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Episode 112 - Weekend Guests
This project was conceived on the premise of using left-over latex wall paints and materials readily found around the home or at the neighbour’s. We chose two complimentary colours of paint, those used on the set of Savoir Faire. This project was created by artist Brent McDougall.

  1. We used as the base of our board a sheet of 2 foot by 2 foot (1/4 inch) MDF. MDF is a wood-based product available at most lumber and home supply centres. Often it is cut into 2 foot by 4 foot pieces. Most places will cut this in two for you and then you’ll have the makings for two games boards.

  2. MDF is made to be very smooth so after a minimal amount of sanding along the edges (the cut edges can be rather sharp) we painted the board with two coats of our base colour.

  3. Since a games board has a play area of eight squares by eight squares and we wanted a nice border to decorate, we chose 2 inches as the size of our squares. That left us with a 16 square inch play area and a four inch border. Using a ruler we measured on the board where the corners of the play area would be, (4 inches from each side) and marked those four corners with a pencil.

  4. We need to apply a frisket, or mask to the play area so we can easily create our squares. A frisket is a thin adhesive plastic film (MacTac works well) that we can cut into a 16 inch by 16 inch square and lay over the play area. We peeled off the paper backing of our “frisket” and placed it carefully onto the area we had delineated as the play area.

  5. This is the time to begin decorating the border. We wanted the border to look like it was put together like a picture frame, so we need the corners to meet with a nice straight line. We want to mask off the two opposing sides of the board and paint them first. Run the inside tape edge (the tape should be low-tack, same you use painting a room) from the corner of the play area to the corner of the board and watch to make sure you mask carefully.

  6. The corner is painted in a second colour in a messy, streaked manner. Don’t use too much paint; make sure it’s very streaky. When done, pull off the masking tape. When this paint is dry, mask over it and paint the remaining two sides of the border in the same, streaky manner.

  7. The mask or “frisket” was then measured and marked into 64 (8 X 8) squares. We carefully cut along our lines (not too deeply, so as to avoid scoring the paint underneath) and we removed alternate squares of the frisket. Our board looks like it’s becoming a games board at this point.

  8. These exposed squares need to be painted. Time for your rubber gloves! First, run masking tape along the edge of the play area to protect the painted border. Tone in the exposed squares by blotching on some of your second colour. Use a paper plate or an old plate and a bag or sponge. Put a little paint onto your plate, run a little paint onto your crumpled bag and dab the paint all over the exposed squares. Keep your texture open and light.

  9. Pull the remaining “frisket” squares off the board.

  10. Now we finish decorating the border. Use the base colour to decorate the border. We used a pattern taken from an antique French panel, but your border could be based on a fabric pattern you use in your room or maybe your favourite flower.

  11. Seal your board with a latex urethane or a spray plastic and you’re ready to start playing games!

Courtesy: Brent McDougall, Archaeology; Toronto, ON (416) 787-6678