Chess/Checkerboard Table


Member • CAL Sacramento

10 tools

I found this table next to a dumpster 7 years ago and thought it would be fun to transform it into a chess/checker table, an idea inspired by a table at my local coffee shop. The table had a lot of water marks, the finish was peeling and one panel of the table was not even. So, a friend and I set to work. -We removed a decorative wood piece (skirt) that was below the table top, sprayed it with wood finish and set it aside. The same could be done with the legs as well, but our table was in pretty good shape there. -We removed the uneven panel, reset it, glued and clamped it into place. We set it in the sun to dry. -Then, we sanded the table top and used steel wool to get into the crevices on the side. Tinted wood filler was used for any nicks or scratches.-Once a damp cloth was used to wipe down the entire table, we drew all the squares on the table using L-square rulers. Our table had 2" squares and a 1.75" border. -We chose two types of stain, a natural and a darker stain and applied the stain with small paint brushes. The lighter stain was runnier than the dark, so it seeped into the wood grain. However, the darker stain was thicker and able to cover the lighter stain. -I let the table set for at least a day and then sprayed it with the wood finish as well. The decorative piece was replaced also. After spraying, the table was left to dry completely.-As a polish, we were deciding between a wax or spray. My local hardware store recommended Guardsman spray polish because I was told that wax would leave a build-up over time that would eventually need to be stripped. You have to spray the polish on a towel and then work it into the wood and buff well. -Finally, I ordered over-sized wooden chess pieces online for less than $40 from Since this is my first DIY project, I'm very happy with the result.


Steel wool Sandpaper Pencil Damp cloth Wood glue (if necessary) Satin wood finish Ruler 2 colors of stain Furniture polish Tinted wood filler

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