1. Begin disassembling the pool table. Remove the pocket liners from each pocket first, if any are present. Next, find the bolts on the underside of the table keeping the railings in place, and remove them. Move the railing carefully to a safe storage space where it won't get scuffed or damaged, or interfere with your movement around the pool table.
The railing may be composed of one, two, or four pieces. If the railing does not divide into four pieces, you will likely need an assistant to transport it safely.
Some pool table pockets are bolted or screwed on separately from the railings.
2. Remove the old felt. Felt can be attached in more than one way. Use a staple remover if the felt is stapled to the table. If it is glued, you can simply rip the felt off, but be careful not to damage any felt in the pockets unless you also plan on replacing those portions as well.
3. Level the table (optional). You may wish to use a level to test whether your billiards table is flat. If it is not, use a small pry bar to lift the lowest leg and add a wooden or metal shim
4. Clean the slate. Use a dry, clean cloth to remove dust. Do not use any water or cleaning solutions. If old glue or other residue has built up, scrape this off with a putty knife or other flat blade, especially where it may block pockets.
5. Seal the seams with beeswax if necessary. Most pool tables are constructed from three pieces of slate. On an old pool table, the seams between these may have lost some of the wax that fills them in to create a flat surface. If the wax needs replenishing, heat the slate around the seams with a propane hand torch, then drip wax into these seams. Spread the wax evenly across the seam line, let it cool for no more than thirty seconds, then scrape excess wax down to the level of the table surface using a paint scraper. It's better to remove too much wax than too little, since excess wax can be difficult to remove once dry.
If your pool table is kept in a warm location, you may wish to use putty specifically formulated for pool tables. There is a great deal of disagreement over which of these synthetic products produces the best quality table, so you may wish to consult a local expert familiar with your climate.
6. Measure your pool table before purchasing felt. Measuring will take the guesswork out of sizing your felt, resulting in a faster process and a cleaner result. When you purchase the felt, or more technically the pool tablecloth, for your table, make sure it is at least 12 inches (30.5 cm) longer than the table on all four sides. This ensures that you will have plenty of cloth for the railings as well as the table surface.
Note that pool felt is actually a special type of cloth, and while it is commonly referred to as "felt," it is usually sold as "pool tablecloth," "pool cloth," or "billiards cloth." You cannot use ordinary felt to cover your pool table.
Woolen pool cloth is the pool felt most players are familiar with. Worsted cloth allows for greater speed, but is rarely used outside of professional tournaments due to its lessened durability and price. Other varieties such as snooker cloth, carom, or polyester cloth are only suitable for certain uses