Can You Paint A Pool Table?

Pool tables can typically fit the style of any home. However, what if you want to change how it looks? More specifically, can you give it a makeover by painting it? If that's your concern, let's discuss the information you should know. 

Yes, it's possible to paint a pool table. However, that doesn't mean you can head to the store, purchase paint, and go to work. You'll have to use the correct paint to use on the table. Otherwise, the makeover won't last too long. 

Painting seems like a simple job on the surface. However, that's not the case. Some paint jobs won't last long if you don't prepare the surface for it. If you'd like to learn about the hiccups you might run into for this project, keep reading. 

Preparing A Pool Table For Painting

The first thing you want to do for this project is to disassemble the pool table. It makes applying the paint more manageable. If you're comfortable leaving the inner surfaces untouched, you can skip this step. 

Oak wood pool table stand on green colored carpet

After disassembling the pool table, it's time to choose paint. You can pick any color you'd like to use; the more important detail is the type. Some paints—chalk paint—will adhere to any surface. 

Thus, you wouldn't need to do any prep work. Other paints, like acrylic paint, will need help sticking to the surface. For this reason, you'd need to sand the pool table parts before applying the paint. 

We'll show you how to apply both paint types on the pool table. Let's start with acrylic paint first. The tools you'll need for this project are:

  1. Sanding block
  2. 120-grit and 240-grit sandpaper
  3. Wood primer
  4. Acrylic paint
  5. An optional finish for the paint

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Preparing The Surfaces

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Sanding process

If you want to use acrylic paint, you'll have to start by sanding the pool table. So, disassemble it and focus on the body or the legs first. It's worth noting this is a time-consuming process.

That's especially the case if you don't have an orbital sander. A sanding block will do if you don't have one. In any case, the essential part is having the correct levels of sandpaper. 

You'll need 120-grit and 240-grit sandpaper. Start the process by sanding the body or legs with 120-grit sandpaper. We're focusing more on removing a small layer of wood first. 

If you find any signs of damage along the way, fill it up with wood filler. Let the filler dry, and continue sanding with 120-grit sandpaper. Once you finish sanding the entire surface, it's time to do a second round of sanding. 

However, this time we will use 240-grit sandpaper to smooth over the surface. Once you finish, we can move on to applying a primer. 

Applying Primer To The Pool Table

Now it's time to apply a primer to the wood. If you have a sprayer, the job won't take too long. Nevertheless, you can spread a layer of primer in no time with a paintbrush. 

A primer isn't always essential. Some manufacturers have an all-in-one paint and primer. So, if you've purchased a paint and primer product, you only need to apply several coats. 

If you have a separate primer and paint product, apply the primer first. Once you have one to two coats of primer on the surface, you can start painting. 

Here's a video demonstrating how to apply primer:

You only need two coats of primer for this project. After applying the first coat, it should take about 30 minutes to an hour to dry. Then, spread the second coat. After the second coat dries, it's time to paint. 

Painting The Pool Table

Painting the surface is as simple as applying a primer. However, you may need more than two coats. It all depends on whether you're satisfied with the paint level on the second coat. 

Of course, you'll need to wait between each application. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour for acrylic paint to dry. Once the paint dries, consider applying a finish. 

Applying A Finish

A finish isn't necessary, but it can make a difference. You're going to interact with the pool table most of the time; this means constant impact between the table, the person, and the cue stick. 

If the paint doesn't have protection, it will wear out quickly. For this reason, a finish is recommendable. It's worth noting to do your research before you choose one. 

Oil-based polyurethane is one popular choice. However, it takes a long while to dry, and it tends to add a yellow tint. So, it's best to avoid oil-based finishes if you're using light colors. 

Lacquer would be the better option because it doesn't become yellow with age. It takes about 15-30 minutes to dry; you won't need more than two coats. 

Pool table manufacturers will typically use two coats of lacquer at most. Once it dries, you can enjoy the newly painted pool table! 

Painting The Pool Table With Chalk Paint

Even if chalk paint doesn't require sanding before application, you may still need to sand the surface. It all depends on the quality of the pool table. If you find any serious signs of damage, you'll need to fill in cracks and gaps with wood filler. 

Once the filler dries, you can sand the surface until it's smooth. From here, you'd only need a clean surface to make this work. So, clean all the components you plan to paint. 

After cleaning, you can apply two to three coats of chalk paint to the pool table base, railings, aprons, etc. Finally, when the paint dries, you can assemble the pool table. 

This method requires less effort, but the results are great.

Can You Change The Color Of A Pool Table?

Pool table dissemble removal of staples holding the felt

Changing the color of the wood is simple enough. However, the other part people want to recolor is the felt. Why not finish the remodel by giving the felt a new color? 

Unfortunately, you're limited in your options. You can't simply remove the felt and dye it. Your best bet would be to purchase a new tablecloth and install it. 

Otherwise, there are two ways you can recolor it. Your first option is to dip a sponge in dye and smooth it over the fabric. However, this approach is risky. You won't be able to tell the damage it can do to the material underneath the fabric. 

The second option is to have a professional refelt the table. You could do it yourself, but it isn't an easy process. If you want to save time, hire a professional. However, it's also more expensive.

What Is The Best Color For A Pool Table?

Blue pool game table

If you're hiring a professional to refelt the pool table, you want to make your choice count. There's no worse feeling than regretting a decision. So, it raises the question—what is the best color for a pool table?

It depends on your preferences and how often you play. A red felt can enhance the appeal of the pool table. However, if you're playing for long periods, it can cause a lot of strain on the eyes. 

Of course, you could always go for the safe pick—which is green felt. Green is easy on the eyes, and it's one of the traditional colors in cue sports. 

However, green doesn't go well with most colors. If you want another safe pick, go with a tournament blue felt. It's easy on the eyes. Additionally, it pairs well with most colors. 

How Often Should A Pool Table Be Refelted?

You don't usually pay attention to the felt unless you're using the pool table. If you use the table often, you'll notice the damage building up over time. When should you start getting concerned?

According to pool table manufacturers, you should consider refelting the pool table every two to five years. That's if you use it about four to five times a day. 

If you don't play as often, you can hold out longer. Pool table felt can last about five to 15 years when you don't use it often. Nevertheless, it all depends on the situation. 

You can think about refelting the table sooner if the damage is significant.

In Closing

You're only a few steps away from remodeling a pool table. Do you have more concerns? We hope you've found everything you need to know about the project. In any case, good luck painting the pool table! 

Before you go, do you have other pool table concerns? Do you need help removing the felt? For more information, check out:

How To Remove Pool Table Felt

Here are other pool table topics you can check out:

Can I Use Candle Wax For My Pool Table?

What Causes Burn Marks On A Pool Table?

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