Create a border around the game board, if you like.

How to Make a Rug-Size Checkerboard

by Lorna Hordos

Use a rug-sized checkerboard for really big family fun. In years past, Napoleon, Fredrick the Great and Edger Allen Poe, among other historical greats and lesser-known folks, enjoyed competing at checkers, also known as draughts. Paint a game board on a flat-pile sisal, jute or hemp rug, or the backside of a piece of linoleum flooring, with exterior latex paint, which won't easily crack.

Cut a piece of linoleum to your desired size, or measure the distance across a square rug. Divide the span by eight to determine the size of each game-board square. For example, on a 72-by-72-inch-square board, 64 squares measure 9 inches wide each, minus the space consumed by the tape lines.

Apply seven lengths of 1/2-inch painter’s tape evenly across the board, in both directions, to create the 64 squares. Measure for the start points along each edge of rug, canvas or linoleum using the tape measure. Mark the point with a small tape tab, accounting for the 1/2-inch tape with a 1/4-inch margin to each side. Employ the edge of a yardstick as a guide for applying the full lengths of tape, if needed.

Roll red paint over every second exposed square along one edge of the board, using a 4-inch or smaller foam roller. Roll red paint on every second square in the consecutive rows, alternating the starting square from the first to the second one, to stagger them diagonally across the board. Allow the red paint to dry between coats; refer to the can’s label for the recommended time, which may be an hour or less. Apply a second coat of paint to the red squares.

Roll black paint over the remaining unpainted squares, using a clean roller. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply a second coat of black paint. Allow the paint to dry to the touch.

Peel the tape slowly off the board. Allow the paint to completely dry -- at least overnight -- before using the checkerboard.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/2-inch painter’s tape
  • Yardstick
  • Red exterior 100 percent acrylic latex paint
  • Small foam paint rollers
  • Paint-roller tray
  • Black exterior 100 percent acrylic latex paint


  • Use 1-inch-wide painter’s tape for a board that’s more than 4 feet wide for better distinction or visual separation of the squares.
  • Choose zero VOC paint for the safest option in homes with children.
  • A plain white or off-white rug provides the best contrast. For variation, use two contrasting paint colors that work with your decor.
  • Cut 24 circular play pieces from lightweight cork board to fit the squares. Paint 12 of the pieces black and 12 red on one side. On the other side, use a skilled hand or a template to paint a crown. Flip the pieces to the crown as accomplished during play.


  • Open windows for ventilation when painting indoors; preferably, paint outdoors, weather permitting.

About the Author

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer. She writes friendly, conversational business, home and lifestyle articles for Bizfluent, azcentral, Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes, Philips Lighting, and numerous other publications.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images