Homemade Chalkboards

sAfter spending several hours scrolling through Pinterest DIY pins, I decided that I wanted to make my own chalkboards! What a cute, simple task that allows me to personalize my own home and test my creativity at the same time! I wanted 2 chalkboards: one would be used in the entryway of my house, the other would be used to display what is for dinner in the kitchen! In this tutorial, we will make the chalkboards from framed pictures without having to take apart the frame and the glass and then reassembling it.

Here is what you will need:

– Framed glass picture (I found mine at Goodwill for about $3 a piece)
– Painters tape
– Latex gloves
– Sanding block
– Primer
– Pint of desired paint color (for frame)
– Chalkboard paint
– (2)1″ paintbrushes
– Small roller brush
– Paint tray
– Newspaper, tarp or cardboard (for easy clean-up)
– Chalk

Optional (If you wish to hang the chalkboard):

– Nails
– Hammer

Preparation:

Start by taking all of your supplies outside or to some open area. Lay down the protective material you selected for easy clean-up (I used a broken-down cardboard box).

Getting Started:

We will start by painting the frame first, then finish with the chalkboard paint. Begin by taping the glass that is immediately surrounding the frame. Next, sand the frame with the sanding block. Be sure to sand until the frame has a rough texture so that the new coat of paint will stay on. Next, prime the frame with the primer and a paintbrush (depending on the original color, you may need 2 coats). By using a paintbrush, you can ensure that you are getting inside any grooves of the frame. Priming keeps the original color of the frame from showing up underneath the new paint color. Let any coats of primer dry completely.

Painting:

We are going to paint right on top of the glass and on top of any picture that might be hiding underneath. Ensuring that the glass is still taped from the priming steps, we will begin painting the picture frame. Since we are using such a small amount of paint, it is not necessary to pour the paint into a tray. Dip your 1″ paintbrush into the pint of paint and dab away any excess paint on the rim of the container. Paint the frame using long strokes, and be sure that your paint is being applied in just one direction (do not go side to side when you paint the frame with upward and downward strokes). By using a paintbrush, you can be sure that any nooks and crannies are seeing an equal amount of paint as every other spot on the frame. You will probably need at least two coats (let the coats dry completely before continuing).

Applying chalkboard paint to the glass:

Once the frame has completely dried, remove the tape from the glass. Next, you will need to tape the edges of the frame nearest to the glass to ensure that you do not get chalkboard paint all over your newly-painted frame. Next, you will need your chalkboard paint. You can buy chalkboard paint in a spray can or in a paint tub (I do not have excellent spray-painting skills, so I bought a quart of chalkboard paint). Pour your chalkboard paint into a paint tray and get your paint roller. Begin by rolling the chalkboard paint on the glass in long strokes (be sure that the paint goes on in just one direction). Let the first coat dry completely before adding the second. I like a very dark chalkboard so I painted a total of three coats onto my glass, just make sure that the coats are even. Once the chalkboard paint is dry, remove the tape from the picture frame.

There you have it! This homemade chalkboard cannot be any easier to make! Begin enjoying your new chalkboard by writing a creative welcome message, or displaying the dinner menu, or any fun message that you desire. If you wish to hang the chalkboard, hammer a couple of nails in the wall, hang the picture hooks on the nails and “Viola!!!” All done!

How Do Rainwater Drainage Systems Work

rFor anyone living in a region with a damp climate such as the UK, a rainwater drainage system is essential. Providing valuable protection against heavy rainfall, a rainwater system that is properly installed can save thousands of pounds worth of damage being done and ensure the comfort and safety of the homeowner and their family.

The rainwater drainage system is made up of a number of important parts, each contributing a valuable role that ensures the optimal functioning of the entire system. So, what are these parts and how do they ensure the protection of a property in heavy weather?

As many may be able to imagine, guttering is one of the key parts of an effective rainwater drainage system. When rain falls on a property, guttering is the first in line to catch water and channel it safely away as it falls on your roof.

The guttering directs water to downpipes, which are the next essential part of the rainwater drainage system. These channel water down and away from the home making way for the next volume of water that the guttering collects.

The part that delivers collected rainwater into the downpipe is called a gutter outlet, and this is usually straight in shape. However, homes with over hanging eaves sometimes need the installation of a special double bend gutter outlet known as a swan neck.

It is important for every homeowner to check on a regular basis that the guttering and downpipes are working effectively. If water is spilling over the sides of guttering or leaking from a downpipe, this may be a sign of a blockage somewhere in the system. Clearing this blockage will make sure that the entire rainwater drainage system will start functioning as normal again.

The standard size of guttering that any home should have is at least 100mm wide. This size is normally sufficient to handle atypical heavy downpour of rain. On the other hand, property owners in areas that suffer with particular heavy rainstorms may consider investing in a high capacity rain water system to better meet their needs.

High capacity guttering and downpipes are larger in diameter and will be better able to cope with the increased volumes of water they need to carry. A professional will be best placed to advise you on the particular needs of your property in order to ensure maximum protection of your home in heavy weather.

After the water has travelled through the guttering, gutter outlets and downpipes, it is disposed of via a gully. This part of the rainwater drainage system is a drain at ground level which delivers water into underground drainage pipes.

Gullies can unfortunately suffer from blockages as much as guttering and downpipes; this is usually a seasonal occurrence caused by falling leaves in the autumn or other debris blown there by the wind. Similarly to other parts of the rainwater drainage system, gullies should be checked regularly for blockages and measures taken to unblock them if necessary.

There are a few materials that are commonly used to manufacture a rainwater drainage system. The most common material is PVCu, which is a relatively inexpensive and efficient option for the typical homeowner. Older properties may have cast iron rainwater drainage systems, and although these can be more attractive, they usually require more maintenance.

Another option is installing an aluminium rainwater system. This is considered the most efficient choice due to its durable and low-maintenance nature, although it is more expensive making it possibly unnecessary for homeowners with smaller budgets.

These are the basics of any rainwater drainage system. With a few main components that work efficiently together, and available in a variety of materials, the rainwater drainage system is an essential solution for protecting your home against the worst of bad weather conditions.

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4 Ways to Give Your Garage a Finished Look

gA finished garage can add value to your home. It will make the interior of the garage look more spacious and it will make going out in the garage to retrieve something you’ve stored or to use your workbench much more pleasant.

Here are 4 things to do for a garage with a finished look!

    1. You might want to start with the walls since they are the most visible part of the garage – if you haven’t stacked so much stuff against them that they can’t be seen, but we’ll get to that later! One quick fix for the walls is simply nailing up peg board to the studs. It looks good and it will give you a place to hang tools, garden equipment and even bikes. If you want to raise the level another notch, you can probably do-it-yourself. Use drywall screws to secure drywall to the studs and smooth out the area between boards. You can stop here and paint with a semi-gloss or glossy paint. Choose them over a flat paint as they’ll be easier to clean and will reflect light to make the space look bigger and brighter. If you want to go all the way, consider texturing the walls before you paint. Spray on texture is available.

 

    1. Look up – the ceiling might be next. Is it insulated? If not, you can do it. The cheapest way to do this is to add fiberglass insulation. You’ll want to wear goggles and a mask so it doesn’t irritate your body. Install drywall over the insulation for a completed look. If you’re serious about keeping out the cold or the heat, consider having a professional spray insulation to seal all areas.

 

    1. Spiff up the floors. How do you use your garage? If you’re parking your car and want to save money, clean the floor with a power washer and paint! A much better look and not too hard. If you’re using the garage as a workspace or, even, using it to entertain for children’s parties or large gatherings, consider buying some outdoor carpet that you can roll down as needed in whatever area you choose. Looking for something more permanent? Have epoxy flooring installed professionally. If you’re a talented do-it-yourselfer you may be able to handle project but follow all steps carefully.

 

  1. No matter if you park your car in the garage, have a workshop area or even a man cave, you are probably using it for storage. Quit stacking boxes on top of boxes. You can nail shelving to the studs or add stud-mounted cabinets, drawers and counters. Or, you can go quick and easy with rolling shelves and stand-alone, wheeled cabinets that can be moved out of the way for garage maintenance.

These four projects are going to make your garage more useful and more attractive. But, no matter how you use your garage or how neat you keep the interior, make sure your garage is safe. Your garage door should have yearly maintenance from a garage door company to make sure the door will open and close correctly, the auto reverse works and the springs and cables are secure.

Summer Friendly Tips For Your Screened-In-Porch

sedScreened-in porches offer the perfect balance between indoors and out. Enjoy sitting in your home’s extension without the sun beating down, the rain moving you indoors, or bugs getting in the way. As the school year begins and the days start getting ever so slightly shorter, here are some ways to keep your screened-in-porch full of the signs of summer:

– Give the area a good scrub. Summer brings pollen and dust, which can affect your screened-in-porch as much as a porch that’s open to the elements. Vacuum the cushions, wipe down the walls, and sweep and mop the floor to instantly brighten the space and make it feel like the beginning of the season again.

– Opt for warm, late-summer colors. Late summer is the perfect time for rich corals, teal blues, and sunflower yellows. Add extra throw-cushions, a new rug, or a set of new vases to add dimensionality and reflect the warmest days of the season.

– Use mirrors. You can add light to your porch without adding extra lamps. Decorate with mirrors to reflect the existing light in the space. Mirrored trays and wall hangings all can create a feeling of brightness, even when the sun isn’t at its highest point.

– Get the fan going. Install a fan or keep your existing fan running to cool the area to a comfortable temperature. If you close your eyes at dusk, you may feel the similarity between a good fan on a summer night and the wind coming in off the ocean on a beach.

– Add some curtains. Linen is the ideal fabric for screened-in porches. Add a flowing, beachy charm to your screened-in porch with a few sets of curtains strategically placed around the porch. Keep them open for a purely aesthetic appeal or close them when the weather gets too warm or bright.

– Install a new feature. Looking for extra natural light in your space? A skylight can add more brightness to the interior of the space and bring in the warmth of summer throughout the year. A fireplace is another year-round addition that can make cool summer and autumn nights relaxing and inviting.

– Build on a theme. Whether you choose beaches, gardens, or other summery design themes, add elements of the design in connecting rooms in the home to extend the flow of summer throughout the home.

– Get a swing. A swing is the quintessential piece of any porch layout. A glider or swing offers a relaxing space for napping, reading, or enjoying the sound, smells, and views around your home.

– Add height. Summer evokes a feeling of airiness and warmth. If you want to keep that feeling throughout the year, consider raising the height of the ceiling to add more flow or opening more of the space with a door replacement to let in more light throughout the home.

Summer is a good time to experiment with new designs and decorations for your screened-in porch. Turn it into a place you love spending time with fun, simple, and transformative changes.