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How-To Paint Your Pool

Follow These Steps For a Perfectly Painted Pool

  1. Choose the correct coating for your pool type. If your pool is already painted, you must repaint your pool with the same type of paint coating in order for the paint to adhere properly. More information on selecting a pool coating and determining the composition of a current coating below.
  2. Prep the Pool Surface. This step is very important! Your new coating will not adhere to even the slightest oily residue such as suntan lotion, body oils, hair spray, algae or anything that comes between the pool surface and the new coating. Wash your pool to remove any existing oil residue. Never use a soap-type detergent because it leaves a soapy film on the surface. The best washing compound solution is TSP (tri-sodium phosphate).
  3. Scrub the Surface. Firmly scrub the pool surface; scrub the walls first and the floor last. Rinse off the residue with clear water immediately after scrubbing. Acid etching is required on bare masonry surfaces like concrete or plaster. It is also effective for removing chalky residue and hard mineral deposits on a previously coated pool. Acid washing opens tiny pores which allow the new coating to penetrate, thus creating a secure cohesive bond. Even on previously coated pools, an acid wash is recommended.
  4. Apply the Paint Correctly. Paint using a 3/8” nap roller. You will always want to start in the deep end, work your way towards the stairs and don’t paint yourself into a corner. It is best to paint in the morning in cooler temperatures.
  5. Be Patient! Proper curing time is very important to ensure your pool is ready for filling. Never fill your pool before it has had enough time to properly cure. Check the paint label to be sure, but typically at least 4-5 days is sufficient.

Choosing the Correct Coating

Using the right pool paint is is critical to ensuring that your pool paint will actually last. Typically when you paint the walls of your home, any paint will do the trick. That is not the case with pool paint. The surface of what you are painting is the most important thing to consider when painting your new pool.

Concrete Pool Paint

Concrete pools are the easiest since almost all pool paints will work. Your only decision is the quality of the paint. Acrylic enamel (2–3 year lifespan), synthetic rubber or chlorinated rubber (2–3 year lifespan), or epoxy (5–8 year lifespan) will all work with new concrete pools. Each have unique advantages, however epoxy paints will always offer the longest life.

Bare Plaster or Marcite Pool Paint

Again, most all pool paint products can be used, with epoxies offering the best long term investment. If the existing surface is rough, prime first with Gunzite. If smooth, prime first with Poxoprime II before application of Poxolon 2 or Zeron finish coat.

Fiberglass Pool Paint

The epoxy system is the best choice for fiberglass pools. First using a Gunzite primer, apply either two coats of Poxolon 2 or one coat of Zeron.

Steel or Aluminum Pool Paint

Epoxy paint is your choice for steel and aluminum pools. Both of these surfaces require a special primer before the application of the finish coat.

Determining Paint Composition on a Painted Pool

If you don’t know which type of coating is currently on your pool, try the following test.

Immerse a small chip (about 1") in denatured alcohol. If it dissolves, it is a water-based acrylic. If not, immerse a small chip of the existing coating into a solvent blend of 75% mineral spirits and 25% Olympic No. 1108 SOLVENT or Xylol. Wait 30 seconds and rub the chip between your thumb and forefinger. If the chip dissolves, it is a synthetic rubber-base coating.

If the chip does not dissolve, then immerse the chip in 100% Olympic No. 1108 SOLVENT or Xylol. If the chip then dissolves, it is a chlorinated rubber coating. If it does not, it is an epoxy.

Use the same type finish for refinishing. REMEMBER that a synthetic rubber base coating can be applied over a chlorinated rubber coating but a chlorinated rubber coating cannot be applied over a synthetic rubber. However, you may convert old rubber base to epoxy by first applying FUSION PLUS Conversion Coating.

If that is not possible, Kelley (our preferred paint manufacturer) will test a paint chip for you. All you have to do is mail it to them!

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