Warm temperatures and sunshine are officially here! On particularly hot days as we have here in the south, there is nothing quite as inviting as a pool filled with cool, crisp water. If you have your own private pool, you are probably eager to spend your days swimming, laying out, and hosting pool parties. Although, before you can enjoy your pool, it might need some refurbishing. After all, it has likely been sitting unused for several months.
Painting your pool is one way to even out the surface, protect it from damage, enhance the color, and prevent old chipping paint from contaminating the water. In this post, we will provide the steps for painting your pool so that it stands out and has lasting benefits.
How to Paint Your Pool
1. Choose your paint type
First, determine the type of surface you will be working with. This includes the base material and the previous coating of paint, if any. Typically, if there is an existing coat of paint, you can only paint over it with the same type that was used before. The exception is waterborne acrylic paint, which can be used over other types after priming.
Richard’s Paint offers a line of Pool Guard paints, including Chlorinated Rubber, Solvent Epoxy, and Waterborne Acrylic. They also offer a Tie Coat primer that can be used to prep the surface.
Here is a chart showing which paints work on which surfaces:
If you are not sure what type of paint was previously used on your pool, there is a simple test to find out. First, clean the portion of the pool’s surface area that you will be testing. Then, while wearing protective gear, wipe the area with denatured alcohol followed by Xylene. Pay attention to which substance causes the pool paint to soften.
Waterborne acrylic paint will be softened by denatured alcohol, while chlorinated rubber paint will be softened by Xylene. If neither chemical affects the paint, it is probably epoxy.
2. Choose your paint color
Next, you can choose your paint color. Pools are often painted with cool colors such as blue, green, and teal since the color you choose will be reflected throughout the water. Richard’s Pool Guard paints include the following colors for each paint type:
Once you have chosen your paint type and color, you should determine how much paint you will need. This will depend on the size of your pool. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
3. Prepare the surface
Before you can begin painting, you will need to prepare the surface of the pool. It is very important not to skip this step, since painting a pool that is dirty or in disrepair can lead to worsening and costly issues. Keep in mind, different types of surfaces require different preparation. Let’s look at some examples.
New concrete or gunite
If you have a new concrete or gunite pool, it will need at least 60 days to cure before you start the process. Once it is ready, begin by scrubbing the surface with a 10% solution of muriatic acid, working in sections. This is called acid etching, which will create a sandpaper-like texture to help your paint adhere to the surface. Rinse off the acid when it stops bubbling, and check the etching by splashing some water onto the surface. If it soaks in quickly, the etching worked.
Next, scrub the surface with TSP or a non-sudsy alkali detergent to neutralize the acid and get rid of any remaining dirt or grease. Work in sections so you can thoroughly rinse off the detergent before it dries. Then, let the pool dry completely before applying paint, usually 2-3 days.
Previously painted surfaces
If your pool has old paint that is severely cracking, peeling, or chipping, it is best to completely remove the affected paint coating. You can do this with a scraper, wire brush, sandpaper, or power washer. Then, properly repair and seal any surface cracks or holes.
Afterward, scrub the surface with TSP, giving special attention to the area around the water line. Remember to rinse it off before it dries. Lastly, sand the clean surface with 80-grit sandpaper and wipe off the sanding dust with a damp rag.
Sand your fiberglass pool with 80-100 grit sandpaper to help the surface bond easily with the paint. Then, just wash with TSP and rinse thoroughly, as described above.
4. Apply the paint
Finally, it’s time to paint. Make sure to paint when the temperature is between 50°F and 90°F. Also, try to avoid humidity and high winds.
Before you start, mix your paint well to ensure it provides an even coating with uniform color. If you are using a two-component paint such as Richard’s Solvent Epoxy, stir each component separately before mixing them together in an equal ratio. For best results, use a jiffy mixer for 3-5 minutes to thoroughly combine the two components.
To apply your paint, we suggest using a brush and a low nap roller. Attach an extension pole to your roller to make the process easier, keep the pressure consistent as you roll, and overlap the wet edge slightly on each roll. Use the brush to cut in corners and edges.
Once you have finished a full coat, wait 6-8 hours before applying a second. Two finish coats are recommended for maximum performance.
5. Allow it to cure
When you are finished painting, wait 5-7 days before refilling it with water so that it can dry completely. Refilling too early can cause the paint to bubble or even lose its color.
You may need to allow longer drying time for extra thick coatings, interior pools, or for weather conditions such as rain or high humidity. If it does rain while your pool is drying, use a leaf blower to get excess water and debris out of the pool as quickly as possible.
A Few Reminders
If you have to mix your acid solution with water to achieve 10%, always pour acid into water, never the other way around.
Additionally, acid and other chemicals can be harmful if they come in contact with your eyes or skin, so be sure to wear protective eye gear and gloves for safety.
Lastly, whether you are acid etching, washing, or painting, always do the pool’s walls first, then the floors.
If you are interested in purchasing Richard’s Pool Guard Paints for your pool project, visit your local Marketplace Paints store. We carry the full line of Richard’s Paint products, and our design professionals can help you choose the correct paint and supplies for your needs.
If you have more questions about paints, wallpaper, window treatments, or interior design, you can find more information on our website, www.marketplacepaints.com.