Potential is often easy to overlook.
After all, our eyes are meant to see what is actually there, not what could be.
So when I spotted this table at a thrift store, I tried to imagine how it could be more than just a surface to
set stuff on.
I thought about another function for it. I needed it to be multifunctional.
I began by removing the finish on the top surface and legs with an orbital sander. I used
120 grit sandpaper discs to start off, then smoothed it with 180 grit.
I left the finish on the edge that goes around the table, because I wanted to add a layer of stain and keep it dark. I didn’t use any
chemical strippers, as that would complicate my plan. (Chemical strippers always seem to complicate my plans.)
Around the edge, I layered over the old stain with Minwax PolyShades (Bombay
See? It works!
To prepare the surface on the legs and table top to take the stain evenly, I used Minwax Pre-Stain Wood
I wiped it on with a rag, waited about 10 minutes for it to penetrate, then wiped off any
Immediately following the Pre-Stain application, I applied one coat of Minwax PolyShades in
“Pecan” to the top and legs.
*This base coat of PolyShades on the surface is an important factor when creating a
layered pattern. It forms a protective layer over the bare wood and prevents bleeding at
the edge of any future tape lines. (It keeps the darker checkerboard pattern lines clean.)
After about 6 hours, the surface was dry and I could measure out my checkerboard
(A lot of measuring and taping going on…)
I used a utility knife to cut along my measured lines…
and tweezers worked great for pulling up alternating squares.
This is what it looked like after I added a strip of tape around the checkerboard. (The
strip that surrounds the checkerboard in this pic is to keep the outer squares… uh, square.)
To make sure all tape edges were pressed down tight, I used a smooth edge of a hard
Next, it was time for PolyShades “Bombay Mahogany” on the squares. I used a small
paint brush for this part, because I wanted to avoid any over-saturation.
Immediately following application on the last square, I pulled up the tape carefully, with
The following day, my pattern was completely dry. The next step was preparing to apply
the checkerboard border.
After the border was complete, I had a finished checkerboard pattern.
There was no need for a clear coat over the top, and that is the beauty of Minwax PolyShades.
DIY Game Table Complete!
Watch this short Minwax Video
*This post is sponsored by Country Living promotions, all of the opinions are my own.
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