How To Refinish A Shuffleboard Table

 In Shuffleboard Maintenance

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If you love shuffleboard, knowing how to refinish a shuffleboard table is a useful skill you can teach yourself. That way, if you ever find an old shuffleboard you’d like to use, you can refurbish it yourself! All shuffleboard tables require refinishing from time to time as it is, since frequent playing and changes in temperature can affect the surface. Whether you have come across old shuffleboard tables at estate sales or have one at home that just needs a little bit of work, bring some joy back into its life and yours by refinishing it.

Before you can begin learning how to refinish a shuffleboard table, you must consider a few basic things. One major piece of information you must have prior to attempting a refurbishing is what type of finish your table has on the playing surface. Since shuffleboard tables can be finished with a variety of applications, including lacquer, varnish, acrylic, and polyurethane, it’s crucial to determine which kind your table was finished with.

We recommend a careful and gentle technique in preparing the surface for refinishing. Being too forceful might cause you to inadvertently damage the table or surface and make your task even more difficult. Take it nice and easy with finer grit sandpaper and an oscillating sander. By carefully and delicately going over the whole surface with long, even strokes, you will keep the surface level and in fine playing condition.

 

If your shuffleboard table surface only has scratches in one area and you’d like to try repairing it by section, we would advise against it. Unless you are quite skilled, transitioning the refinished section to the rest of the table without having an effect on the playing surface would be quite difficult.

After enough of the finish has been removed so that the surface is smooth, the next major step in how to refinish a shuffleboard table is to determine if you also need to recover the markings. If you had to sand the surface of your table past the finish in order to get the surface smooth, that could ruin the markings. Although this is a situation you would like to avoid, sometimes it can’t be.

If you need to reapply markings, now is the time. Once you have reapplied the markings, the third step in how to refinish a shuffleboard table is also the last step. At this point, you can begin reapplying the finish. Here’s where finding out what the original finish was comes into play. We suggest that you use the same type of finish as originally used because the chemical bond between the two will be more powerful. Not all finishes adhere with the same force to one another, and some can even fail over time and through frequent use. This is something that you definitely want to avoid!

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Not sure about the original finish? Don’t worry. You have a few options for help. The first thing you should do is contact the original manufacturer. They should be able to provide you with the exact specificatio

ns of any of their shuffleboard tables. If, however, the identity of the manufacturer is unknown and unable to be located, give a local game table dealer or professional refinisher a call. Yet another option is to take the dilemma online and hit up game table and/or refinishing forums. Post pictures and give as much detail as you can, and an intrepid shuffleboard enthusiast might just be able to help you out.

One final note: you should view refinishing as maintenance work rather than a repair, because by refinishing your shuffleboard tables, you will be keeping the playing surfaces as fresh and smooth as the day you got them. Taking care of your table will help you avoid having to refinish it too often. Use shuffleboard cleaner once a month and buff with a cloth and make sure, prior to every game, to apply silicone spray and cover the board entirely in wax. By following those tips, you can keep any shuffleboard tables looking and playing like they were just freshly manufactured!

Our guide can help anyone learn how to refinish a shuffleboard table. Whether you love the game itself or home projects, knowing how to refinish the playing surface is a good task to add to your repertoire of knowledge. If, however, you don’t feel confident in your abilities, save yourself some time and trouble and take those shuffleboard tables to professionals who know exactly what they’re doing.

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Showing 24 comments
  • Susan Stewart
    Reply

    How much should it cost me to refinish my shuffle board table?

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      The cost of re-finishing a shuffleboard table varies based on the condition and size of the table. However, if you’re looking to repair and restore only the shuffleboard playing surface, it typically costs anywhere from $800 to $1300 based on the size and state of the table.

    • Pat McMillan
      Reply

      I recently purchased a older shuffle board table (American) BO35 Written on the back side and stamped on the side. Looks like maple feels like maple not sure what the original finish was. Looking for suggestions on the final finish after I sand it down. I would be happy to make my purchase from you for finishing material but in need of some suggestions. Thanks Pat

      • Todd McClure
        Reply

        We use a hardened Polyurethane with a Polyester base something only a commercial location can get also need some high tech equipment to spray. I would suggest a conversion varnish or even a two part polyurethane you could get from a local paint supplier but still need at least a pot gun and spray gun and booth would be best to spray.

  • Frederick A. Dominski
    Reply

    I am in the process of refinishing our Elk’s Lodge shuffleboard table after 9 years of moderate use. The last time I did the job I sanded to bare wood, applied a sander sealer and applied a high quality polyurethane. The finish is now pealing and requires a large amount of wax to make the table playable.
    I do not want to apply the polyurethane again and would like your opinion as to the best and most durable finish. The shuffleboard table is an American about 50 years old.

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      Frederick we use a proprietary finish we call Durable Acrylic we would think it is best, but anything you are apply with a brush or on site is not as good as a commercial application finish. You need to try to remove the board and get to a commercial shop where someone can sand resurface and then spray a hardened clear acrylic can be a polyurethane or Polyester based material but needs harned. Something like an auto paint body person or furniture spray finish expert can help you in your area. We do refinish boards but only if sent to our own factory.

  • Jon brower
    Reply

    What are the regulations markings for 18 ft table

  • Lisa M
    Reply

    HI we are having major issues with our table and think that having it refinished would be a good choice since we have had it now for 15yrs.
    I’m not sure who to look for that would know how to do this correctly. Any suggestions… I live in the Detroit, MI area.

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      We can refinish your table top usually for about 1000 to 1200 if it is a traditional finish. You do not have a polymer top do you? If you do maybe might just consider purchase a new playboard here

  • Mo Meyer
    Reply

    we live in ct and have a table at our american legion how much would it cost to refinish the top and have it leveled I beleive it is an 18 footer will double check

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      We charge about 1000 to 1200 to refinish a top but you have to ship to our factory

  • Tim Hyde
    Reply

    You say to spray with silicone and apply wax. Can you give me names of silicone spray and wax. I am refinishing a 16 foot board right now. Thanks

  • Rich
    Reply

    Todd, you’ve replied to people that they could use bar top epoxy to refinish their board. I have used this method on large table tops. However the edges on a shuffleboard top should remain crisp and square shouldn’t they? Its not possible to retain a nice square edge with a pourable product such as epoxy as it runs and forms a rounded edge . Do you have a suggestion on how to avoid this???? Thanks

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      You need to build up a dam to pour the epoxy 1/4 to 1/2 inch beyond the surface area and then use a router to cut the plastic off with a sharp edge

  • Red summers
    Reply

    I have a 12 ft shuffleboard table, and the felt in the trought and end areas is coming up in pieces. What can I use to replace the felt? Or can I use formica in these areas>

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      You could use formica but it would be loud I would recommend indoor outdoor carpet use spray glue to attach

  • Shane Patterson
    Reply

    Todd, I have a 22′ table that we had built at a local shop about 5 years ago. It was finished with bar top epoxy. It was fine until our building it was in caught on fire. Luckily the table didn’t get burnt but unfortunately the heat was intense enough that the epoxy broke and shattered like glass in spots all over the top. I finally took the playing surface to a large wood shop and they ran it through a planer and then a sander several times. I still need to do some hand sanding and put new numbers and lines on it. My question to you is what is the best and most practical thing to coat it with? The epoxy was ok but it seemed much faster than the conventional shuffleboard tables I’m used to playing on. Thanks!

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      I would use a two part conversion varnish we do not like the Polymer you also maybe can get a two part hardened Polyurethane finish

  • Paul
    Reply

    Hello Todd, I just acquired a National 22 footer probably from the 40’s. A wood shop was going to resurface and sand, then I was going to seal and coat. Do I need to know what the wood was originally treated with? I was going to do poly but you are not a fan correct? Lastly, if I use a carpenters pencil or sharpie wont this bleed for numbers?

    Many Thanks- Paul in California

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      You need to blow off the pencil mark and sweep but it will not bleed.

  • Tony
    Reply

    Hi Todd, I have a 22’ American shuffleboard table and was thinking about making a form around it and pouring an epoxy about a 1/4” and using a heat gun to get the bubbles out. I was planning on getting stickers for the numbers and a logo in the center. I was going to roll on a thin layer of the epoxy being used to seal the surface first to minimize the bubbles, apply the stickers after it dries, pour the 1/4” on top and finally routing the edges after it cures. My question is, will the epoxy adhere to the dried epoxy and will the stickers make the final result fail?

    • Todd McClure
      Reply

      Tony the epoxy will stick to the other epoxy it is better if you do within a 24 hour period

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