A damaged ping pong table is far more than just an eye-sore. A dented, cracked or splintered ping pong table makes for troubled playing, negating from the fun and competition of a great game. Ping Pong Tables typically range from $450 to $750 which isn’t cheap, either. So you would obviously want to get the most out of your investment. Below, we’re going to detail the approaches you can take to fix three common table problems. First, we’ll discuss how to repair a hole in a ping pong table. Next, we’ll explain repainting step-by-step, so you can keep your ping pong table presentable.
Finally, we’ll touch on skewed tabletops, and how we can fix table warp to keep our gameplay smooth and without hindrance. Let’s dive into it!
1. Repairing a hole in a Ping Pong Table
So you’ve been getting the most out of your ping pong table. Perhaps it’s brand new or a little old. Holes happen at any time, and come in lots of shapes and sizes. To repair a hole, you’ll need some equipment handy to get started:
- A small plank of wood
- Duct tape
- Wax paper
- Wax-based wood filler
- Sanding tools/sheets
To begin, you’ll want to get the wooden plank and apply some wax paper. The plank is going to be applied underneath the table, as if you’re looking through a window. The wax paper doesn’t have to cover the plank; just enough so that when you look through the hole in your table, the wax paper fills the window. To apply the paper-covered plank to the bottom-side of your table we’re going to use the duct tape. Use as much as is required to keep the plank firmly in place. We suggest the smallest plank that fills the window: don’t make your tape work too hard.
Clean up the hole
Little (but important) tip here. Before you begin, make sure the hole has been sanded/smoothened; reducing splinters and getting rid of jagged edges in and around it. It’ll be so much easier to work with.
Preparing & applying our wood filler
Our recommended wax-based wood filler is Minwax 21600000 High-Performance Wood Filler. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area before you begin: wood filler is quite powerful on the nose.
Note: this process should be started and completed within 15 minutes; after this time the filler may harden and it will be difficult to use.
- We start by scooping out enough wax as we’ll realistically need to fill the hole. We’re going to be using one-part hardener, (included in the product) to sixteen-part wax filler. Stir until you can’t see white; 30 seconds is great.
- Apply the wax to the surface of the table, covering the hole.
- We’ll be waiting for it to harden and dry for now. (The longer you wait, the better – use your judgment: we recommend 3-4 hours).
Sanding the hole and next steps
Having waited for the filler to harden, you may notice the table is raised, or jagged or bumpy. The next step is to sand the dried filler down so that your table is level again.
Take your sanding tool/sheets and begin smoothing out the surface until you’re satisfied. You can always employ a worker’s level should you require pinpoint accuracy.
Once completed, we can paint the table to remove the evidence!
This part is on you: you can either leave the repair on show to highlight its triumph, or repaint the area with the closest colour to the original that you can find.
2. Resurfacing a worn/damaged tabletop
We’re getting our hands dirty for this one: so you’ll want to start off with some gloves! Once you’ve got that covered, you’ll need:
– Satin/chalkboard spray-paint of your choice
– Sanding tools/sheets (we recommend 220 grit sandpaper for this one!)
– A roll of painter’s tape
– Newspaper/rolls you no longer need
Prepping the table
You’ll need to start off by sanding as many cracked and disfigured portions of the table as possible. Focus on the cracks and bumps first to remove minor abnormalities. Continue this process until the damaged parts are level and uniform with the surrounding areas. Again, we’re looking for consistency. It’ll also help absorb the paint better later.
Painting the (now smooth) table & replacing lines
Start by applying a thin, even layer of paint. The colour is up to you: though for simplicity we recommend a colour as close to the original as possible. Next, you’ll want to tape over the outer-rim of the original table lines. You should still be able to make them out. We’re going to be covering the rest of the table with the newspaper, covering all sections inside the tape. Spray your new lines evenly: do this in several passes so that your newly mapped table lines are clear and thick. Finally, remove the tape and the paper you covered the sections with. You’re done!
3. Fixing a warped ping pong tabletop
Most new ping pong tables come with a warp-resistant top, but warping is still not uncommon, and it’s the bane of ping pong enthusiasts across the globe. Oftentimes, table warp occurs simply due to age, moisture in your area of play, damp or mould. Tables can also develop warps by being damaged by impacts or bumps. Below, we’ll detail the steps you can take to restore a warped ping pong table. Equipment is scarce here; you’ll need a screwdriver appropriate for the screws used on the model, some large plastic sheets and some moderate weights.
You need to the remove the tabletop
Attempting to fix a warped tabletop while it’s still supported by the legs can lead to disaster. To make this as smooth a process as possible, we need to remove the tabletop from the legs. Start by removing the screws that connect the table with the legs. If you need to place your table upside down to do this, that’s fine. You may just need some space.
Assess the damage. Check for damp!
Examine your table. Have a look at the bottom-side, the corners, around the sides and on the top, too. Locate the damage so you can pinpoint the weighted areas later.
Note: if the table was left to fester damp for a long period of time, it will be delicate. It’ll require a bit more attention.
Place a large plastic sheet on the floor. (Equal to, or larger than – the tabletop’s size).
This setup will act as a primer for weighing down the warps. You’ll want to place the tabletop playing-side down on the plastic sheet. From here, we have a good canvas to tackle the warps.
Put weights on the warped areas. These can be dumbbells, or loose weight plates – or sandbags!
Keep in mind that, if your table has accumulated severe warped areas over the years, you may need to approach it in a different way: make the stubborn warps damp to loosen them. Any water will do; and don’t overdo it. Just enough to nurse the warps. Keep these weights on the affected areas for up to 48 hours. This process should be more than enough to fix any significant warping of your tabletop. Get someone to help you re-attach the tabletop to the legs! This can be a challenging, laboured process. We hope you didn’t forget the screws!
We hope this guide has covered and detailed the steps you can take to fix a handful of issues that can crop up with your ping pong table. Remember, prevention is better than fixing: keep your ping pong table in a dry area, don’t knock it too hard, and keep it away from loose/heavy objects. Most of all, have fun and keep on playing.