Things you will need: roofing slate, slate cutter (can be purchased at a roofing supply house), t square, marker, drill, 5/32" drill bit, ruler, leather cord (for hanging slate), acrylic paint, clear acrylic spray paint (sealer), paint brushes, pencil, safety goggles, face mask. The mask is important because slate dust is bad for your lungs.
3) After you have measured your slate to the desired size place the slate (back of slate facing up toward you) on the slate cutter, and line the edge of the blade up with you line to be cut. This is very tricky and please make sure you watch your figures, so that they don't get caught under the cutter blade.
Hold the slate firmly in place with one hand and with the other begin to depress the cutter bar in a slow but steady fashion. Continue cutting until slate is the desired size. NOTE: If slate is hard to cut, or if it keeps breaking, your blade may need to be sharpened. (Safety goggles and mask should be worn).
|cutting slate with a manual slate cutter|
4) If your slate is going to be a hanging slate now is when you want to drill the holes. Take your t square and measure out the holes. Mark with a marker.
|mark slate where you want to drill holes|
|drill holes in slate with a 5/32" drill bit|
7) The next step is to put a base coat on the slate. It can be a background color that you will be using or any old color you are going to paint over. If you don't want to use a base coat that's ok, but just know that it will be harder to paint straight lines because of the natural surface of the slate.
|apply base coat to slate|
8) Draw your design on the slate with a pencil making sure to use your t square and ruler to mark out any border you may have, words, or any other object that may need to be straight or centered.
|measure out any borders or anything else that may need to be straight or centered|
|I started with a checker border here, but it just looked too busy, so I changed it to black|
|You can leave it the way it is or add words in the grass area. EX. God Bless America or personalize it "The Mimnaughs".|
11) Take the slate to a well ventilated area (preferably outside) lay it on a protected surface and get your mask back on. This is the part where you are going to seal it with a clear acrylic spray paint for protection, especially if it is going to be outside. I put several coats on just to be extra sure. NOTE: There are three types of finish with clear acrylic spray paint. Glossy, Satin, and Matte. I like glossy because it really makes all the colors pop.
|Spray slate with clear acrylic spray paint for protection. (Yes I know my America is not centered. Whoopsie ;) it's not staying.|
13) If this is a hanging slate then now is when you want to thread it with the leather cord. Measure you leather cord out to be cut. For a slate this size, you would want to measure the cord about 15 inches. Once you have done that thread one end of the cord through the back of the slate and tie in a Knot in the front.
|thread through a hole from the back|
|tie a simple knot|
If you have any questions I can help you with please feel free to comment or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember SAFETY FIRST!