Many people make their own cornhole boards or make them and sell them. Cornhole is one of the few remaining games where the supplies, such as boards and bags, are still custom made. If you’ve recently painted or made a set of cornhole boards and find yourself wondering how to put a protective coating on them, you’re not alone. Many people are unaware of how to coat their boards.
Coating cornhole boards is important for a few reasons. First, you want to protect the wood from adverse weather. Secondly, you probably spent hours painting your boards and applying decals. It’s important you protect your new boards. Let’s get started with step one below.
Choose Your Coating (poly)
Most people use either polyurethane or polycrylic. Both will protect your boards and add the necessary slickness, but there are some key differences between the two that you should know about. First, polyurethane is oil-based and polycrylic is water-based.
It's important to remember these three things regarding oil vs water-based.
- Oil-based takes longer to dry.
- Oil-based is harder to clean up, including off of you and your brushes. You typically have to use paint thinner, where acrylic can be cleaned up using soap and water.
- Don’t mix oil-based with water-based (when using paint and a poly coating together).
We recommend using a semi-gloss polycrylic because it won’t fade in color (turn yellowish) and it’s easier to clean yourself and your equipment. Plus, it dries faster and we’re impatient!
We recommend semi-gloss finish because it allows you to use flat paint (flat paint hides imperfections in the wood better than glossy paint) on your boards and still get a glossy, shiny finish.
Apply the First Few Coatings
Once you’ve chosen your poly, it’s time to coat your boards. Most people apply anywhere from 5 to 10+ coats. We think 7 is a nice number. Using a brush to avoid bubbles, stroke on the first 4 coats of polycrylic.
Sand With a Fine-Grade Sandpaper
At this point, you’ve applied 4 coats of semi-gloss polycrylic and let it dry. Now, get some fine-grade sandpaper and lightly sand your boards. This process will remove any remaining wood stubbles popping through your first 4 coatings.
Apply the Remaining 3 Coatings
You’re now ready to take your brush (remember, no rollers to avoid bubbles) and finish coating your cornhole boards. Once you have applied the remaining 3 coats, you’re almost done.
Let Your Boards Dry
Lastly, let the coating coat by allowing your cornhole boards to dry. Many people let 24 hours pass by, but it never hurts to allow 48 hours if possible. Who wants to mess up their new boards? Not us!