January 24, 2011

Checkers, anyone?

I’m not one who’s afraid to steal a good idea.  Over the years I’ve seen a few different examples of my latest project, and had always wanted to do one myself: painting a fun and functional checkerboard onto a table.

The examples I’ve seen before always had a rustic country look to them in colonial blues and rusty reds, which is not in keeping with my taste.  But by choosing pink and green, inspired by the game pieces I knew I’d be swiping from our generic version of Connect Four, I was able to make our checker table fit the more flowery and feminine cottage style you’ll find here in our home.  Perhaps you have a table you can quickly transform from humdrum to fun this way, in colors and a style that suits your taste.

I used acrylic paint for the playing board
and the recycled container for the checkers,
with a top coat of polyurethane
over the board to make it durable.

Since the game pieces aren't actual checkers, they're not properly stackable for crowning when you hear the cry of "King me."  To deal with that, I simply painted the embossed stars that were already on the pieces with a gold paint pen.  We'll flip to the gold star side when it's "kinging" time.  I added a homespun gold star on the lid of our container, finishing it off with glitter nail polish to sparkle it up.  Everything's better with glitter.
Homeschool alert:  I asked our son Scott find the exact middle of the circle for me using geometry.  This was not as a test, but simply because I couldn't immediately figure out how to myself.  He did.  He drew two chords, found their midpoints, and drew lines perpendicular to the chords from those midpoints.  Where the two lines met, we had our center.  It was simple to measure off the squares from there.  The angle from which I took this photograph may fool the eye, but rest assured that math and quaintness met on this table and put a pretty checkerboard perfectly in the center.

I’m resisting the urge to paint flowers around the board.  I don't want it to be so girly and frilly that my boys won't want to use it.  Though I suppose you could argue that real men don’t care if their checkers are pink…

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