Painting Your Own Outdoor Chess Boards

Here’s a fun project to consider for your school or library chess club!

After getting approval from their principal and PTA, one local elementary school chess club gathered students and parents to paint sidewalk chess boards using special concrete paint. They ordered medium-sized “giant” pieces to fit the boards, and they use these boards and adjacent picnic tables for outdoor lessons and for other fun events.  

A second school club purchased plain concrete tables and benches and then spray painted boards on them.  

You can also visit some of the many outdoor chess tables throughout the state. 

Get creative and enjoy some outdoor board time!

“Check” out outdoor chess in NC

Let’s face it: we’ve all had to modify our lives since COVID’s arrival in early 2020. We’ve successfully moved many indoor activities outdoors, and chess is no exception. Here in North Carolina, the winters are mild enough for folks to play outdoor chess year-round, making it a safe and fun option for everyone. 

If you’re looking to get a game going on an outdoor board, here are some safe spaces from west to east in NC that you can “check” out:

Pritchard Park, Asheville – stone tables, bring your own pieces

Winston Square Park, Winston-Salem – metal table, bring your own pieces

NC Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill – giant chess set

Church Street Park, Morrisville – concrete chess tables, bring your own pieces

Playtime in the Park, Downtown Park, Cary – chess table, bring your own pieces

Fayetteville Street, Raleigh – stone chess tables, bring your own pieces

Moore Square Park, Raleigh – view the Moore Square Programs and Events Calendar and look for the regularly scheduled 10am – 5pm “Game On!” events which include giant and regular chess

Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh – giant chess inside museum, admission required 

Artsplosure, Raleigh – giant chess set provided by Moncure Chessworks

Sheppard Memorial Library, Greenville – keys to the giant chess set are available at the library front desk


There is also a chess park proposed for Mebane.

Please let us know about any other outdoor chess spaces in NC, and we’ll update this article.