So you played a few cornhole games and found it so addictive that you went ahead and purchased your first set - two wood boards and eight cornhole bags. You want to make sure that you maintain them properly to assure maximum longevity. Since boards can cost upwards of $100 dollars and bags around $25, you would like to keep your game set well-maintained so you don't have to fork out another $125 a few months down the road. Even the most well-built cornhole boards and bags can deteriorate quickly if you are negligent in preserving them. Yes, I know what you're thinking: "It's just cornhole stuff; it's not a Porsche." No, it's not, but why not take the few steps necessary to maintain and protect these products so that you may enjoy them for years to come. Here is a short list of tips to help you maintain your cornhole game set.

Now, when we talk about cornhole games the first thing that probably comes to mind is the pair of boards. If you decide to paint the boards yourself, you are advised to use a premium exterior latex paint. This type of paint is made for outdoor usage and it is the first step in protecting the wood from any rot associated with the elements, i.e. rain, humidity. The next step is the most important thing you can do to maintain your boards: the clear coat sealant. You will need a sealant whether you paint the boards or leave them the natural wood color. This clear coat sealant will prevent the wood from absorbing any moisture and therefore rotting the wood. If you are not painting your boards first and prefer the natural look of wood, any basic polyurethane clear sealant will suffice. Apply several coats (5-6) for maximum protection. However, if you have painted your boards first, it is recommended that you use Polycrylic from Minwax; also apply several coats. Use a foam brush and apply all strokes in one direction for a uniform look.

Maintaining you boards, when not in use or in the winter time, is actually very simple. The best place to store your boards are in a cool, dry place that is away from any bugs. Heat and humidity can warp your boards even if they are properly painted and sealed. Also, remember to store the boards face to face with a fine cloth between them to protect your paint job. If you forget this step, and your boards are exposed to heat, the paint from each board-face will melt and fuse together; not a fun experience, particularly if you spent days perfecting your detailed paint job.

Next, here are some tips for maintaining your cornhole bags. Rule number one: Don't Leave Them Outside! All kinds of animals, critters, and insects love to eat corn; squirrels especially are enemy number one. If you happen to leave your bags outside overnight or even during the day for a few hours, there is a good chance some critter will tear open your cornhole bags and have a feast. If you can't find your bags, but you do see an incredibly overweight squirrel running around your backyard, then you will know. Keep your bags in a plastic bucket at all times; preferably one with an airtight lid, as this will keep out small insects as well. As with boards, bags need to be kept in a cool, dry place when not in use. Humidity can rot out the corn very quickly, leading to mold and a hideous smell that you swear came straight from the pit of Hades. Also, remember to keep your bags out of the rain, as this too will cause your corn to mold.

Hopefully, if you follow the above guidelines, your cornhole game set will last several years and you will not need to worry about forking out $125+ every spring.