Dec 072013

original I came into possession of a solid oak Mission / Arts & Crafts style table a few months ago.  It has a nice simple look to it and it is very heavy and solid.  For me, the problem with it was it’s dimensions.  It is 28 inches in diameter and 29 inches tall.  At that height, it is a bit too high to be an end or side table because it is really the height of a dining table.  There is no lower shelf, making me wonder if it is meant to be sat at.  So I left it, waiting to be inspired. 

A few weeks ago, we had a mild day and I took the opportunity to take a few pieces outside to either strip or sand or in the case of this table both.  I could see the oak grain was very nice and thought about staining the top and painting the bottom for that good ole Pottery Barn look.  But what can it be used for?

Then I had an idea! After a quick look around Pinterest and the internet, I decided it would make a great chess or checkers table.

Butler-Loft-Maxwell-Game-Table copy Butler-Loft-Maxwell-Game-Table2 copy

 I began by applying my favourite walnut stain to the center area of the top, where the checkered pattern would be. 

Instead of using masking tape, I took my chances with dollar store Con-Tact paper I already had.  I proceeded to cut out 32 two inch squares with my Fiskars paper cutter,

Using my  carpenter square, I began to stick the squares in place over the stained area.   Then I painted the open squares with my favourite black, Black Suede by Behr.  (It could be a favourite because I already have it LOL)




I was very pleased with the cheapo Co-Tact paper.  It worked very well!  I masked off the square and used homemade chalk paint made with the Black Suede and painted the rest of the table.  I only needed one coat because I didn’t care if any wood showed through.  I lightly distressed it and applied a bit of stain to the exposed areas.

To make the “board” stand out I masked the perimeter and painted a  gold border, using basic craft paint I had on hand. 

Next came the THREE coats of varathane to protect the surfaces.

Once again, I was able to pull this together with paints and stuff I already had!  The table came in an Estate Sale lot with a few other tables so I would estimate I paid about $15 for this beauty!



chess_17    chess_16


WOW!  I love it! 

Wouldn’t this make a great Christmas gift!


it’s so much

Nicer Than New

  16 Responses to “Chess Anyone?”

  1. UPDATE: The varathane was barely dry and this table was out the door!

  2. LOVE IT

  3. awesome job! Looks great!

  4. Very cool! I want do do a chessboard myself sometime, though it has to be of smaller dimensions – my flat is just too tiny!

  5. Ahhhh I’ve always wanted to make a chess top table! I just LOVE how you left the wood show through for the squares. This is awesome. I’m moving it a little higher up on my bucket list now! 🙂 Thanks for sharing on Kammy’s Korner!!

  6. It looks amazing and such a fabulous idea. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  7. Wow! I REALLY love how that looks. Wonderful job!

  8. This is adorable! I love the idea of using the contact paper to create the chess / checker board. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  9. Cool makeover! Thanks for linking up to Twirl and Take a Bow! Hope to see you again next week!

  10. Great job~ love this project! Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  11. What a fun idea! My kids would love this addition to our home. I’m featuring your chess table in this week’s PoPP Spotlight.

  12. […] #7 ~ fun chess table from Nicer than New […]

  13. So Sensational!!!! Hugs and Holiday Wishes!

  14. […] Behr’s Black Suede, left over from my rattan kitchen table,  the retro phone table , the chess table and the Pottery Barn style chair.  It is quite remarkable how far a $20 can of paint will […]

  15. […] few weeks back, I posted a “Chess Anyone” table makeover where I took an odd sized table and turned it into a games […]

  16. […] Chess anyone?  How fabulous would this upcycled table be under the tree!!!  See how it was created over at Nicer Than New! […]

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