How to Do a Checkerboard With Stain on Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • 12.5 x12.5 inch Wooden Surface

  • Soft Bristle Paint Brush

  • Lint Free Rags

  • 120 Grit or Finer Sand Paper

  • Sanding Block

  • 1/2 inch Painters Tape

  • 1 1/2 inch Painters Tape

  • Light Wood Stain

  • Dark Wood Stain

Even the smallest piece of furniture can be the center point of an entire room as long as it has the right pattern. A checkerboard pattern is an intriguing and detailed pattern that can bring style and flair to any room of your house. It can be a main piece of furniture or an accent piece. You can make your own checkerboard as an accent for any table and give it a classy, elegant look by creating this pattern on a wooden surface out of different color stains.


Step 1

Sand the wooden surface until smooth. Make sure to sand in the same direction as the grain of the wood.

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Step 2

Clean off the extra dust from the surface. You can use either a lint free rag or a used dryer sheet works well to remove small particles of dust.


Step 3

Apply the light colored stain to the wood surface using the soft bristle brush. Once the whole surface is covered, remove excess stain with a rag. Let completely dry and apply a second coat in the same manner. Let surface fully dry.

Step 4

Frame the edge of the wood surface with the 1/2 inch wide painters tape. Then, using the 1 1/2 inch painters tape, create your first vertical strip all the way down the surface directly against the painters tape on the left side of your wooden surface. Measure 1 1/2 inches from your first vertical strip and create another vertical strip with the same painters tape. Repeat until you have four strips of the 1 1/2 inch painters tape going across your surface. You should have eight columns, alternating tape and then no tape sections that start with a strip of tape and end without one. Repeat this process horizontally, starting at the bottom of your surface and working upwards giving you the same eight columns, but across your surface, that start with a strip of tape and end without one.


Step 5

Paint the darker stain over the entire surface filling in the exposed squares between the painters tape and wipe off any excess with a lint free rage. Once mostly dry, repeat. Let sit for a few minutes so the stain will set and then remove the tape before it is completely dry.

Step 6

Let the surface completely dry once the tape is removed. You should be left with a one half inch light border with alternating light and dark boxes inside, revealing your checkerboard pattern.


Complete project on a tarp or layer of newspaper to avoid damaging your work surface.

Wear latex gloves while completing the project to avoid getting the stains on your skin.


Make sure you are in a well ventilated area.


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