Pool tables are meant to last about three years, without getting worn or torn.
However, depending on how you treat yours, it can start to show its age within a couple of months. If you happen to live near the sea, the table’s paint can start to come off within a few months.
However, changing felt is one thing, but repainting your pool table is another matter altogether.
Painting a Pool Table
Generally, the pool tables that need a paint job are made of wood. If you have pool tables that are considerably heavier and made of quarried slate, they won’t need a paint job.
So here’s what you need to do. First of all, you need to pick what paint to use.
What Paint Should You Use?
There is no consensus on this since there are so many different types of pool tables in the world.
However, if you have a wooden pool table, then you should use chalk paint. It doesn’t require you to sand down any of the surfaces before application. You should just remember to fill in any cracks and knots with spackle before you apply it.
You can also use Enamel Exterior Paint and Primer to paint your pool table. This paint has a long-lasting shelf-life and will keep the wood on your table free of moisture for a long time.
The Method of Painting a Pool Table
Brace yourself for this task because it will take time and effort. It’s not that the task is particularly complicated, but it’s just that you will require some brain and brawn to get through this.
It’s not going to be like moving a few boxes around. So it is better to do this on the weekend because you will be required to set aside some time to clean up.
It’s not just the paint that will take up time, but disassembling the table and putting it back together requires effort. Then, there’s the mess that will be left after you’re finished. So, if you’re afraid of the task in front of because it involves time, it is better to get help.
Either ask your roommate, significant other, relatives, or children to help out.
Remember, you cannot do this alone, so why not hire someone else to do it? Otherwise, you can follow the simple method down here:
Take the Table Apart
Remove the top, which is held in by screws, most likely. If you need to get special screwdrivers for this task, do this beforehand.
You don’t want to have to start in the middle of the day and realize that you’re a few tools short. If you have a table with a top held together by special locks or held together by glue, you’ll need to consult professionals.
You can even call the store where you bought the table from. If you ordered online, better to get in touch with the people that built it in the first place.
Remove the Felt
Next, you need to rip off the old felt.
If it’s been so long that the felt is ripping or wearing out, you should replace it as well. If your felt is held in by staples, you can get it off pretty easily. You’ll just need a bit of help.
Also read: How to Clean Felt on a Pool Table?
Apply the First Coat
Use your chalk paint and apply the first coat to the legs and the sides. Make sure that you take your time with this and scout out every nook and cranny.
A coat of paint doesn’t just protect the outer layer of the table, it helps stop bacteria and termites too. Hence, you need to be as thorough as possible.
Remember that this is the base of your final design. Hence, you don’t need to start painting any designs yet. That comes later.
Apply the Second Coat
Applying the second coat warrants that you go over every bit of surface all over again.
The second coat gives the paint the second layer of protection. This is just to make sure that your effort doesn’t end up in vain.
It’s standard procedure when you’re painting anything from a house to a car, after all.
Apply a Third Coat (Optional)
Applying a third coat isn’t necessary, but it’s also not a bad idea.
If you live near the sea or if you’re in a particularly humid area, you should apply the third coat. It will protect you from the elements of nature for longer.
Customize; Have Fun
If you’re looking to give your pool table a new look, you can play around with a few different colors and patterns.
Try painting a few flowers or putting on a few stickers if you want to. Obviously, hold off on the stickers until after you’ve applied the final coat.
You can also try to paint a few lines, boxes, or even experiment with a few different strokes. They don’t have to be perfect. It’s your pool table, remember. You can do what you want with it. Go with the vibe that you usually have with your pool playing buddies.
If it’s dead serious, go for sober colors like grey, black, brown, or even deep blue. If you have a more playful vibe, go for brighter colors. You can even try to make small rings around the legs or paint them in a sober grey.
Make sure that you customize only after the second or third coat has been finalized. Better to wait until the foundations have been laid to build on them.
Apply New Felt
Buy new felt lining beforehand if the felt has worn out. You can purchase it either from the same company that made the table or from a standard manufacturer.
However, keeping the cost down will warrant getting a replacement felt and attaching it through a stapler.
You can do this simply by laying the felt over the slate or the wood and attaching it through the stapler. You should then stretch the felt evenly over the table and make sure there are no wrinkles.
This is where having an extra pair of hands really comes in handy. Staple the other side down after the felt has been spread out. Make sure that you cut out holes for pockets too. After that, you can reattach the rails.
Balance the Table
After you’ve put the table together, remember that it needs to be balanced. It’s no use having a badly balanced pool table.
The best way you can do this is to place two levels in the center of the table, facing oppositely. This will show you which side of the table is sagging.
After you find out where the issue lies, adjusting the height won’t be a problem. You can use the screws in the legs of your pool table to adjust the height.
Do this until the table is level. If there is no height adjustment mechanism, then you can use plywood and go old school.
You can also position pieces under the short leg to make the table level.
Refinish Rails If Needed
If the railings on the pool table are worn down, then you will need to replace them. If they’re wooden, then you can restore them.
You can sand them down with sandpaper and if they’re smooth, then you can use a power sander. Light gauze sandpaper can be used if they have carvings on them. Make sure that any old varnish or paint is removed before you start.
Use a stain to bring out the wood’s natural texture.
There are so many different shades of stain that you can use to match the vibe of the room or the table. You should also paint a few layers of varnish on the railings to protect the wood.
The Benefits of Painting a Pool Table
Painting a pool table is not a simple job, but it’s not a terribly complicated one either.
It’s an arduous one though, requiring you to dismantle the table and repaint it thoroughly before putting it back together. This is why some people won’t even bother with it.
Those that are too lazy will sit around, opting to just let it age until its functionality comes into question. However, paint does more than making the table look good.
It protects the pool table from moisture and keeps it from being attacked by termites. Paint even helps the pool table stave off rot or bacterial attacks. It’s a deterrent, which preserves the shelf life of your pool table for many years to come.
However, the protection from moisture is the most valuable. The paint seals off the wood from any water or any moisture from seeping in. It also keeps any water that is already within the wood from evaporating.
If your table is made out of wood, specifically, then the paint will keep the wood from warping. Warped wood is death to a pool table and can cause it to become dysfunctional.
If a simple coat of paint can keep a pool table up and running for years, then it’s worth refreshing.
Other Pool table articles you may like:
- How to Move a Pool Table without Taking It Apart?
- Can You Put a Pool Table on a Carpet?
- How to Replace Pool Table Pockets
- Why Are Pool Tables Green (or Blue in some cases)?
- Can You Stand On a Pool Table (or Billiard Table)?