Thursday, May 19, 2011

Checker Board

We love to play games.  Board games, card games, yard games, puzzles, and riddles are all some of our favorite ways to pass time together as a family.  The school year is so busy that we do not get a lot of playing time in.  So when Christmas break comes along or summer vacation we know we need to get all our game time in while we have the chance.

Last summer, I put a table in the family room.  I set the checker board and checkers on one end and the chess board and chess pieces on the other end of the table.  There was not a single day that both boards were not used.  It was incredible.  So, this year we are adding a check board to the sun room as well.  Except I am out of checker boards.  My dear hubby found a board in the garage and asked me if I wanted him to throw it out.  I immediately saw a possible checker board and grabbed it up.

You will need a few supplies for this project.  I have the board a single coat of white paint.  I am going for a slightly antiqued look and two perfect coats of paint was not the look I wanted.  There are some checker pieces from a yard set I picked up years ago. Paint chips in any color you want.  The sun room is done in yellows and blues, so that is my color palette. I am also using Modge Podge, painters tape to make a jig mark on my cutter and a few other basic supplies.  

All the store had was Puzzle Saver Modge Podge.  I did not feel like running to the next town to find regular Modge Podge so I bought this stuff.  It smells and works just like regular Modge Podge.  :-)

Whatever paint chips you are using, just make sure you can get 64 squares for your board.  I got four squares out of these samples from Wal Mart. 

I am also using paper towels, wax paper, books, an old toothbrush, black and brown paint, a really big piece of old cardboard...not shown, an old chipped bowl for mixing paint and a few latex gloves.

I made a jog so that I could mindlessly cut all my paint samples.  I measured the sample that I got from the store and figured out that I could get 4 squares from each paint sample.  I laid down three layers of painters tape so the paint sample could butt right up to it then all I had to do was cut.  Easy Peasy.

The first cut divided the sample in half.

Then I went back and cut the squares out of the strips.

Cut 64 squares in all.  32 of one color and 32 of another color. 

Then lay out your squares so that you do not wind up with three dark blue squares in the same line or something weird like that. 

Next grab one of the squares from the middle of the layout and give it a coat of Modge Podge on the back.  Cover every bit of the square going all the way to the edges and corners.

Then starting in the middle of the board, start gluing down your squares.

Once your middle four squares are glued down, start working toward the edge.  I am putting my squares on in a slightly irregular pattern so it looks older and homemade, but you can put them on perfectly square if you prefer.  I covered the squares with a piece of wax paper and then pushed the squares down as best as I could. 

When I was all done gluing, this is what it looked like.

So everything could dry nicely, I covered the whole thing with wax paper.

Then I weighted the squares down with some books.  I left it overnight to dry like this.

Now for the antiquing part.

Add a few drops of water to the bowl and a squirt of the brown paint. 

You want your paint and water mixture to be very thin, almost like water.  Give the board and squares a coat of the thin brown paint.

Immediately wipe off the paint with a paper towel.

The look is very subtle, but it is a nice base for more antiquing.  See the contrast with the ultra white edge?

The next step is to make another batch of water and paint, but you want this batch to be a bit thicker.  See how this batch will hold the brush lines? 

In various spots, use the brush to add some of the brown to both the squares and to boards.

Then wipe it off with the paper towel.  The thicker paint leaves more color behind and makes the antiquing a bit richer.   

This is looking better, but we still have a few more steps. 

Next is the black paint.  We are going to mix it with a few drops of water, but we still want a thicker consistency for this mixture. 

Mix the paint and water together with a brush.

Then put on your glove and grab your toothbrush.  It is time to start adding speckles.  Running your thumb over the bristle tips will cause the paint to splatter. 

Make sure your floor or table is well protected because it can be a bit hard to aim the splatter of paint. 

Take a few practice splatters and then go for it.  You want some larger some lots of tiny little dots all over your board and squares.

You can wipe some of these drops off in a side ways motion to smear them a bit.  It adds amother layer to the over all look.

I gave the side of the plywood a coat of brown pain that had been mixed with a drops of water. 

If you look closely you can see where some of the brown paint from the edge came over onto the top of the board.  I like this look.  I think lots of different layers of different techniques makes the whole thing look so much more real. 

Here is my finished version.  When it dries, I can add the checker pieces and put it in the sun room.  I can't wait to play checker.

As soon as the paint was dry, I added a coat of Modge Podge over the whole thing to preserve the antiqued look.  Wink wink!  I actually wanted to protect the paint samples.  I used irregular, short strokes going in the same direction to to paint on the Modge Podge.

You can see the textured finish from the Modge Podge. 

I am thrilled with how it turned out.  I am so ready for summer vacation to arrive.  I can't wait to spend some fun time with a few of my favorite people on the planet. 

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