If you ask any ping pong player, especially a pro, they'll tell you that their table tennis racket is an essential piece of equipment for them. Because the heart of a racket is the blade, keeping it in optimal condition means everything. One of the most significant stresses on a blade is applying and removing rubbers using a strong adhesive. When they are peeled off for replacement, there's the potential for splinters of the blade to be pulled up. One increasingly popular method of protecting blades is to seal them with polyurethane. It's a clear topcoat that creates a surface onto which adhesive can be applied.
Although it took some players a while to begin sealing their rackets, most now agree that it reduces wear and tear as rubbers are glued down and pulled off. The polyurethane sealer is available at any hardware store and isn't overly difficult to apply. Nearly everyone brushes it on themselves at home – making sure to do it in a well-ventilated area. Polyurethane products come with use instructions on the label, and it requires nothing more than a good quality paintbrush to apply. Also, because the polyurethane has a consistency as light as water, drips can occur. It would be best if you covered the area where you will work.
Make sure to clean your table tennis blade before applying the sealer. You need to take off any residue left behind by previous coats of adhesive. It might require lightly sanding in spots to do a thorough job. You also need to make sure you apply the polyurethane only when the blade's surface is dry. Once you have the sealer on and it has dried for the recommended amount of time, your blade will be more durable when rubbers are glued down and pulled off. Don't hesitate to apply a generous coat of the polyurethane, but make sure to do smoothly and consistently across the surface.
Take a close look at your blade as soon as the polyurethane has dried. If you notice imperfections or drips, it's wise to lightly sand them away until you have a uniformly even finish. The edges of the blade are essential not to miss as you're brushing on the sealer. Make sure to coat them thoroughly and avoid the handle altogether. Sealer could make the grip slippery during play, and you'd be disappointed. Before you glue down the first rubber after sealing, sand the entire surface lightly to rough it up a bit. Adhesive will stick more firmly to a surface that is not entirely smooth.