How to Resurface a Ping Pong Table Top

Two ping pong paddles and a ball laying on a blue table.
What You'll Need
All-purpose spray cleaner
Paper towels
Painter's tape
80 and 150-grit sandpaper
Handheld vacuum cleaner or hose attachment
Wood filler
Green or black chalkboard spray paint
White enamel spray paint
New net (if needed)

After years of vigorous use, your ping pong table top can become rough and pitted, sending a tiny, lightweight ping pong ball all over the room. Obviously, this can make it very difficult to use. Follow these tips below to resurface your table top to ensure the best and fairest play for everyone, whether you are a skilled competitor or just playing for fun.

Step 1 - Remove the Net and Net Holder

Use a screwdriver to unfasten the net holders on the sides of the table. Remove these and the net itself, and set all of it away from your work area.

Step 2 - Clean the Table Area

Spray an all-purpose cleaner all over the table and edging. Then, wipe it off thoroughly with paper towels and let the surface dry.

Step 3 - Tape the Boundary Lines

Cover all the white boundary lines on the table top with painter's tape next. You will restore these after refinishing the rest of the table.

Step 4 - Sand the Ping Pong Table Top

If the table's surface is pitted, uneven, and has cracks, sand the entire thing down with a medium, 80-grit sandpaper first. Vacuum off all the dust with a handheld vacuum cleaner or a hose attachment, and then fill any cracks with wood filler. Allow the cracks to set for 24 hours. Sand over the surface again with fine, 150-grit sandpaper and vacuum the dust once more.

Step 5 - Paint the Table Top

Leave the table in its flat position, parallel to the floor, so that no excess paint runs down into and over the white lines you have taped off. Then, get a spray can of chalkboard paint in the same color as your original surface and hold it about 10 inches above the table. Go over each side separately in even passes before allowing about eight hours for dry time. The paint should come to a flat finish with no ripples or droplets.

Apply a second coat, letting it dry for six hours before you add a final coat. Three layers of chalkboard paint will provide a smooth surface that is essential to high-quality play.

Tip: Always use spray paints in a well-ventilated area, and wear a face mask to avoid breathing in microdroplets and fumes.

Step 6 - Refinish the White Boundary Lines

Ensure the chalkboard paint is totally dry before masking the edges of the white boundary lines with painter's tape. Then, take an enamel spray paint and go over the area. Hold the paint can about six inches above the table surface and spray slowly and evenly down each line. Let this dry for 24 hours. If it appears even and opaque as it dries, you will not need a second coat.

Step 7 - Reinstall the Ping Pong Net

Refasten the net holders to the center sides of the table top and install the net. If your old one is stretched out, torn, or has worn binding, replace it with a fresh, taut net at this time.

With that, your ping pong table will be once again ready to play on to your heart's content.