How To Refinish A Ping Pong Table

How To Refinish A Ping Pong Table

Last modified: October 10, 2023


Do you have a worn-out ping pong table that could use a fresh new look? Refinishing a ping pong table is a great way to revive its appearance and extend its lifespan. While it may seem like a daunting task, it is actually quite manageable with a little bit of time, effort, and some basic tools. In this post, I will walk you through the process of refinishing a ping pong table, so you can enjoy playing on a table that looks as good as new.

Gather Your Supplies

Before diving into the refinishing process, it is essential to gather all the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of items you will need:

1. Sandpaper

Having different grits of sandpaper, such as 80, 120, and 220, will allow you to tackle various stages of the refinishing process. Coarser sandpaper will help remove the existing finish, while finer grits will help achieve a smoother surface.

2. Paint Stripper (if needed)

If your ping pong table has multiple layers of paint or a thick finish, a paint stripper can be helpful in stripping away the old finish. Make sure to choose a paint stripper that is safe to use on wood surfaces and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Primer

A good quality primer will help create a smooth and even surface for the new finish to adhere to. Look for a primer designed for use on wood surfaces.

4. Paint or Stain

Decide whether you want to paint or stain your ping pong table. Paint can provide a more vibrant and colorful finish, while staining allows the natural wood grain to show through. Choose a high-quality paint or stain that is suitable for use on wood.

5. Brushes and Rollers

Invest in high-quality brushes and rollers to ensure a smooth and even application of the primer, paint, or stain. Foam brushes and foam rollers work well for smaller areas, while a larger brush and roller may be needed for the tabletop.

6. Clear Finish (optional)

For added protection and durability, consider applying a clear finish over the paint or stain. This will help protect the surface from scratches and moisture damage.

7. Sanding Block

A sanding block will provide stability and control while sanding the table’s surface. It will ensure an even and consistent sanding motion.

8. Clean Cloth

You will need a clean cloth to wipe away dust and debris during the refinishing process.

Step-by-Step Refinishing Guide

1. Prepare the Table

Begin by removing the net and posts from the table. Clean the surface of the table thoroughly, removing any dirt, dust, or debris. If there is existing paint or varnish, you may need to use a paint stripper to remove it. Follow the instructions on the paint stripper container carefully.

2. Sand the Surface

Once the table is clean and dry, start sanding the surface using coarse sandpaper (around 80 grit) to remove the old finish or paint. Sand in the direction of the wood grain, applying even pressure. Gradually switch to finer grit sandpaper (120 and then 220) for a smoother finish. Ensure all areas are sanded evenly.

3. Apply the Primer

After sanding, wipe away all the sanding dust with a clean cloth. Apply a coat of primer to the entire table, including the legs and edges. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time between coats.

4. Paint or Stain

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to apply your chosen paint or stain. Use a brush or roller to apply even coats, following the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time between coats. Apply multiple coats until you achieve the desired color and finish.

5. Apply a Clear Finish (optional)

If you want extra protection and durability, consider applying a clear finish over the paint or stain. Follow the product instructions carefully, and apply multiple coats for optimal results. Allow sufficient drying time between coats.

6. Reassemble the Table

Once the final coat is dry, reassemble the table by attaching the net and posts securely. Ensure that all the parts are properly tightened and aligned.


Refinishing a ping pong table is a rewarding project that can breathe new life into your old table. By following these step-by-step instructions and using the right tools and materials, you can transform your worn-out table into a beautiful and functional piece. Remember to take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process. Soon enough, you’ll have a refinished ping pong table ready for countless hours of gameplay. Happy refinishing!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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