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Playing darts at home certainly has its benefits, one of which is making the occasional hole in your walls and furniture.
I mean what’s the big deal, right?
Well, as I found out, it is a big deal apparently. Not all of us are pros even if we don’t like to admit it. I always blame the wind, but that can be done only so much.
If you are going to play darts in your home even if you are a really good player, there will always be times where you will hit the wall, or there will be this occasional rebounding dart from the wire frame will bounce off and hit the wall or something else.
So how to protect your wall when playing darts? Dartboard foam surrounds and dartboard cabinets can be used to protect your wall from stray darts. Other tested DIY methods to protect your wall include using wooden boards, plywood, cork backboard, and more which can be put behind the dartboard and will provide adequate protection.
Additionally, proper positioning of the dartboard that is taking into account for the possible places the darts can fly off to.
When I was learning how to through the darts, I’ve hit a lot of stuff around the house, once even breaking a light bulb. That’s what I call living dangerously at home.
Using my trial and error approach and given that I like to tinker around the house, I will give you the best ways to protect your wall while playing darts. I will go from the more cool stuff and finish with some of the cheap DIY ideas you can do it.
Best Ways to Protect Your Wall When Playing Darts
By Using a Dartboard Cabinet
A good dartboard cabinet certainly has its benefits.
I mean this is one of the things that any dart lover just wants to have. The neat way it stays on the wall, the looks, and the smooth bar vibe it gives. It can serve other purposes too when you are not playing.
Even though a dartboard cabinet is not going to provide protection for the whole wall, I still consider this one of the best professional looking and aesthetically pleasing ways to provide wall protection around the dartboard.
Regardless of what they tell you – size does matter. Dartboard cabinets can come in different sizes and, of course, the bigger the cabinet, the bigger the protection it can provide. So you can keep an eye on the dimensions, just in case.
Usually, a dartboard cabinet is not going to protect your wall to the fullest. As it will not cover the whole wall and there will be exposed parts of the wall above and below the dartboard cabinet, which are the usual places stray darts tend to go.
For beginners whose aim may be way off or inconsistent a dartboard cabinet, although pretty, might not offer enough of a protection.
If that is the case, then you can combine the dartboard cabinet with one of the other alternatives.
By Using a Dartboard Surround
A dartboard surround can protect your walls and dart tips from getting all messy.
A dartboard surround is a foam ring that is placed around the dartboard, thus providing additional cover around it. Usually, there is no mounting or installment necessary it really takes just a couple of seconds to put it on and take it back off when you are done playing.
A stray dart will just hit the foam, and it will not fall to the floor as it will get stuck in the foam.
The thickness of the foam is important – usually, about 1″ is perfect. There are some dartboard surrounds that are 0.5″ thick, but I don’t really feel comfortable with these as the darts can sometimes penetrate them like butter.
When choosing a dartboard surround, make sure to check its size as they can come in a variety of sizes. If you want some extra protection, then go for the bigger sizes.
If you want an example: This one on Amazon is one of the best dartboard surrounds that is very cheap and has good quality.
You will be making sacrifices though if you go for the thicker surrounds as this is usually making them a bit heavier.
For beginners, it will probably be not enough, but for anyone who has been practicing for a while, this is a great and professional looking way to protect your wall.
DIY Ways to Protect Your Wall When Playing Darts
When planning your home set up frequently, we can settle for some DIY type of backboards and protection.
And since we are talking DIY methods here, they are probably not going to be the best looking options to protect your wall, but they can definitely work wonders for your walls.
You can use a lot of the things that you have lying around the house to protect your walls, but it is important that the material you are going to use is having some qualities.
- It should be thick enough so that darts don’t go through.
- It should be soft enough to allow the darts to stick on it and not fall down or damage their tips.
- It should be lightweight enough so it can be easily moved and installed or hanged.
- It should be a material that will not hold moisture in any way so that it doesn’t damage the dartboard in the long run.
So when it comes to what to put behind a dart board to protect the wall, the list can be very long, frequently the only thing that might be limiting you is your imagination.
Any wooden planks or salvaged wood can do the job here. The planks will protect your walls from stray darts.
Wood is one of the recommended materials you can use as it will not damage the tips of your darts if they happen to land on it.
You can use any old door that you might have lying around and that you know it won’t be used for any other purpose.
The same way old cabinet doors can be used, too.
Although that would mean that you will be damaging your old door, at least your walls will stay intact. The good thing is that, well, an old door will definitely offer a wider area of protection.
In some cases, cabinets can even be used as a makeshift dartboard cabinet.
Plywood is an easy, cheap, and simple solution for protecting your walls, you can paint it, and it will be very neat.
Alternatively, you can get a big 4′ x 4′ piece of plywood and wrap it in carpet. That way, even if the darts don’t stick in the plywood, they will be caught by the carpet.
A cheap blanket from Amazon like this one can also do the trick if you are looking for budget-friendly options.
Ceiling tiles are another great options as they are relatively easy to set up and can offer some decent protection for the walls.
Cardboard is definitely not going to be the be-all and end-all solution for the safety of your walls, but it can work.
Many of us have some cardboard boxes lying around, so maybe it is time for them to fulfill their destiny!
Make sure you double down and place a few layers of them behind the dartboard as just a single layer is not going to be thick enough to stop the darts from hitting your wall. You will be damaging your walls, dart tips, and cardboard all in one smooth motion.
Cork Flooring or Cork Bulletin Board
If you have some cork flooring lying around it can actually work pretty well as wall protection behind your dartboard.
In fact, cork is an excellent material that you can use for surrounding your dartboard. It is not too hard, and it will not be hurting the tips of the darts. Darts can create small holes in it, so you need to understand the risks when you use the flooring as a protection layer between the dartboard and the wall.
If you like the idea of how cork looks, you might also be interested in finding that there are some very neat cork dartboard surrounds that can protect your walls and doors like this one found on Amazon. It is cheap and provides adequate protection as it is 1″ thick.
With cork flooring, a good idea is to wrap it in carpet. A lot of people usually do that if they have plywood or cork board as the carpet will usually catch and hold the darts that didn’t stick in the board.
Styrofoam which is also known as Polystyrene foam which is frequently used for its cushioning and insulation properties.
Polystyrene foam is used for protecting most of the consumer products as they are very good at protecting them from any hits and falls.
On the other hand, polystyrene foam is also used for wall insulation. If you have some of these thick polystyrene foam that is used for wall insulation – it is just perfect for providing protection against the stray darts.
If you had any home repairs, lately you might have a piece or two of insulation laying around. It can definitely be used behind the dartboard to provide some much-needed protection; it can even stop the darts from falling to the ground.
It won’t be pretty, but it will do the job.
Another decent option for when you are wondering what to place behind the dart board.
Just make sure the carpet is thick enough so that it can keep the darts intact while still being able to stop them from going through.
Old Clothes and Towels
I am sure we can all agree that this is by far NOT the best material to protect your walls (and furniture)!
However, this is a great makeshift option when there is nothing else around. Even an old rug can do the job reasonably well.
An old bath towel that has still retained some of its thickness can definitely help you protect your walls, and the same goes for thick old clothes. If they are not thick enough, you can always try to place several layers on top.
How Will Different Types of Darts Affect Your Wall?
Last but not least, I want to go through some details about the type of darts and dartboards you will be using.
This is going to be especially helpful if you are planning on buying a new dartboard that you will be placing in a new room and you want to protect the walls there. Some darts will be less damaging to your walls.
There are several types of dartboards that are being used today, and they are:
*for detailed info of the best dartboards in each category make sure to click on the links above.
Some of these will definitely be a lot more dangerous to your walls while others – not so much. So choosing the right kind of dartboard might be an important little detail as the type of darts you will be using with it might give you some piece of mind.
- Darts with soft tips are probably the least likely to damage your walls.
- Darts with magnetic tips will usually not damage your walls, although they might leave a mark or two on it.
- Darts with steel tips are the most dangerous and can leave marks, dents, and holes.
Don’t Forget to Protect Your Floor, Too
With wall protection covered, most people will feel safe until they later realize they missed providing protection for their floor.
Regardless of what darts you are using any stray dart or a dart that didn’t stick to the board can fall on the floor.
Steel darts, in particular, can damage your floor, too, especially if you have a wooden floor.
If you have tiles, they can survive the occasional dart falling on them but will damage your dart tips. If you have darts with steel tips, you might enjoy some sparks flying around.
Carpeted floors are usually the best option, not really hurting your darts and not getting easily damaged by any stray darts.
What Not to Place Behind a Dartboard
While I covered the most commonly used materials and objects that we can use to protect our walls from the pointy dart tips, there are certainly some things that you definitely don’t want to be behind the dartboard.
Avoid having your dartboard in front of any hard materials – any metals, tiles, or concrete will wear off your dart tips pretty quickly. Even hardwood flooring can be bad as the darts will be falling straight to the ground.
I am sure you are already laughing, but when I was a kid, the only place I could hang my dartboard was on a concrete wall. Well, concrete definitely holds its own and doesn’t need much protection if at all but it is going to wreak havoc on your darts. My steel tip darts will be missed…
Same goes for the floor. If you have a concrete or tiled floor, they will most likely damage your dart tips so, it is recommended to have a suitable mat in place.
Nonetheless, a sharpening stone and new pointers are not the most expensive thing in the world.
If you are playing outside, you might consider hanging your dartboard on a fence. Depending on the fence, there could be different concerns as you can damage the fence, and you can damage the darts as well.
I usually try to be careful when playing darts outside as I really don’t want my darts to land in the dirt as the moisture will oxidize and nobody likes dirty or rusty dart tips.
Make sure you have placed something between the dart board and the fence like a blanket, cardboard – anything that the dart will stick to instead of falling on the ground. If you really want to keep your darts safe, you might want to place a mat or a blanket on the ground, too.
Protecting your walls when playing darts doesn’t have to be mission impossible. With some proper planning ahead of time, and some creative thinking, you will have both your walls and darts intact.
Consider the options I have given you, and I am sure there will be at least few that will work for you.