Sunday, January 13, 2013

chubby checkerboard

Why is this post titled "chubby checkerboard"?

Am I going to break into song and do The Twist?  No.

I am, however, posting the rebirth of my awesome new checkerboard coffee table, and it just so happens I'm feeling a little chubby during the scribing of this post.

I've got to get off the pizza, brownies, and wine.

Here's my new little beauty, allllll finished.

So I bought this orange-y coffee table from a guy at work for $5.00.  This is the first piece I've actually purchased to satisfy my new obsession, and it is JEN-YOU-INE solid REAL wood
--a rarity these days.

Feast your eyes on the Old, the Sad, and the Fugly.  

Please pay close attention to the icky brass "buttons" in the corners, along with the brass feet on the ends of the legs.  Yuck.

Thank goodness Philly knows how to get rid of icky.  He drilled those brass suckers OUT!

Then we did lots of sanding...we started out with this little gizzy, and that was too much work.

So, we moved on to the belt sander.  (And by "we" I mean Philly.)  This turned out to work a little TOO well, and left some hazy scratches in the wood.  But it was clean, and Philly mixed up some wood filler and put little blobs that looked like "DQ Poo" in the holes where the brass buttons were.

Mmmmm....Soft Serve!

Then one of his coworkers took pity on us and let us borrow his incredibly awesome orbital sander with vacuum hookup...Now I have MAJOR sander envy.  I'm TOTALLY lusting after this sander.  I'm seriously learning to love all kinds of power tools.

(As a side note, I realize it appears as though Philly is doing ALL the work.  I actually did quite a bit myself.  It's just difficult to take pictures of myself while sanding, PLUS, if you recall, I'm feeling

Anyhoo, Philly let me run the drill and remove the screws so we could finish sanding things up with the fab new borrowed sander.

And now we're ready for clearcoat on everything.  I decided I didn't want any stain...I just wanted whatever natural color would show through.

At this point, I have to once again mention this blog.  It was the first one I really looked at and inspired me to get busy DOING STUFF!

After adding a couple coats of clear and drying, I slapped on this vinyl checkerboard decal I bought online for $20.  I also added some painter's tape for some more visual interest, then added another coat of clear.

Then we sprayed the whole thing with primer, then black paint.  (We bought a sprayer and used water-based primer and acrylic paint for easy cleanup--AND because the cost of cans of spray paint/primer add up FAST!)

We immediately started peeling the vinyl and tape off the table to reveal the new (and infinitely improved) coffee table! 


I wanted an edge around the checkerboard print, so I did more taping and painted it red, but that was a complete disaster.  (I was so upset with how crappy it looked with the red paint--the lines were all jaggedy--I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture.)

I was about to end it all by plummeting off the coffee table, but once again, Philly came to the rescue and talked to his Auto-Body-Buddy who GAVE us (FREE) some silver pinstriping that just covered the ugly red stripes.  Philly did a fantastic job cutting it to the perfect lengths and FINALLY I was able to put on the final coats of poly!

WOOT!  Now we're ready to get down to some serious chess-and-checker playing! 

Or perhaps we'll just put our beer bottles and popcorn on it while we watch Netflix.

Again, here's the before:

And the after:

Total cost:
Table $5.00
Decal $20.00
Primer: We're going with -0- since it was leftover from the kitchen countertop
Paint: Ditto
Clearcoat: Ditto
Miscellaneous/sandpaper: We'll go with $5.

Total for Mr. Chubby?  $30.00

I'm sharing with:
The Shabby Nest 
Funky Junk Interiors  
Three Mango Seeds
Nifty Thrifty Things
Chic on a Shoestring
Between Naps on the Porch 
Tutorials Tips and Tidbits 
House of Hepworths 
Tatertots And Jello 


  1. What an awesome transformation! I play chess - not very well but I play anyway because I absolutely love the game and its history. I would love a chess table like yours in my home. Wish I were as creative, alas... Visiting from The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday.

    1. Thanks Jan! There was some trial and error involved with that table, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Thanks so much for visiting!


  2. That turned out just gorgeous - so professional looking!!!
    I did a backgammon table once - but you've knocked this right out of the park!
    Visiting from Nifty Thrifty Things,
    Big hugs,

    1. WOW! I'm honored Suzan! I love your blog...your fixer-upper post cracked me up. I love watching the Property Brothers and Love It or List It....It always AMAZES me what some of those properties in those big Canadian cities go for! Nuts! Thanks for your very sweet feedback!!


  3. Wow! Very impressive! Thanks so much for linking up to ITS PARTY TIME! Hugs!

  4. what a fun redo on that table. well done.

    1. Thank you so much! And thanks for stopping by!



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