Can You Dye Pool Table Felt?

Can You Dye Pool Table Felt

When it comes to changing the color of a pool table’s felt, one of the considerations that come to mind is the possibility of dyeing the felt.

Not only could this potentially save money as opposed to replacing the felt entirely, but it could also provide an opportunity for customization.

So yes, you can dye pool table felt, however before diving into this project, it’s vital to understand the process, the types of dye that work best, and the pros and cons involved.

Key Takeaways

  • Dyeing pool table felt is a possible but complex task.
  • The process involves selecting the right dye, preparing the felt, and applying the dye carefully to ensure even coverage and color vibrancy.
  • It’s important to consider the type of felt material and how it will react to dye.
  • Professional assistance might be beneficial to achieve the desired results.

Choosing the Right Dye for Your Pool Table Felt

When it comes to dyeing pool table felt, the choice of dye is paramount.

Not all dyes are suitable for this kind of project.

It’s advisable to select a dye that is compatible with the material of your pool table felt, which is typically wool or a wool-nylon blend.

Fabric Dye Compatibility

Felt MaterialRecommended Dye Type
WoolAcid Dye
Wool-Nylon BlendDisperse Dye
Choosing the Right Dye for Your Pool Table Felt

How to Dye Pool Table Felt?

Preparation is Key

Preparing the felt for dyeing is a crucial step in ensuring the color adheres well, and the finish is even.

This stage involves cleaning the felt to remove any dust, dirt, or grease that might hinder the dyeing process.

Moreover, pre-soaking the felt can help to achieve a more even dyeing result.

Applying the Dye

The dye application process is where precision and patience are significantly required.

It’s advisable to apply the dye evenly across the felt, ensuring no areas are missed.

The use of a sponge or spray bottle might be beneficial to spread the dye evenly.


  • Cleaning: Ensure that the felt is clean and free from any dust, dirt, or grease.
  • Wetting: Wet the felt with warm water to prepare it for dyeing. Some sources recommend using a mixture of warm water and white wine vinegar1.
  • Test Dye: Conduct a small dye test on a hidden section of the felt to check color and adherence.

Choosing the Right Dye

  • Choose a dye that is suitable for the material of your pool table felt, which is typically wool or a wool-nylon blend.
  • It’s important to consider the color, durability, and how the dye will affect the speed of play and cleaning of the dyed pool table felt2.

Dye Preparation

  • Prepare the dye mixture according to the instructions on the dye packaging.
  • For example, if using Rit Dye, mix 1 package or ½ bottle of dye in 1–2 gallons of very hot water (140°F).

Dye Application

  • While the felt is still wet, apply the dye sparingly onto the felt using a sponge.
  • Ensure that the dye is spread evenly across the surface to avoid any blotchy or uneven color.
  • You may need to apply several coats to achieve the desired color, allowing the dye to dry between coats.

Drying and Finishing

  • Allow the dyed felt to dry thoroughly. This might take between 24 and 48 hours.
  • Once dry, wipe the felt with a clean damp cloth to remove any excess surface dye.


  • After the dye has dried and any excess dye has been removed, test a small, inconspicuous area of the felt to ensure the color is fast and doesn’t transfer to the pool balls.


  • Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep the newly dyed felt looking vibrant and to ensure it remains smooth for play.

Dye Application Methods

Typically, there are two methods of dye application, you can use:

  1. A Sponge
  2. A Spray Bottle
SpongeControlled applicationCan be time-consuming
Spray BottleEven coverageRisk of over spray
Dye Application Method on Pool Table Felt

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Dyeing a pool table felt might present several challenges, including:

  • Uneven color
  • Dye not adhering well
  • The dye affecting the playability of the table.

Solutions to the Challenges

It’s important to be aware of these challenges and how best to mitigate them.

  1. The first thing to do is ensure the felt is well-prepared and clean before dyeing.
  2. Make sure to apply the dye evenly across the material, which is easier with a spray application.
  3. Use the correct dye, as I previously outlined, and importantly follow the dye instructions meticulously.
  4. Allow enough time to dry and consider a professional to re-stretch the felt if needed.

Other Things to Consider 

It might be easier to dye the felt if it’s removed from the table, but if that’s not possible, ensure the table and surrounding area are well-protected from any dye splashes.

This process is quite complex and may require a fair amount of time and patience.

Moreover, the results may vary based on the type of felt.

If in doubt, consulting with a professional or considering a felt replacement might be a safer and more reliable alternative.

Professional Assistance

While dyeing pool table felt can be a DIY project, it may be beneficial to seek professional assistance, especially if you are looking to achieve a specific color or finish.

Professionals have the experience and the right tools to ensure the dyeing process is done correctly and to a high standard.

They can also provide advice on the best types of dye to use and how to maintain the dyed felt.

Finding a Reputable Professional

Look for professionals with experience in dyeing pool table felt.

  • Check online reviews or ask for references to gauge the quality of their work.
  • Get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting a fair price.

Care and Maintenance of The Dyed Felt

After dyeing the pool table felt, it’s important to ensure proper care and maintenance to prolong the lifespan of the felt and maintain its playability.

  • Regular Cleaning: Use a pool table brush to gently remove dust and chalk.
  • Avoid Spills: Keep drinks and other liquids away from the table to prevent stains.
  • Sunlight Protection: Keep the table away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Brands of Dye For Pool Table Felt?

Various brands offer dyes suitable for fabrics like wool or nylon, which are commonly used in pool table felt. It’s advisable to choose reputable brands such as Rit Dye or Jacquard, known for their quality and range of colors available.

How Long Does It Take For The Dye To Dry on Pool Table Felt?

The drying time can vary based on the type of dye used, the method of application, and the environmental conditions. However, it usually takes between 24 and 48 hours for the dye to dry completely. It’s crucial to allow the dye to dry fully before using the pool table again.

Can Dye Affect The Playability of a Pool Table?

Yes, dyeing can potentially affect the playability if not done correctly. If the dye is uneven or the felt becomes stiff or tacky, it can hinder the smooth glide of the balls. Therefore, it’s essential to follow the dyeing instructions meticulously and ensure the felt remains smooth and even.

Is It Better To Dye or Replace Pool Table Felt?

The decision between dyeing and replacing the felt largely depends on the condition of the felt and the desired outcome. If the felt is in good condition but just faded, dyeing might be a viable option. However, if the felt is worn or damaged, replacing it would be the better choice.


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