Pool Info: Painted Pools

 

One of the most common pool surfaces is paint. Pool paint comes in many different colors, and is an inexpensive coating compared to other surfaces. There are three types of pool paint. Epoxy paint, for new construction, and pools painted previously with epoxy paint. It is long lasting, durable and will stand up to UV rays, automatic pool cleaners and chemical treatments. Epoxy paint will last about 7 - 10 years.

 

Another type of pool paint is chlorinated rubber base. Rubber base is not as durable or expensive as epoxy paint, but is a dependable, easy to use, inexpensive pool paint. It is easy to apply, comes in many colors and will last about 3 - 5 years.

 

Last but not least, is water based acrylic pool paint. This paint can be used on any type of surface, is easy to apply, and cleans up with water. This type of pool paint is ideal for commercial applications that are repainted on a regular basis. It should last about 2 - 3 years.

 

Whatever paint you use, it is important to follow manufacture’s instructions, follow recommended safety guidelines and make sure you prepare the pool properly. Preparation is the most important step in pool painting. Without the proper preparation the paint will not bond with the wall or existing surface.

 

Common Problems with Painted Pools

 

My Pool Paint is Fading

 

Painted pools will begin to fade over time. Nothing will stop this, but you can “brighten-up” the paint with a light acid wash. Acid will remove any dirt and chalking that can dull a paint job. After cleaning the pool with a light solution of muriatic acid and water, rinse well and refill the pool.

 

My Pool Paint is Chalking

 

Some painted surfaces will begin to break down over time. The results can be dull, hazy water, as well as a white powdery residue that can rub off on hands, feet and bathing suits. To avoid this, water chemistry and maintenance are the key. The total alkalinity must be in the correct range.

 

At least 150 PPM to 200 PPM. 175 PPM is ideal. If the alkalinity is too low the pool paint will rub off. Harsh shock treatments will also cause the pool paint to chalk. Use lithium or a di-chloro base shock for maintenance. Harsh shock treatments like calcium hypochlorite will contribute to the deterioration of the pool paint job.

 

My Pool Paint has Blisters and Bubbles

 

Blistering is almost always caused by improper preparation. The pool paint must be applied to a clean dry surface. If the paint is applied too thick, or if the surface is too hot or warm, or if the pool is not cleaned properly, it will blister. Application temperature will also affect the final result. The only thing to do is repaint the pool or the spots that have blistered.

 

How to Paint Your Swimming Pool

 

As mentioned earlier, the most important part of a paint job is the preparation. There are no shortcuts! The following is a step by step guide to a successful paint job using epoxy paint. Acrylic pool paints can be used on a damp surface, and don't require as long of a dry time before painting. Consult the label of the paint for application directions.

  1. Determine the type of pool paint that is on the pool. You cannot paint a pool that has epoxy paint with rubber base paint or visa versa. You can use acrylic paint on any surface.

  2. Drain any water from the swimming pool and remove all debris. Be sure to remove any hydrostatic relief plugs.

  3. Scrape all old, loose pool paint off of pool surface. A high pressure power washer will help.

  4. If there are any cracks in the swimming pool shell, they must be cut out with a diamond blade saw or grinder. Cut the cracks 1/4” deep.

  5. Chip out any divots or loose cement. Caulk the cracks, and patch any large chips or divots with hydraulic cement.

  6. Acid Wash the swimming pool with a 50% water, 50% muriatic acid solution. Be sure to scrub the walls and floor and to use the proper safety equipment and procedures.

  7. Rinse the entire swimming pool, skimmers, fittings, lights, and stairs completely.

  8. Now it is time to re-clean the swimming pool with TSP (trisodium-phosphate). TSP is a detergent available at all paint stores and most hardware stores. Follow the directions on the TSP container. This step will neutralize the acid, and remove the glaze from the existing paint. It will remove any grease, oil or any dirt that the acid did not remove. Rinse with fresh water completely. When you think you have rinsed the entire swimming pool, rinse it again good!!

  9. Pump out all of the water and remove any left over debris. Remove any water from skimmer, and sponge any standing water from low spots around steps and fittings. Allow the swimming pool to dry for 3 - 5 days. (Acrylic paint can be applied on damp or recently wet surfaces) Tape off the tile band and fittings with masking tape to prevent getting any paint on the threads, tile or fittings.

  10. Time to paint your swimming pool! Just before painting the pool, scrape any last minute flakes from the pool surface, Sweep the pool out and sweep or blow any leaves or dirt from the pool deck Check the weather for rain or high winds in the forecast. If there is a chance of rain, wait. Open the swimming pool paint and mix it well. You will want to use an electric drill with a paddle mixer. Mix for about 5 - 7 minutes.

  11. Apply paint with a 3/8” nap roller. Start in the deep end of the swimming pool, work your way to the shallow end. Use an extension pole on your roller for the deep end walls. Mid morning is the best time to paint, after the dew has lifted. Do not apply paint if the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees. Extremely humid weather can be bad. If you do, the paint will not adhere. If you are applying a second coat of paint, wait 2 - 4 hours before re-painting.

  12. The last step is very important. You must wait 5 days before filling the swimming pool so your new paint job can cure completely. (3 days with Acrylic paint) If there is rain during that time, remove any standing water after the rain has stopped. Use a sponge and leaf blower to dry the pool. If the rain lasts more than an hour or two, add a day to the cure time. After the cure time, fill the pool without stopping until the pool is full.

  13. When the pool is full, restart the swimming pool filter system and adjust the total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels to a minimum of 150 PPM. Resume your normal chemical maintenance.

Don't forget to consult your particular paint mfg instructions for application instructions.