Can You Paint Pool Table Felt?

Can You Paint Pool Table Felt

Pool tables are a staple in many homes and recreational centers.

They offer endless hours of fun and competition.

Over time, the felt on a pool table can become worn out, stained, or you might simply want to change of color of the cloth.

One question that often arises is: can you paint pool table felt? Yes, you can paint pool table felt, however, The answer is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no. Let me explain below.

Key Takeaways

  • Painting pool table felt is possible, but not always recommended.
  • The type of paint and technique used is crucial.
  • It’s essential to consider the playability and longevity of the felt after painting.

Why Would You Want to Paint Pool Table Felt?

Before getting into painting the pool table felt, if you’re intrigued, there are a few reasons why someone might want to do so in the first place.

Aesthetic Reasons

Over time, the color of the pool table felt might fade, or you might just want a change in color.

Painting can be a way to refresh the look of your table without the expense of replacing the entire felt.

Covering Stains

Stained pool table felt never looks nice and can be a problem if you let wet food or liquids be consumed around the table. Accidents happen.

Spilled drinks, food, or other mishaps can leave unsightly stains on the felt that can be difficult to remove. Painting can be a solution to cover these up.


Painting the felt can also be a kid of fun DIY project for the creatives among us.

For those who want their pool table to stand out with their own little touches, painting designs or patterns can give it a unique touch.

This doesn’t always work, or turn out the way it was pictured, so tread carefully.

How To Paint Pool Table Felt?

To paint pool table felt, follow the steps below, which is the best way to approach the project.

Choosing the Right Paint

First point of call, is to select the right kind of paint.

This is kind of important, as the wrong kind of paint can ruin the cloth and harden the surface to the point of being unable to perform properly.

Fabric paints are the best choice as they can penetrate the fibers without leaving a thick residue.

Application Technique

Apply and even application across the material is crucial.

Using a spray method can ensure an even coat without over saturating the felt.

Remember, applying too much paint and creating a thick coat can affect the roll of the ball.

Drying Time

Allow ample time for the paint to dry.

This can vary based on the type of paint used, but it’s generally recommended to wait at least 24 hours before using the pool table.

Pool Table Face lift

Potential Drawbacks to Painting Pool Table Felt

While painting the felt can give it a fresh look, there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

Problem Caused By Painting Pool Table FeltDescription
PlayabilityPaint can change the texture of the felt, potentially affecting the roll of the ball.
LongevityPainted felt might not last as long as untreated felt.
CostWhile painting might seem like a cheaper alternative to replacing the felt, the costs can add up, especially if you need to repaint or fix mistakes.

Spray Painting Pool Table Felt

Spray-painting pool table felt is the best option if you plan to change the color of the felt with paint.

The main advantage it offers over rolling, is the even application over the cloth.

Rolling paint can leave an uneven surface which will affect the playing surface how change the way balls behave.

Here’s what you need to know when spray-painting the playing surface:


  1. Even Application: Spray paint can provide a more even coat compared to brush-on paints, reducing the risk of uneven textures that can affect gameplay.
  2. Quick Drying: Many spray paints designed for fabric tend to dry faster than traditional paints.
  3. Versatility: Available in various colors, allowing for customization and creativity.

How to Spray Paint the Pool Table Felt?

  1. Clean the Surface: Before applying any paint, ensure the felt is clean. Remove any dust, chalk residue, or other debris.
  2. Protect Surrounding Areas: Mask off areas you don’t want to be painted, such as the rails and pockets.
  3. Apply in Thin Coats: It’s better to apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick one. This ensures even coverage and reduces the risk of the paint soaking through and affecting the roll of the ball.
  4. Allow Ample Drying Time: Even if the spray paint dries to the touch quickly, it’s recommended to wait at least 24 hours before using the table.


  • Test First: Before painting the entire table, test a small, inconspicuous area to see how the paint adheres and affects the felt’s texture.
  • Durability: While spray paint can refresh the look of your table, it may not be as durable as dyeing or replacing the felt.
  • Cost: Spray painting can be a cost-effective solution, but consider the long-term implications. You might find yourself repainting or replacing the felt sooner than expected.

Disadvantages of Spray Painting Pool Table Felt

While spray-painting can offer a quick and cost-effective solution for changing its appearance, there are several potential drawbacks to consider:

1. Altered Gameplay

  • Texture Changes: Spray paint can change the texture of the felt, potentially affecting the roll and speed of the balls. This can lead to inconsistent gameplay and may frustrate players used to a particular table feel.

2. Durability Concerns

  • Wear and Tear: Painted felt might show signs of wear more quickly than untreated or dyed felt. The paint can chip or fade, especially in high-traffic areas of the table.
  • Reduced Lifespan: The overall lifespan of the felt might be reduced after painting, leading to more frequent replacements or touch-ups.

3. Aesthetic Issues

  • Uneven Coloring: If not applied correctly, spray paint can lead to blotchy or uneven coloring, detracting from the table’s appearance.
  • Stiffness: The felt might feel stiffer to the touch after painting, which can be off-putting to some players.

4. Health and Safety

  • Toxic Fumes: Spray paints can release harmful fumes. It’s essential to use them in well-ventilated areas and to avoid inhaling the fumes.
  • Flammability: Some spray paints can be flammable. It’s crucial to keep them away from open flames and to store them safely.

5. Cost Implications

  • Short-Term Savings, Long-Term Costs: While spray-painting might seem cheaper initially, the potential need for more frequent touch-ups or felt replacements can lead to higher costs in the long run.

Alternatives to Painting

While painting is an option, there are other ways to refresh or change the look of your pool table felt without resorting to paint.

Dyeing the Felt

Dyeing is a method that can change the color of the felt without affecting its texture.

Fabric dyes penetrate the fibers, ensuring the ball’s roll isn’t affected.

Using Felt Stencils

For those looking to add designs or patterns, felt stencils can be a great option.

They allow for intricate designs without the need for freehand painting ad can produce amazing results.

Replacing the Felt

If the felt is too worn out or damaged, it might be best to replace it altogether.

This ensures optimal playability and gives your table a brand-new look.

Caring for Painted Felt

Once you’ve painted or treated your pool table felt, it’s essential to care for it properly to ensure longevity and optimal play.

Regular Cleaning

Dust and chalk residue can accumulate on the felt.

Regularly brush the table to keep it clean.

Avoid using wet cloths as they can damage the paint or dye.

Avoiding Spills

Be cautious about placing drinks or food near the table.

Spills can damage both painted and unpainted felt.

Using a Cover

Pool table covers are inexpensive, yet do a fantastic job of protecting the table from dust, dirt and debris when not in use.

Make sure it is waterproof, along with UV protection to save your table from potential sunlight, and water damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Painted Pool Table Felt Last?

The longevity of painted felt can vary based on the type of paint used and how often the table is used. However, it’s generally observed that painted felt might not last as long as untreated felt.

Can I Use Any Paint on Pool Table Felt?

No, it’s recommended to use fabric paints or dyes that can penetrate the fibers without leaving a thick residue.

Will Painting Pool Table Felt Affect Gameplay?

It can. The texture of the felt can change with paint, potentially affecting the roll of the ball. It’s essential to ensure even application and use the right type of paint.

Is Dyeing a Better Option Than Painting Pool Table Felt?

Dyeing can be a better option for those looking to change the color without affecting the texture. However, the results can vary based on the type of dye and application method.


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