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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am making a chess board, and I can't decide how to finish it. I am going for a very glossy, piano finish, black and white, something like this board:
http://www.worldofstock.com/stock-photos/black-and-white-chess-set-reflection/PRE1268

I am making the board out of smooth birch plywood. I was thinking I would spray the whole board with white primer, then use masking tape to spray paint black and white squares, followed by polyurethane or lacquer and abrasives to make it glossy.

What would (wood? ;)) be the best way to make it glossy? Should i use another painting method? Is there a better way to achieve the look? Thank you.

EDIT: I may use maple plywood, I hear it is better for a chess board.
 

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What ever clear coat you intend to use you need to make sure it is a non-yellowing finish going over white. A water based poly would work where the oil based would yellow. On lacquer the most common is a nitrocellulose lacquer and it is prone to yellow. A cab-acrylic or sometimes called butyrate lacquer would be a better choice of lacquer. The solvents in lacquer are pretty strong so if you choose that you might should use lacquer paint to make the chess board. If you used an enamel the solvents in the lacquer would lift it is why. Spray the paint in light coats or it will bleed under the tape. Masking tape such as frog tape only works for water based finishes.
 

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I am making a chess board, and I can't decide how to finish it. I am going for a very glossy, piano finish, black and white, something like this board:
http://www.worldofstock.com/stock-photos/black-and-white-chess-set-reflection/PRE1268

I am making the board out of smooth birch plywood. I was thinking I would spray the whole board with white primer, then use masking tape to spray paint black and white squares, followed by polyurethane or lacquer and abrasives to make it glossy.

What would (wood? ;)) be the best way to make it glossy? Should i use another painting method? Is there a better way to achieve the look? Thank you.

EDIT: I may use maple plywood, I hear it is better for a chess board.

You are not likely to get good clean lines using tape...

You would be better off cutting a pile of squares of different colors and fastening them together and THEN coating over the top of that...

To make something like in your picture - I would use plastic laminate squares (scraps) and not spray anything at all. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You are not likely to get good clean lines using tape...

You would be better off cutting a pile of squares of different colors and fastening them together and THEN coating over the top of that...

To make something like in your picture - I would use plastic laminate squares (scraps) and not spray anything at all. :smile:
If I used laminate, would I still clearcoat? If so, would urethane still work?
Also, where can I get laminate not in floor tile form? I cannot seem to find any :furious:
 

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If I used laminate, would I still clearcoat? If so, would urethane still work?
Also, where can I get laminate not in floor tile form? I cannot seem to find any :furious:

If you used the right laminate AND got them to fit together right - You would not need any clearcoat.

I have seen urethane done over all sorts of stuff and it sticks... And sticks well...

You can get laminate scraps from any countertop maker and/or cabinet maker that also does tops occsionally. Should be cheap for 'scraps' but colors may not be exactly what you want...

There is ALWAYS scrap to be had when doing plastic laminate work! LOL! :yes:

Do you have the tools to cut your pieces???

If not - pay attention to what Steve said about bleeding under the tape... He KNOWS what he is talking about. :thumbsup:
 

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Since the discussion has turned to laminate, you might cut veneer into squares and use walnut for the dark squares and maple for the light squares and laminate them to a sheet of plywood and band it with some other wood, perhaps cherry. Then you could finish it clear and not have to worry about colors bleeding out under tape. It could also be done with formica however sometimes it's difficult to mill the edges of formica to make good seams on small parts.
 

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Since the discussion has turned to laminate, you might cut veneer into squares and use walnut for the dark squares and maple for the light squares and laminate them to a sheet of plywood and band it with some other wood, perhaps cherry. Then you could finish it clear and not have to worry about colors bleeding out under tape. It could also be done with formica however sometimes it's difficult to mill the edges of formica to make good seams on small parts.



Cherry and Oak hardwood squares...

Was a PAIN... Had to do tape stuff and 'extra' work to get the cherry 'dark' enough for my liking... :yes:

Like you said... Walnut would have been a 'better' choice here for the dark color. :smile:


Like you also said: Tape is likely to cause issues when doing this sort of thing.

Took me a few tries to figure that one out... :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the idea of veneer squares, but I'd really like it to be black and white. What if I painted squares before assembling them? It might be a bit of tight fit, but then I could clear coat over that?
 

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I like the idea of veneer squares, but I'd really like it to be black and white. What if I painted squares before assembling them? It might be a bit of tight fit, but then I could clear coat over that?
Usually when you glue squares like that down there is enough variation in the thickness of the veneer and the glue under it that it is necessary to sand the wood flat before finishing. You would probably have to put a very thick coating of paint on the veneer before doing that so you could sand the finish flat without taking the color completely off. I wouldn't advise putting a thick coat of clear over it for the purpose of leveling. A thick coat of clear over white paint is asking for trouble even if you use a water clear product. Even glass has a green tint to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm sorry I meant squares of wood, maybe 1/4 inch thick. I thought I could cut them out of strips with a table saw, and just glue them in, then sand them down to the same height. For an effective black and white finish, maybe I could use holly and ebonized holly? I've heard it ebonizes very well, and then I could sand them and clearcoat.
If I do use real wood, then I will use the finishing method in this video
Thank you again for all of the help.
 
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