Question about Table Tennis Paint

Submitted by Leo Loh
(New South Wales, Australia)

Table tennis questions

I wish to restore my 15 years old professional grade table tennis table.

No one can provide me with an answer.

I called Australia Table Tennis Academy, but without a proper answer.

Would you know the specification of the paint and where to buy it?

----- Martin's Reply -----

 By Martin Hughes
 Owner and Editor

Leo Loh,

Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, there isn't a simple answer.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tests and approves table tennis tables. This is so that they can set a high standard for sporting quality and safety during international competitions.

So, even though you're not using your table for international competitions, I would still be guided by what the ITTF specifies.

So what does the ITTF specify?

Well, for "General appearance of the table" they specify that...

"Paint, colour or gloss irregularities that are visible to the naked eye are not acceptable. The paint must be firmly bonded to the substrate. It should neither colour the ball nor look scuffed or scratched."

And for "Surface colour, finish and lines of the playing surface" they specify that...

The playing surface of an ITTF approved table must have a dark colour, whose lightness L in the CIELAB system must not be more than 40% . The Equipment Committee may tolerate lightness up to 44%, if the appearance and colour of the surface remains dark.

It must be matt, with a degree of gloss not more than 15 (60° specular gloss, ASTM procedure D 523) and a low haze-gloss.

A change of the paint may affect the friction, the gloss and the bounce; it requires testing.

The finish must be uniform over the entire surface; it must therefore be applied in some uniform manner such as spraying, roller or curtain coating or similar; brush marks are unacceptable.

The finish will also be unacceptable if, regardless of the measured degree of gloss, it permits the shape of a light-source to be distinguished in its reflection.

The surface must be even and regular, with no inlaid dust and no projecting particles of pigment.

The finishes may not transfer surface pigment to the ball. This causes concern to players, spectators and TV crews. A suitable choice of finish may eliminate this problem completely.

Other finishes undergo a hardening process that takes days or weeks; manufacturers who use this type usually store their tables for long enough to permit this process to take place so that their tables do not colour the ball.

In addition to the principal finish, the playing surface must be marked with white lines.

So, unless you can follow the above, you're probably not any wiser.

I did a quick search on the internet and I only found one web site which appears to be offering blue Table Tennis Table Paint...

Affordable Table Tennis
11 Stockwell Drive
Victoria 3249

Tel: 0419 335 219

However, my advice is always the same whenever someone asks me how to build their own table tennis table or restore an existing table...

Don't bother.

Buy a new table from one of the established table tennis table manufacturers.

Although it may be more expensive, you'll never achieve a better job than they do, so it'll be more cost effective in the long run.

See my page about...
How To Choose The Best Table Tennis Table


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