought that would be the easiest way to go.

I think the only place I found outdoor chalkboard paint was from a company in Australia so I decided to make my own.  Here's what I used:

Basically to make chalkboard paint you add 2Tbs. of unsanded grout to 1 cup of paint.  Since 1 gallon=16cups I just added 8 Tbs. of grout powder which was almost an entire tub so little was wasted.

I used a thick roller brush usually used for brick to apply the paint b/c my plywood was so rough.  I wish I could have used a smoother finished plywood BUT the treated outdoor kind doesn't come smooth so I had to make do.  I also primed my frame moulding with the Kilz at the same time.

To save yourself alot of extra steps and time and frustration you could just skip the frame part but I wanted a pop of color so I just sucked it up and got out the mitar saw.  I picked a really plain moulding to cut down on cost and just made my 45 degree cuts as per below.

After applying 3 coats of paint to the frame and 5 coats of chalkboard paint (you'll want to do several coats to really get a good layer onto the board) to the plywood I attached the trim using liquid nails:

I used wood clamps to hold down the edges of the frame and let it sit for 24 hours.

Once everything had dried it was time to attach it to our fence.  I used 1 1/4 inch screws to drill it onto our fence.

Now my little artist has a huge wall to create his masterpieces on:

One very happy chalk covered boy :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

An update on the kids and life in general...

Today is a hearing for Libby's case.  We were hoping that they would terminate parental rights today so we could proceed with her adoption but it looks like that may not happen until May some time.  We got a copy of the court papers for today and no where did it mention termination of rights, so I think it's just a 6 month review hearing :(  So I'll keep you guys posted once I hear from her attorney hopefully later today.  Everything still seems like it will be fine for our chances to adopt her so I'm not worried about it, BUT it would just be nice not to have that hanging over our heads. 
My mom is doing great with her chemotherapy.  She had an allergic reaction to her first protocol so they changed up her meds and so far it's good aside from the typical stomach upset type stuff.  So she only has 3 more treatments left and then she's DONE!  Yea!
Libby just cut her THIRD tooth!  How exciting!  And today I noticed that she's got 2 more teeth trying to come in.  Ezra loves to look for new teeth and likes to feel them :)  hahahaha... Today he showed me his Frosty the Snowman stuffed toy and told me that Frosty got a new tooth too! 
Ezra still is totally enamored with Libby and he's super sweet with her.  I still feel so blessed that he was so accepting of her and is super protective of her.  I'm sure he'll be a fantastic big brother. 
I have been working pretty much full time these last few weeks since my boss was on a mission trip to India and I needed the extra money so I have been neglecting the blog-sorry.  Plus my pinterest addiction pretty much takes up all of my internet time. 

We went to Shreveport last weekend to see Michael's family.  We got to visit with cousins and went to the Duck Pond.  Here are some photos from our visit:

Cousin Cooper and Ezra sitting on my lap for reading time.

I had to cover up little Libby unfortunately.  Can't wait to show her off once she's adopted.

Cooper trying to squeeze his head through the bars... reminds me of a scene in X-Men.

Ezra (AKA Spiderman) doing some web swinging at the park:

Aunt Jennifer (AKA Tia) with Cooper looking at the geese.

The best smile in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!