How to Make Jenga Blocks Slippery | More Challenging?




How to Make Jenga Blocks Slippery

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To make slippery Jenga blocks use 80-100 grit sandpaper then sand the 54 blocks on all sides till no longer rough. Next, spray or paint polyurethane with the wooden grain and make sure to keep the paint strokes thin and long. Best to add a second coat, let it dry, and you are ready to play some games.

A game of Jenga can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s hard to pull the blocks out and they stick in your hands. Make sure that you try these tips to make the blocks smooth as butter!

Why doesn’t Jenga Wood Blocks come Smooth and Even?

The Jenga set comes with wood blocks that are rough on the surface and people always wonder why this is? The reason Jenga decided to not create them smooth is that it causes some variation in the game as a rough piece could be harder to pull out and get stuck knocking down the Jenga tower.

This variable has a family on the edge of their chairs as they play and stack block after block to create a huge tower. Keep in mind this is why the game’s pieces have a surface that is not smooth to keep it thrilling!

The wood can also change just by the temperature so if you are outdoors you may notice the blocks causing more friction when trying to pull them out.

How to Make Jenga Blocks Slippery

You will find many ways to make Jenga Blocks slippery online but make sure you are following the right instructions. Some will say to use candle wax to make this happen but that is not a lasting solution.

I’m sure you will play more than just a few games and using candle wax will easily scratch off. Let’s go over the correct DIY ways to do this and what you will need.

Tools & Supplies

  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint Brush

Step 1: Sand the Jenga Blocks

Let’s first make the surface smooth by sanding the Jenga blocks so they are no longer rough. You can use sandpaper from 80 – 100 grit.

Keep in mind you will have to sand down all 54 blocks once you start until you can play the game again. Keep repeating per block till all the wood surface is extremely fine.

Step 2: Stain the Jenga Blocks

Next, we take the sanded Jenga block and apply stain to the wood with Polyurethane. This will help the blocks look natural, make sure to do thin long strokes with the brush and go with the grain.

When applying the finish try not to have any of it clumped together, it should all be spread out. You can do this and let it dry, adding 2 coats in total is best for the wooden blocks.

Once the second coat dries it’s time for the party, grab a table and show off your skills.

Will Slippery Blocks make Jenga more Challenging

Once you have completed the steps above it will totally change the Jenga game. However; it may not be as challenging since the blocks are slick pulling them out will be very easy.

Stacking them in a tower can be completely harder. In all would I recommend doing this to your Jenga game? I would only do it if you are tired of the current game and want to try something new.

If you are looking to make the game more difficult, take it to the next level. Just paint sayings on the pieces.

When someone pulls out a piece they must do what is on the block. Maybe have something like, pull another block, or stack on top of the Jenga tower with your left hand.

Lots of cool ideas came like this, some people even make truth or dare Jenga, this is fun but it is not going to change how challenging the actual game is.

Making Jenga DIY

If you decide you want to make the game yourself it is not that difficult. You just have to cut 54 wooden blocks to this size. Height: 0.59 in × Width: 0.98 in × Length 2.95 in.

The weight should be ok if you are using pine but if you want the original weight it is 10.6875g. The whole product including box and game instructions comes in at 2.2 pounds.

Remember you can make it a bit more than those dimensions as you will sand it down and then add a finish to the complete set.


I hope this was helpful and your wood tower components are really slippery. It’s not difficult to do just takes time to sand and paint the surface of all the wood pieces.

Again I would not use wax as it doesn’t last long on the game pieces. Once you are done the kids will love it and it will feel like a new game that just came from the store.

If you are looking for more games to play outside we recommend cornhole, here is how to play.

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