I had this old, antique, square sidetable with a pressed leather top. My husband had begun to paint a monopoly board onto it when he was a kid and somehow the poor, ugly, thing hung around and eventually got put into our basement. I decided since it
survived this long, maybe it had some deep purpose it had yet to fulfill....not really.... Actually, I just can't throw things away and sometimes it's to my advantage (like when I'm looking for things to paint for a frogtape contest). My kids like playing checkers
(and chess) so, I thought, a checkerboard table would be a good addition to our family room.
I started by sanding, priming and mixing up a dark bronze grey color to paint it with (I have a thing for marked down mistint paints). The color works nicely in the space. I then measured out the top of the table and found that the 1 7/8 inch wide frogtape would work well for the checker squares. I found the center line of the table and just needed to place one strip of tape right up against that line. I then placed seven more strips neatly against the first one (on either side). Then I measured the total width of those eight stripes and centered that measurement on the table in the opposite direction. From there, I marked the center line in the other direction. You can either measure off using the width of the tape or a ruler and mark off (very precise) lines that will later be gently scored with an exacto knife (cut just enough to score your tape, otherwise you'll cut your surface to be painted, and you will end up causing the tape to pull up your base coat).
Because I prepped well, primed and used quality acrylic paint, I wasn't too concerned about the tape pulling up the paint where I accidently scored the new paint. (NOTE: when you pull up tape from a painted surface and the paint surface beneath has been broken, the paint can pull away, particularly on poorly primed and poorly prepped or dirty surfaces.)
I used a straight edge and place it on the lines I'd drawn and carefully cut/scored just into the tape while firmly holding my straight edge in place.
Once you get all of your lines cut and the squares pulled up, make sure the tape has very good contact with your surface to be painted by pressing the edges down. OH! and mask off the whole perimeter of the checkerboard pattern you've just made (sorry, there are no pics of that). Using a small roller I rolled on a coat of tan paint within the pattern I had tape off. Be sure to remove the tape while your paint in still wet (or it may tear the paint off your newly painted edge).
There you have it, a perfect checkerboard, that is, once you carefully pull up half of the squares (starting at their corners, I think I used the tip of my blade). You can see a couple tiny spots where the paint pulled up, I just touched those up. I also made a border stripe around the perimeter of the checkerboard and painted gold paint into the remaining, recessed, decorative chain pattern on the old pressed leather top (quickly rubbing off the excess paint from the above surface).
Next, because it was a pretty beat up table (and a perfect, sleek paint job didn't quite work on it), I roughed up the table gently with fine sand paper. Lastly, after it dried for a couple days it got an oil based clear coat on top (I used oil because It's more durable and I liked the idea of a slight amber hue on top of the grey. <<I also tend to use whatever I already have on hand.) It was so hot when I started, I ended up pouring it onto the top and very quickly making a swirl pattern onto it with my brush.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this, because I HATE typing. Someone ought to read it :) Also, I hope you got something out of reading all this, even if it's just inspiration for your next project.