Tuesday, June 25, 2013

checkerboard table :: diy

About ten years ago I saw a small table in Starbucks with a checkerboard painted on it’s surface.  I took a mental note to do that to a table someday.  A lot of good it did me.

About five years ago I saw a table for sale for a pretty penny in a magazine with a checkerboard painted on it.  I cut it out and saved it in my well organized binder of decorating ideas (did anyone else do that before Pinterest?).  A lot of good that did me, too.

And a few days ago, after watching yet another checker match with my giant checker rug spread out on my coffee table, I finally got around to making it happen…


I had been on the hunt for the perfect table to paint it on all these years, when I had the perfect table right under my nose!  And had I found a good table to add the checkerboard to, I wouldn’t have had room for it in my little house anyway!  So although adding a checkerboard to a perfectly good, not-so-cheap table, might seem crazy to many of you, it works for me!  I’m unconventional like that.

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I didn’t take pictures of the process, but it was really easy… here’s a quick how-to:


wood table

painter’s tape

Terrifically Tacky Tape (I used 1/16” width)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

paint brush


Annie Sloan clear wax

lint-free cloths for waxing and buffing (available at big-box home improvement stores)


1.  Clean table and let dry.

2.  Measure out your checkerboard to fit your checkers.  I applied painter’s tape around the outer edges.  Then I used the super narrow tacky tape to tape off the inner lines of the grid.

3.  Using a small brush, I brushed on one coat of the chalk paint, carefully staying in my grid.  After every-other square was painted I removed the tapes and allowed this to dry.

4.  I used sand paper to distress the squares, softening them and making them look worn.  TIP:  Be patient.  I sometimes make the mistake of not letting it dry enough and getting distressing that looks like scratches instead of natural wear.  Let it dry completely (hours, at least) before sanding.

5.  Apply an even coat of the clear wax with a lint-free cotton cloth, in a section about one foot square.  Then buff it with a new cloth.  Keep doing this one section at a time until the table top is covered and then give the whole surface a final buffing with another clean cloth to really give it a shine.

It was a pretty quick and simple process.  The ASCP is really quite forgiving.  There is a tutorial by Miss Mustard Seed that tells you everything you need to know about the waxing process.

So now I’m one happy homemaker with the checkerboard table I always wanted, and those checker matches are pretty frequent around here…

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