Introduction: Galaxy Slide With Rock Wall

Picture of Galaxy Slide With Rock Wall

A unique slide for some unique kids.  This slide is not only fun, but the rock wall wears the kids out much faster than a regular ladder would.  The kids get some much needed exercise and I don't have to look at an ugly yellow slide in my backyard.

My husband and I bought an old play-set for real cheap ($25), the only catch was we had to take it down ourselves.  We thought it was not to bad of a deal until we actually got there.  The only things worth keeping were the slide($175 new) and the plastic rocks for the wall.  They both were still in pretty bad shape though and needed refinishing.  So I looked up different spray paint art and found space painting.  

Step 1: Supplies

The style of painting does not require much in the way of supplies.

The most expensive item is the ventilation mask which can run you around $20-$30.
Spray paint-  I used Krylon Fusion which is made for plastics.  Gloss paint is a must.
  4-Black
  1-Yellow
  1-Blue
  1-Red
  1-White
  3-Clear Coat
10 pack of white poster board for practice
Various circular objects  They need to have a very thin edge and only the edge must touch the paper when set down.  These objects are only going to be used in your practice,  Tape with be used on the slide.
Old magazine (needs to have glossy paper)
Disposable gloves
Painters tape, the blue kind works the best.
Exacto knife or rotary cutter
Sand Paper
Steel wool
Paint Thinner
Simple Green (or other heavy duty cleaner)
Tarp or old sheet
2- 2"x4"x6' pressure treated wood
6- 1"x6"x8' pressure treated wood Or 2- 1"x6"x8' and 2- 1"x6"x10'
2- 4"x4"x8' pressure treated wood
1- 9' Rope
1- bag of gravel
2- bolts w/ washers
48- 2" screws
18- 4" screws
Miter Saw
Circular Saw or Jigsaw
Drill with 1/2" bit
Slide
Level
Rock handles
Post hole digger and/or shovel


Step 2: Scrub Your Worksurface

Picture of Scrub Your Worksurface

Even a brand new slide needs a good scrubbing to remove any particles left over from the manufacturing process. 
I put on some thick gloves and using steel wool and simple green I removed years of dirt, grime, and wasp's nests (scary) from the slide.
Sand any uneven spots and rinse with a hose.  Let dry and then wipe the entire slid down with paint thinner to remove any residue from the cleaning agents.

Step 3: Prep Your Work Area

Picture of Prep Your Work Area


A well ventilated area is a must for this project.  There are a lot of fumes and you should wear a mask as well.  Even in my garage with the door open left me swimming is spray paint fog. 
Put down your tarp and set up an area where you can practice your technique.

You will need
Spray paint
Circular objects
Poster Board
Magazine
Disposable Gloves

Remove all the caps from the spray paint before you start. I forgot to do this the first time and ended up ruining my first practice piece.

Step 4: Practice

Picture of Practice

I will not explain more that just the basics for the purposes of this instructable.  I learn how to do this watching a few grainy videos on youtube.  If you would like more information on this unique art form you may want to look it up here on Instructables. 

Start with a sheet of poster board shiny side up.  This is very important as it slows the drying time of the spray paint.

Picture 1  Decide where you would like your planets.  Spray your lighter color first then follow with the dark color.  Lay on a sheet of magazine paper, press down lightly and immediately pull it off. Repeat with the other planets.

Picture 2 Decide where your light source will be even if you do not plan to have a sun in your painting.  Opposite the light source paint an arc of black on the planets to act as the shadow.

Picture 3  Place your circles and spray the rest of the poster board black.  Spray white on your finger tips and flick to create stars. Use red, blue and yellow sprayed in whips to look like auroras.  

Picture 4  Remove the circles and spray with a clear coat.

 

Step 5: Painting Begins

Picture of Painting Begins

Start with the bottom and the sides of the Slide.  You may decided not to do a full coat of paint on the bottom since it won't be noticeable.
Wait at least 30 min before flipping the slide over.
Depending on slide you may be able to add "racing stripes" as I did.  Paint the area where you want the stripe and let dry for 30 min. 
Use blue painter's tape to mask off the stripe.

Step 6: Planets

Picture of Planets

The normal use of magazine pages to make the texture for the planets doesn't work with the plastic of the slide.  I found that using your hand, fingers together in a sweeping motion makes a very nice texture, but you must change your glove after each planet so you don't mix the colors.  Repeatedly tapping the paint with a flat hand also makes an interesting surface texture.  Remember to make the circles bigger than you want your final planet to be.
Use the black spray paint to make shadow on the dark side of the planet. 
Measure the diameter of your planets for the next step and let everything dry.

Step 7: Masking Circles

Picture of Masking Circles


I'm sure there are better ways to do this next step, but this way is cheap and not very difficult to achieve.  You can't use the normal circles to cover the planets like you would on paper as this is a 3D surface.  Painters tape can bend to follow all the curves.

Starting on a cutting mat or a very clean cutting board, layout overlapping blue tape to form solid sheet.  Overlap the tape so it does not fall apart when you cut it.
Use a compass or just find a bowl or plate the size you need a draw a circle around it.
Using an Exacto knife or rotary cutter to carefully cut around your circle, remember your final planets will look only as good as you cut them out.
You will only need a half circle for the sun.
Place your circles on your now dry planets.  Take your time and make sure that the edges seal and get ready for the magic.

Step 8: Space, the Final Step

Picture of Space, the Final Step


Now that all the planets are covered the slide can now be entirely covered in black.  It took two coats to get a nice even color. 
Spray wisps of red, blue and yellow to give and aurora look.
Spray some white paint into your hand and flick your fingers to simulate stars.
Once you are happy with your look, remove your tape circles and racing stripes to behold your masterpiece :).
Spray red and yellow lightly around the sun to look like solar flares.
I put four layers of clear coat and started digging my holes to put this baby to use.

Step 9: Preparing the Wood.

Picture of Preparing the Wood.

Cut your 4x4x8 down to 7ft and use the Plastidip to spray the bottom 2ft.

Cut a 30° angle off the ends of both 2x4's and spray the bottom 6in with the Plastidip.
Cut a 65º angle at 70in.  Your board should look like an elongated trapezoid.

You can either buy two 8ft boards and two 10ft boards, or five 8ft boards.

Cut List

1.  28, 28, 40  -8ft
2.  30, 32, 34  -8ft
3.  44, 46, 26  -10ft
4.  36, 38, 42  -10ft

Or

1.  28, 28, 40
2.  30, 32, 34
3.  44, 46     
4.  26, 36
5.  38, 42

Step 10: Dig and Place Your Posts

Picture of Dig and Place Your Posts

Dig two holes 28" in depth, a Ø12", and 20" apart from the center point.
To help with drainage, fill the hole with 4" of gravel so the final depth is 2'.
Place your posts and level before filling the holes. 
Make sure to pack the dirt tightly.

Step 11: Attach the Slide and Rock Wall Uprights

Picture of Attach the Slide and Rock Wall Uprights

Center the slide and mark the holes. 
Drill the holes with the 5/16in drill bit.
Bolt the slide down.

Place the uprights for the rock wall.  They will be about 2in too tall so you will have to dig small holes where they touch the ground. 
Screw in the uprights using the 4in screws and fill in the holes.

Step 12: Attach Boards for Rock Wall

Picture of Attach Boards for Rock Wall

It would probally be easier to attach these starting at the bottom, but I started at the top to make sure there was a tight joint.
i used a Nintendo DS case as a spacer.  It just happened to be the perfect 1/2 that I needed.  Use four 2in screws on each board.  Wait to place the last board until you have attached the rope. You may have to dig the ground a bit on the bottom to place the last board. 

Step 13: Attach Rope and Rocks

Picture of Attach Rope and Rocks


Using a 1/2in drill bit, make a hole in the top board (see picture 1) and pass the rope through it.  Tie a knot in the end of the rope and using a 4in screw attach it to the support post. Tie knots in the rope every 12in to 18in.  Attach the rope to the bottom board, leave as much slack at you can then attach the board to the uprights.
Place your rocks on the boards.  Mark the holes using a pencil then drill your holes using the appropriate drill size (I used 5/16in).
Attach the rocks with the bolts.

Step 14: Wash and Wax

Clean the slide of any dust and debris that might have collected while you were putting it up.
Let it dry and wax it using normal car wax.  This will give your slide a nice shine and help protect it from scratches.

Step 15: Blast Off!!

Picture of Blast Off!!

Time to relax and let the kids play!!

Comments

LifeWarrior (author)2011-07-22

looking at the pics I thought you used the tracing paper trick for the 3D effect for the planets but they are painted on, good work on the shading. If you do another living graphic project try printing a graphic on tracing paper lightly coating the back with a contrasting color then spay glue the cut out graphic to your paint job and use you impressive shading skills to shade around it. I've done it a couple of times with children's photo's and people always think it's a meticulously painted portrait, they are stunned to find out it's paper. Anyhow Amazing masking skill and shading, good job.

acbatman54 (author)2011-07-20

That slide is out of this world! Waka, waka, waka!!! LOL Great job.

scoochmaroo (author)2011-07-19

This is SUPER AWESOME!!!!!

patriots8888 (author)2011-07-17

Cool ible, and cute dog ;)

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