Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Cornhole Boards 3.0 – The Finish

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Above is the final finish on my younger brother’s Christmas present of custom made and painted Cornhole Boards.  After starting with a blank canvas and having a general idea of knowing I wanted a penguin I sketched up the design and color layout on a sheet of paper.   With the penguin I know I needed black paint and white paint, but I wanted to really test myself on complexity and throw in a third color.  Luckily my local Lowe’s helped me narrow down the color choices with their limited selection of Valspar water based gloss enamel paints, pre-mixed of course.

The process:

Step One – I know my brother likes penguins, but where to get a penguin that looks cool?  Being a former art student, I decided I would draw myself a couple penguins!  The trick would be to pick one my brother would like.  The first step was to sketch a couple penguins and get the wife to narrow down the field of “possibles” first.  After her review, we were left with two possible options. In order to get the final decision, I went ahead and emailed my brother and basically said that I was drawing some penguins for the boys and asked which one he thought looked better.  He chose penguin A, and the rest is history.

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Step Two – Paint selection.  I learned that painting things is not easy from my Stratton Bed build so, I knew I wanted to stick with pre-mixed, water based paints from Lowe’s.  I decided on three colors to really make the design pop and went with High Gloss Paints for that amazing shine.  I knew my main color was white, and black would be an accent for a border and the penguin itself.  After looking through my options on the shelf at Lowe’s, Gloss Red seemed like a logical choice as a second accent color.  All paints including the primer were Valspar Enamel Pre-mixed Quarts found on the shelf.  With paints in hand it was time to start the process of painting.

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Step Three –  Priming.  Both boards were sanded using 150-grit sand paper, vacuumed off, and wiped down with a tack cloth prior to applying the first coat of primer.  Learning a lesson form the Stratton bed build, I went with two coats of primer before hitting the boards with a last shot of wood filler.

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Step Four – With the wood filler dry, I take the boards back out to the garage and do a final sanding with 150-grit and 220-grit sand paper to knock down any raised wood grain due to the primer and the last bit of wood filler touch-ups.  This should help give me a nice smooth finish with the gloss paints.  As before I vacuum the boards and wipe them down with a tack cloth, before hitting them with the third and final coat of primer.  I may be too much of a perfectionist!

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Step Five – With the primer dry I start applying some paint.  I start with the lightest color first, white, which just so happens to be my base color.  All the boards get two coats of Gloss White.  When the second coat is dry I mask off my boards for the second color, which will be Gloss Red on the top portion of the board.

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Step Six – This is an important step that I learned from the internet.  When you are taping stuff off you need to paint over the tape with the color of paint below the tape.  This will help to seal up the tape edge and is another layer of protection to prevent your second color from seeping under the tape.  I rolled the whole board with another coat of Gloss White after masking off for the red.  It was just easier that way and in my mind the white would be the same uniform thickness.

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Step Seven – Lay down some red paint.  In this case the Gloss Red took three coats to cover the Gloss White completely.  When the last coat was dry I carefully removed the blue painter’s tape to reveal a nice clean crisp edge.

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Step Eight – With the red paint complete it was time to mask off the boards for the last color, the Gloss Black.  I used a fair amount of painter’s tape for this next process, because I needed to mask off for the black border and the entire white field where the penguin and number 23 was to go.

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Step Nine – Layout.  I had to color in my pencil sketch of the penguin with a felt tip pen, because I would be taping over the paper copy with additional tape and needed to see the image through the tape.  I also printed out the number 23 in a font I liked on my printer at a size I thought would compliment the penguin.  I found the center line of the boards and drew it on top of the tape with pencil.  I then had the wife help me center and layout the images on the boards.

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Step Ten – Masking over the images.  I used frog tape because it was a single solid color that was easier to see through than the blue painter’s tape I had purchased.  Additionally the blue tape I had purchased had a logo that repeated so frequently I thought it would be distracting to cut through.  With everything masked off I was ready to cut out all of the black parts of the images, making sure to press down hard enough to cut through the green tape, the white paper, and scoring the blue tape as well.

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Step Eleven – Cutting through the tape was harder than I had anticipated. I used my utility knife, changing the blade frequently as I went.  I took my time and found that an exacto knife would have been a better choice for cutting, especially on the curves!

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Step Twelve – With the cutting complete the green tape and the white paper lifted out leaving the blue tape behind with the score lines of the images cut into the blue tape.  I carefully removed the blue tape that was to be painted black to reveal the design.  I used the tip of the blade to help lift up the tape.

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Step Thirteen – With everything cut out, it was time to seal the tape by painting the over the images and the border with the color below the tape. This involved both red & white paint, because one side of the border stripe has red paint against it and the other side has white paint against it.

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Step Fourteen – I hit the border and the images with two coats of Gloss Black.  After the last coat of black has cured but not fully dried, approximately 2-3 hours, I began removing the blue tape.  This was a time consuming and nerve racking process, so I did not take many photos.  Basically, I went slow and took my time removing the tape around the penguin and the number 23.  I needed the blade of my utility knife to help remove tape in some tight areas, but everything went well.

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Step Fifteen – Touch-up. Despite my best efforts I did have a couple small areas where some black paint bled through but these were easily touched up with an artist’s brush and some paint.

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December 28, 2012 - Posted by | Woodworking | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. You gotta love your brother a lot…That was so much work. I hope he loves them…but I’m unclear what they are used for.

    Comment by solarbeez | December 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Well to be honest I have never played the game, if you can believe it. Basically, it is like pitching horseshoes. You place the boards 27′-0″ apart and you take turns tossing the bags at the boards. Each bag that stays on the board is worth 1 point and each bag in the hole is worth 3 points. The first to 21 points wins. You can play against each other or in teams of 2. I will try and post a video of the boards in offical use, but you may have to wait until warmer weather.

      Comment by billcarpenter4 | December 29, 2012 | Reply

      • You are sure one heck of a carpenter.

        Comment by solarbeez | December 30, 2012

  2. […] and just a smidge deeper than a 1/2” on the table saw.  I learned the hard way when doing my Cornhole Boards that I would much rather have the 1/2” plywood sit a little lower that the 1x trim, because […]

    Pingback by Headboard 7.0 – The Top Shelf « Little Creek Maple Farm | August 25, 2013 | Reply


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