Can You Paint a Pool Cue Stick?

can you paint a pool cue stick

If you know the game of pool well, then you’ll know that a lot of your success in the game can depend upon the cue stick you’re using. But you might be wondering whether you can alter the appearance of your cue stick, especially if you have an unsightly one!

The answer is yes, you can paint a pool cue stick. The pool stick must be sanded, painted, and resealed. However, some people advise against it on more expensive or sentimental cue sticks, as there is a chance it won’t go perfectly right.

This article will help you to understand how to paint your cue stick, which the best paints are to use, and the pros and cons of painting your stick. It will also offer you alternatives to painting your own cue stick if you’re after an awesome looking cue without the risk of painting it wrong!

How to Paint a Pool Cue Stick

Many people have pointed out how painting a cue stick ought to follow the same basic formula as a refinish or restoration. This is a process whereby the stick gets sanded and resealed, painted and then has a top coat added to it. 

Usually, this process applies when you have an old cue stick which may be chipped, scratched, or just has general wear and tear to the exterior. As long as you aren’t experiencing any major problems such as wood warping, then you should restore your cue every couple years.

This will ensure that it retains its aerodynamic properties and optimises your chances of playing better!

Before getting started, always remember to wear gloves throughout the process of painting your cue stick, to protect both you and the stick. 

Step 1: Sanding

To paint your pool cue stick, the first thing you’ll need to do is sand it down. This removes the layer of oil, topcoats, and any pre-existing paint on the stick. 

In order to sand your cue stick, and for the rest of the steps in this process, you’ll first need to place your stick in a pool cue tip clamp.

This will keep your stick still and even whilst you work on it. 

To use a clamp, simply put it on the pool cue tip, then work the circle down the shaft towards the cue tip until it has enough resistance to hold it in place. 

Most places recommend using between 600 and 1200 grade sandpaper in order to get the proper number of layers off of the cue before altering its appearance. Some suggest starting with a lower grade sandpaper first, before upping the grade in order to get the more difficult coats off. 

Be sure to sandpaper the entire cue evenly – focusing on just one spot will result in an uneven cue. An uneven cue will make your performance worse as the aerodynamics will not be right. 

In order to paint the cue, you’ll have to take most of the original finish off, until the stick looks relatively bare. 

Steps 2 and 3: Seal or Paint

This step will change depending on what your desired outcome is. 

If you’re looking to paint or stain the cue in one uniform color, it’s best to do that at this point before sealing the wood once more. 

However, if you’re looking to do a more intricate design, some people recommend sealing the wood at this stage and then painting the cue afterwards. 

Many people do a mixture of both – staining the wood with a standard wood staining product to provide a base color, then sealing the wood before painting a unique design on the outer layer. 

While you can use cheap, standard wood sealant to reseal your cue stick, this isn’t recommended, especially if it was an expensive cue to begin with. 

Instead, you ought to seal your cue with a professional cue stick sealant. There are different varieties of these products which can be found online. 

With these products, simply take a soft cloth and rub the sealant evenly across the stick. Afterwards, you’ll want to leave it to dry for a while, before doing another coat to make sure it is sealed properly. 

Afterwards, you can get to work on painting the design of your dreams!

Step 4: Top Coat

If you paint a design onto your stick after the initial sealant process, you’ll need to finish it off with a top coat in order to ensure that your design lasts and isn’t easily chipped or worn away by general play and oiling. 

You can use the same sealant you used in steps 2 and 3 as a top coat, or alternatively, you can use epoxy as a top coat.

Similarly to cue stick sealants, epoxy simply needs rubbing onto the cue evenly with your hands, before a light sanding down and a finish with your favorite cue oil (danish oil is recommended). 

Regardless of what type of sealant you choose, it’s always recommended that you finish off with danish oil to maintain the cue and the design you just painted. 

What Is the Best Paint for a Cue Stick?

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For the base color, many people recommend a standard wood stainer. You can find wood stainers in the paint section of a hardware store, usually. 

For the design, there are different types of paints that people usually suggest, and the type you opt for will usually depend on your desired outcome.

Airbrush paints work well as they’re light and can provide a beautiful color gradient on a pool cue stick. You can also use stencils with airbrush paints. 

Another one which has been recommended is the ‘Japan’ range of color paints by Ronan Paints, as they’re quick-drying and strongly pigmented. This is a better option if you’re wanting to free-hand a design with brushes. 

To check the current price and availability of Ronan Japan Paints, click here to view it on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

You can paint a pool cue stick, but it takes a lot of time and effort. It’s also not recommended if you’ve never done anything like it before, or if you have a cue that was expensive or held sentimental value to begin with. 

Alternatively, you could take your cue to a pool cue specialist, who can help you alter the design and finish on your stick professionally. 

If you do want to take the plunge and paint your pool cue stick yourself, always be sure to wear gloves, and use products that are recommended as opposed to going out on a limb and trying to figure it out for yourself. That way, you’re more likely to come out with a cue that both looks and feels great!

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