A Chessboard For Girls

Chessboard in Radiant Orchid - MamaLatinaTips.com

Lowe's Creative Ideas Network Disclosure

I love this project!

I found an old table at a yard sale and probably paid $5 dollars for it, but it could have been less. My original idea for it didn’t work out, so I needed to “repurpose” it or get rid of it. It wasn’t until we considered removing the table’s top level that the seed of a creative idea began to germinate.

You probably already know I’m always looking for ways to encourage the study of STEM subjects. I encourage it for all children, and I make a special effort to encourage girls since they are historically underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

white table - mamalatinatips.com

When the folks at Lowe’s asked me to come up with a project using Radiant Orchid, the Pantone Color of the Year, it all clicked: How about a chessboard that a girl could love? Chess is a game that requires logic and discipline, skills that serve STEM subjects well, as players must consider variations in strategy with every move.

Here's how it was made.

Materials I used:

  • Valspar paint in Pantone's Color of the Year for 2014, Radiant Orchid
  • Valspar paint in white
  • Sand paper
  • Ruler
  • Multi-surface painter's tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint cup

Pink chess pieces - mamalatinatips.com

My friend Arianna and I removed the top. Then we sanded and painted the table and legs white while painting the side bars Radiant Orchid. I painted the tray, created by removing the top section, Radiant Orchid as well.

Then, I carefully measured out an inch-wide square frame (equal distance from the table's edges) for the chessboard’s grid, and painted it Radiant Orchid. I let it dry, then applied another coat of paint.

I waited about a day allowing the paint to completely dry. Then, I covered the entire board with overlapping strips of painter’s tape. I carefully marked the chessboard grid pattern on the tape using a pencil and a ruler. I marked with a letter “R” the tape over each square to be painted Radiant Orchid.

With an exacto knife and ruler to guide, I very carefully cut the “R” squares out of the tape (being extra careful not to cut into the table). After removing the square cut-outs, I painted the exposed squares twice, leaving plenty of time for the first coat to dry before applying the second. Finally, when I was sure my Radiant Orchid squares were dry, I carefully removed the remaining tape to reveal the white squares.

How to make a cheesboard - mamalatinatips.com

I wanted to add a stylish flare to the project. My husband suggested writing, “Queen on her own color,” which seemed to capture just the feeling I was looking for. So I stencilled the phrase onto the end. Here’s how.

First, using my computer, I printed the phrase onto a piece of paper after finding a font and size I liked. Then, I covered the back side of the paper with pencil. Next, I taped the printed paper onto the table pencil-side down, so it wouldn’t move when tracing. I traced the letter edges. Once traced, I carefully removed the paper revealing the lettering now transferred in pencil onto the table top.

Finally, I used a small paint brush to fill-in the letters with the Radiant Orchid paint. I let it dry well and then painted a second coat.

Stencil - mamalatinatips.com

For the chess pieces, I simply dipped some old wooden ones I found into the Radiant Orchid and white paints.

What do you think? I’m so proud of my chess table!

Pink chessboard - mamalatinatips

Happy painting!

Silvia Martinez
Latest posts by Silvia Martinez (see all)

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