Making Cornhole Boards and the Truth About Home Depot

These guys are now for sale. Want them?

Know who to trust. Stereotypes can fool you.

I learned this walking out of Home Depot. I had gone there with the presumption that this was the mecca of male knowledge. Home Depot, where answers to every carpentry question I ever had existed. Where the nuances of primer and sealant make sense. Where my concerns about latex paints, grades of sandpaper, and anything requiring even the slightest bit of testosterone, can be addressed.

Negative.

I walked out of Home Depot confused, jilted, disappointed. My hopes, crushed. I had spent the majority of my 24 years thinking the men with the orange aprons would never fail me.

You see, I had walked into Home Depot with very specific direction, as provided by The Ohio State University’s Visual Identity Guidelines:

“Use of Ohio State’s official preferred color red (scarlet), PANTONE 200, is critical when reproducing the university logo.”

Yikes. That sounds serious. So when I asked the man in the paint department if there was an exterior paint color equal to Pantone color 200 (scarlet) and 429 (gray), he asks me if Pantone is a brand of paint. I thought to say, “No sir, Pantone is the authority on all things color. The sultan of swat, the colossus of clout, the great Bambino of color.” But I didn’t.

Instead, I gave the guy a break, because I had no idea what the hell Pantone was until I started working at an ad agency.

I ended up allowing the man in the paint department with, conveniently, relatively little paint knowledge, match those holy colors as best he could. He mixed me interior eggshell samples of paint, as in, paint that is meant for interiors. Not for cornhole boards that will be getting beer showered in outdoor settings every Saturday and Sunday.

I ask the man in the paint department, with, conveniently, very little sealant knowledge, where the polycrylic is and if seven coats of it would protect the paint well enough. He asks me what polycrylic is. I explain to him that it is similar to polyurethane, but doesn’t yellow with time, making it ideal for cornhole boards. He asks me what cornhole boards are. I fantasize about inhaling inappropriate amounts of gas fumes.

Then, I head towards the carpentry section, and behold! Two men in orange aprons, conversing over plywood, appearing helpful, and possibly intelligent. I ask them if multiple coats of polycryllic would suffice in preventing damage to the interior paint I was going to use on cornhole boards. I think I spoke too fast.

The man explained to me that if I wanted to remove paint from plywood, no problem, all I needed was a metal paint chipper and some elbow grease.

What?

I thought to say, “Thank you sir for that insightful and irrelevant information. I’m off to fulfill my gas fume-inhaling fantasies.”

But I didn’t. I bought my interior paint samples and my cans of polycrylic and left.

And as I drove home, I recounted the advice of the woman I had spoken with earlier that day at Pat Catan’s (yes the female-laden craft store), where I had begun this adventure:

“Don’t buy paint for cornhole boards here. Go to Home Depot, ask for samples of their Behr exterior enamel paint. Get a can of clear protective finish, I recommend Minwax Polycrylic. Don’t forget to buy painter’s tape, you’ll need it. Just ask the guys when you get there, they’ll help you out.”

True story.

One comment

  1. […] Saturday, this sign from the universe would make me think I would need to immediately return to The Ohio State University for a gameday weekend with friends I’ve had for a decade and ice unsuspecting, and sometimes […]

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