How to Refurbish a Pool Table

Written by david stewart
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As a proud owner of a vintage pool table, you know how agonising it is to even think of parting with it. If the playing surface has problems, however, it will ultimately affect your game. Just a little touch-up to the cover of the table or the cushion rubber will often suffice to render your pool table as good as new. While you are at it, you could even add your own touch by customising the design on the felt with photographs or pictures of your choice.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Cue ball
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Staple remover
  • Craft knife
  • Pool table adhesive
  • Staple gun

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Roll a cue ball on different parts of the table and see if it moves in a straight line. If it doesn't, it indicates some problem with the structure of the table, which may be beyond your ability to refurbish. If the ball rolls correctly, proceed to the next step.

  2. 2

    Remove the screws holding the rails on the table. Look on the undersurface of the rails and find the staples placed there. Use the pliers and staple remover to carefully remove them. Fold the cloth and place it away from the surface of the cushion.

  3. 3

    Remove the slates completely and see if there are any chips or cuts. Scrape away the glue and cloth that may be stuck to the slate. Squeeze a craft knife into the space where the cushion is fastened. Slowly loosen the cushion by moving the knife around. Check the flexibility of the cushion rubber -- if it appears to have lost elasticity, you'll need to replace the cushion.

  4. 4

    Replace the cushions. Check the cushion profile and purchase the appropriate one. Remove dust from the side which is going to be in contact with the rails. Ensure that the side with a slight curve is facing upwards. Use the adhesive to fasten the cushion to the rails in such a way that the top of the cushions is level with the table top. Use a knife to trim the ends of the cushions so that they are level with the pocket edges.

  5. 5

    Apply the pool table adhesive at a distance of around 5 inches from the table edge. Hold the cloth tightly stretched over the length of the table, and then press it on the table to make it stick. Repeat the same procedure to cover the breadth of the table. Place staples with a staple gun and ensure the cloth is fitted tight enough to give a smooth, even surface. Fit the rails back again onto the table.

  6. 6

    Customise your pool table. To paint on the pool table, first rub the pool table cloth with sandpaper. Spray flexible vinyl paint on to this in any design you wish and allow to stand for 6 hours. Alternatively, attach designs by gluing stencils on.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure you use only good quality cloth for the table.
  • Don't pull the cloth too tight across the table -- it can interfere with the evenness of the cushion rubber.
  • To paint on the pool table, first rub the pool table cloth with sandpaper. Spray flexible vinyl paint on to this in any design you wish and allow to stand for 6 hours. Alternatively, attach designs by gluing stencils on.

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