How to recover pool table felt & rail cushions

Updated February 21, 2017

The felt on your pool table, which is actually a woven cloth in most cases, can tear accidentally, or it can wear down over time. If this is the case, you need to recover the felt on the table. Most pool tables have felt not only on the table bed but also on the rail cushions that border the table. If you need to replace worn felt, you will likely need to replace the rubber cushions on the rails.

Unscrew the bolts for the pool table's rails using a wrench; the bolts are accessible from the underside of the table. Remove the rails from the table.

Pry off the staples holding the rail cushion felt in place using a staple remover and pull the felt off the rails.

Mark the very middle of the metal featherstrip between the wood rail and rubber cushion. Pry and pull the featherstrip off the rail, then pry off the cushion using a flat screwdriver.

Lay the new rubber cushion on the rail and mark the spots on the cushion, where you'll cut it using a pen. Cut the ends of the cushion with a utility knife until it is the correct shape for the rail.

Apply contact cement to the edges of the cushion and the rail using a brush. Wait for the cement to set (it will turn slightly white) and then press the cushion onto the rail, making sure it is correctly lined up and even.

Cut the sheet of new felt so it is a foot longer and wider than your table's surface, cutting small notches at the edges with scissors and then tearing the excess felt off the rest of the way.

Cut and tear two more strips off long side of the fabric; these strips should each be six inches wide. Fold these two strips in half and cut them along the fold with the scissors.

Lay a strip of felt along the cushion and place the metal featherstrip back in place between the rail and cushion. Lightly tap the strip into the groove with a hammer; do not hammer it all the way in place yet.

Cut a small notch in the felt along the end of the rail using the utility knife so the felt will drape down across the edge in a straight line. Trim off the excess felt where it comes out of the featherstrip and over the rail.

Hammer the featherstrip the rest of the way into the rail, placing a small wood block in between the rail and your hammer and driving the strip down by hammering onto the block.

Wrap the felt around the cushion and staple it in place on the cushion's other side. Place the first staple in the centre with your staple gun and add the other staples a few inches apart from one another.

Trim away all excess felt from the sides and edges with your knife.

Pry off the staples holding the old felt to the table bed and pull the felt off. The felt may also be glued to the bed.

Apply an adhesive spray to the slate bed underneath the felt, spraying it evenly onto the surface and waiting until the adhesive becomes tacky.

Lay the cloth across the table and stretch it out across the bed by hand one corner at a time, making sure it is tight across the bed with no bumps or creases.

Staple the felt to the table, applying the staples with your gun on the wooden edge of the table outside the slate bed. Apply the first staple on each side in the middle and spread out the remaining staples two to three inches apart.

Trim the ends of the felt where they overlap the holes with the knife so you can fold the felt down into the pockets and staple the felt to the pockets' inner edges.

Connect the rails back onto the table using their bolts.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Staple remover
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Marking pen
  • Utility knife
  • Contact cement
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Wood block
  • Staple gun
  • Adhesive spray
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About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.