Need advice/ideas for restoring table tennis table (aka Ping Pong)

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Forum topic by TommysBoys posted 04-10-2015 09:29 AM 1710 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1106 days

04-10-2015 09:29 AM

Newbie here with no real woodworking skills or equipment. I need some ideas as to how to remove the sag that my OLD ping pong table has developed. I have a “vintage” ping pong table (circa 1970s) that has developed some fairly serious sag over the years. The table itself is otherwise still very sound but needs a facelift to make it “game ready”. The table top appears to be made of pressed wood fibers (sorry don’t know exact terminology, etc.) and is 20mm thick (just over 3/4”). It is supported only over the perimeter. The sag measures anywhere from 3/8” to 3/4” depending on which side is measured. The overall table is 5’ by 9’ but that is made of two separate pieces measuring 4 1/2’ by 5’. I want to flatten the surface as much as possible and repaint it before taking it out to the garage for summer play. Please give me some ideas as to how to both flatten the table and repaint the surface. As always, cost is a concern.


3 replies so far

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1594 days

#1 posted 04-10-2015 10:59 AM

I think these tables are usually MDF, and the sag might be a combination of wear and tear and water damage. If it was me I wouldn’t try fixing it. Might be easier and cheaper to get a sheet of 3/4 ply and make new top rather than try to fix the old one. You can go to any of the big box stores and have them cut the ply into the size you need, all you would need to do is do some hardwood edging and paint it. Quite a simple woodworking warrior project.

If you are intent on trying to salvage the top You could use braces on the bottom side, but they’ll show when the table is folded up. And Most probably you will still have a wavy top at best.

As far as painting goes that is simple, use tape to keep the lines crisp, paint the main surface fully first and then do the lines. Use whatever paint you want and coat it with a few coats of spray lacquer, wipe on poly or whatever you wish.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View mahdee's profile


3870 posts in 1731 days

#2 posted 04-10-2015 11:00 AM

View Kazooman's profile


997 posts in 1915 days

#3 posted 04-10-2015 01:00 PM

If you flip the table upside down can you flatten out the sag by pressing on it? If so, you could try attaching some cross braces with glue and screws. It took a long time for that sag to develop and it might not be willing to go away very easily.

As far as paint, all of the tables I have seen have a matte finish. I can imagine that it helps give the surface some grip so that spin on the ball can have an effect. I don’t think that you want any glossy surface.

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