Great link! I forwarded it to one of our lead "garden creators" at school!
In Kansas our weather ranges from avg. 102-20 degrees - but it can get
colder or hotter. I didn't seal the trashcans - I just used outdoor paint
and gave it a good basecoat, and then the students used acrylic to add their
designs. Surprisingly it has held up well. If I were to seal it now I would
use polyeurethane for outdoors, or something similiar. For the stepping
stones we had one of the local dad's come up and mix concrete for us. The
first stepping stones we made we used pie pans, which are good for shape,
but not so good for strength when being stepped on. That is why we switched
to the large cardboard tubes - we got them at the lumber yard. I'm assuming
they are for pouring concrete cylinders of some sort??? Take a jig saw and
cut them into rings. Put a piece of black plastic inside, dump some cement
in, let stand for awhile, let the kids decorate, and once it got to a
certain hardness take the tube off & make another one. The two tubes we cut
up gave us a good dozen (I think???) and we had the students come out in
groups. If you can get some dad's in to help and spend the entire day (or
two) making stepping stones then you can get them done in a hurry & not have
to deal with the mess forever. We did them out by the parking lot.
> I have to ask, what product did you use for the stepping stones? I live
> in South Jersey so cold winters and blistering summers are a weather
> factor. I've never worked with concrete, (other than mosaic tiling) but
> I'm willing to try and learn! Did you seal the trash cans after painting?
> What would be best to use?