Refelt Or Recover Pool Table

Replace the worn out felt on your pool table.

The game of pool has existed in slightly varying forms for hundreds of years. Though there have been significant changes to the materials that comprise various aspects of the game — for example, ivory was once a major component in pool ball production — the felt covering used in today’s pool tables has been a consistent element for centuries. Unfortunately, the life of a single piece of felt is not as long as the life of the pool table it covers, and many pool table owners may need to replace this woolen felt.


1. Pull out the staples surrounding the pockets on the underside of the table.

2. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts that secure each rail to the underside of the table. Look for approximately three bolts per rail. Take off rails once all bolts have been removed and detach pocket liners or pockets as necessary. Pull out staples that attach the felt to the rail cushions. Remove the felt that covers the cushions.

3. Remove the felt from the flat tabletop. Determine whether the felt is stapled, glued or both. Pull individual staples with a staple puller from the felt. Gently but firmly peel glued felt off the tabletop.

4. Prepare the slate for re-felting. Fill in all holes and cracks with pool table wax. Let the wax harden for one minute and scrape the excess off with a putty knife. Clean the surface of the slate with a gentle cleanser. Let the suerface dry completely before covering it with felt.

5. Measure and cut a piece of felt to the dimensions of your table. Align felt edges flush with table edges.

6. Begin to staple the fabric to the table. Start at the center of one short edge and staple toward the corners. Do not cover the pockets. Move in increments of approximately two inches when placing staples. Pull the fabric taut as you go. Move to the opposite end of the table. Pull the fabric tightly and begin stapling, again at the center and moving toward the corners. Repeat on the remaining sides; start at center on either side of the pocket.

7. Trim excess fabric from around the pockets. Leave about three inches of fabric around inner, rounded pocket edge. Push fabric into pocket so that it lines the sides of the pocket. Cut three slits, evenly spaced, in the hanging fabric; make sure the slits are smaller than three inches or they will be visible from the top of the table. Fold cut fabric under the table. Fasten with staples. Repeat at all pockets.

8. Wrap the rails with felt. Observe the unique design of your table’s rails to determine how large your piece of felt must be. Cut the fabric to the necessary proportions, leaving an inch of overhang for the edges. Wrap the rail in felt and smooth it down. Staple the inch of excess fabric to the underside.

9. Reattach the rails to the table. Thread a pencil through each hole in the table bottom and make a small cut in the fabric where the pencil hits it to indicate where the bolts will be inserted. Insert and tighten the bolts from below the table.

10. Replace the pockets and liners as necessary. Affix them with nails. Bend designated edges of the pockets under the table to secure them. Trim the bottoms of pocket liners to allow for smooth movement through each. Attach pocket liners directly inside pockets.