Re-finish a ping pong table

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Old 01-02-16, 06:08 AM
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Re-finish a ping pong table

Good morning, all- I read this forum's post about painting a ping pong table. Planning to sand and prep carefully, and use a roller in a warm room to let the paint cure.

The post suggests enamel paint. It seems like it would be smart to thin the paint, in order to create a smooth surface.

Anyone done this, or have thoughts about my thinning idea?

Thanks -
 
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Old 01-02-16, 09:31 AM
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Often thinning the paint slightly will help it to flow together better eliminating or at least reducing brush marks and/or roller stipple. What type of enamel do you intend to use?
 
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Old 01-02-16, 09:44 AM
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Is this "post"you are referring to an actual forum post or one of the diy articles elsewhere on this site.
Can you post a link to it.

There seems to be a following for the use of enamel paint but the reality is some latex paints are as good with the advantage of fast drying and easy clean up not to mention the VOC risks of many of them make them almost obsolete except for painting steel.

What would help make for a smoother finish is to use a roller and use a primer sealer as a first coat.
 
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Old 01-02-16, 09:52 AM
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While some folks call oil base coatings enamel - that isn't correct. Residential enamel paint can be had in oil base, latex and waterborne. Most enamels come in 3 sheens; satin, semi-gloss and gloss.
 
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Old 01-02-16, 10:14 AM
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You want a dead flat finish on the table. A few places sell lacquer based paint intended specifically for TT tops, but many folks use chalkboard paint, which is more readily available. Ideal application would be spray. A foam roller would be my second choice.
 
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Old 01-02-16, 10:49 AM
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It was a DIY article, here:
How to Paint a Ping Pong Table | DoItYourself.com

Another article i read said to use an alkyd enamel, which are available in a water base, so i wss leaning that way. Are enamel paints typically oil base?
 
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Old 01-02-16, 01:39 PM
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Not a chemist so my analogy might be a little off but enamels are tougher than regular paint. Years ago when I first started painting almost all enamels where oil base but now the majority sold are latex with waterborne being kind of a cross between the oil and latex.

CT stated the finish should be flat and I was kind of thinking the same thing although I must admit I haven't played ping pong in at least 40 yrs.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 05:47 AM
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I originally read "dead flat" as a description of surface shine (gloss vs matte vs flat) but then realized it was a reference to flatness so the ball wouldn't bounce in an unexpected way. ☺ That's why i was thinking to thin the paint a little.

The surface is already factory-painted, has some scratches and defects (from use as a crafting table) that i'll sand out.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 05:51 AM
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The sheen might alter how the ball reacts when it hits it, any texture from paint application definitely will. Probably ought to mention that fresh latex coatings don't always play well with tape. Use the blue or green [low tac] tape.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 10:00 AM
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Actually both meanings apply. You want flat as in smooth with no edges, ripples, bumps, etc., and you want flat sheen, both because it reduces reflections of lights, and because it has a bit of "tooth" so the ball is less inclined to slip and spin works as it should. I don't play much myself, but my BIL is a rated player and we've discussed building a custom table and blades and what goes into them.

I imagine it's a bit tricky to not have a slight bump between the white lines and the field.
 
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Old 01-04-16, 02:46 AM
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The ridge at the white lines may be choosing your battle. You might create a ridge by painting white lines on top of the surface paint. If you tape to paint white lines, then tape over them to paint the table there may be ridges too. i thought i'd use rattle can paint on top of the table paint for the lines.
 
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Old 01-04-16, 04:16 AM
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Spraying the stripes would be best as it will reduce any paint build up. Be sure to cover up everything before you spray as the overspray can and will travel a good distance
 
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Old 01-04-16, 06:02 AM
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I would definitely use a flat chalkboard paint as suggested earlier.
 
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