Repainting your swimming pool is not a DIY project for the faint-hearted, and we cannot stress enough the importance of speaking with professionals before starting your project. Painting a swimming pool is not your typical DIY weekend project – there is a lot of preparation involved, and the result of not properly preparing your surface or incorrect application can be catastrophic! It is important that you have done your research before starting this project (not only on how to complete this project, but also about your own pool) and are armed with the best knowledge, tools and confidence to complete the job. If at any stage of the project you have questions, concerns or doubts – get in touch with a professional!
What type of pool do I have?
There are two standard types of pool coating used - Chlorinated Rubber Coating and Epoxy Pool Coating.
A chlorinated rubber coating is used on concrete swimming pools that dries as a thick, rubbery, low-sheen finish. This is the most popular coating to use on concrete swimming pools as it less likely to chalk.
Epoxy pool coating is a hard-drying, gloss finish that is resistant to chemicals and oils. Epoxy coatings are most commonly used on fibreglass and marblesheen pools due to its high durable finish, but can also be used on concrete pools.
It’s important to work out what type of coating is on your pool as this will determine what product you use on your pool surface (e.g. epoxy coated pools can only be recoated in epoxy). To determine the type of coating on your pool, use acetone on a rag to rub over a small area of your pool’s surface. If there is minimal reaction to the paint, the surface is probably epoxy; however if the paint dissolves and become sticky to touch it is likely to be chlorinated rubber.
How to prepare your pool to be painted
Drain your pool
In order to repaint your pool, it will firstly need to be drained. Speak to a professional prior to doing this to ensure you are completing the process correctly, as pools that are drained incorrectly can cause a lot of irreversible damage. If you have a fibreglass pool, make sure you speak to the manufacturer before you begin draining, as fibreglass pools can “pop out” of place if they do not have water in them to weigh them down.
Depending on the size, make and age of your pool, different drying times will apply:
- if you are painting an existing concrete pool, we recommend you allow a minumum of one week (but preferrable two weeks and subject to weather conditions) for your pool to properly dry;
- if you are painting a new concrete pool, we recommend you allow four weeks for the concrete to properly cure before painting.
Prepare the surface
The exact process and time required to prepare your pool’s surface before painting is going to come down to a few different variables:
- Whether your pool is new and has an unpainted surface, or if it has previously been painted before;
- Whether you are coating with epoxy or chlorinated rubber;
- Whether your pool’s surface is concrete, fibreglass, marblesheen, or another base;
- The instructions that are provided by the supplier of the product you are purchasing.
While the preparation process is going to vary based on the above points, all pool surfaces are going to require these preparation steps:
1.Ensuring your pool is clean.
It is important to make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned your pool surface to remove traces of oil, grease, scum and any other impurities. You can scrub your pool clean by using a stiff-bristled broom or brush and cleaning detergents, making sure that you pay close attention to the steps and below the tile line. Thoroughly rinse with clean water.
2.Ensuring your pool surface is abraded.
Swimming pool paint will not stick to surfaces that are smooth or glossy. This means that you may need to sand the surface back to remove any gloss finish, or roughen up the surface after cleaning and removing any existing product.
Other preparation steps that may be relevant to your project can include (but aren’t limited to) high pressure water blasting, sand blasting, acid washing, repairing cracks and re-priming the surface … but in order to determine what needs to be done to prepare your pool surface, make sure you talk to our experts at our Inspirations Paint stores that sell swimming pool paint products.
Applying the paint
When should I paint my pool?
- Before you start painting your pool, check the weather forecast. You will need about a week’s worth of dry weather to compete this project.
- You should complete painting between 8 and 11am to reduce the likelihood of the painted surface from coming into contact with evening dew.
- Avoid painting in the middle of the day in summer as the harsh “middle of the day” sun can affect how the paint cures – and provide a shade covering after painting in the morning to protect from the direct sunlight when drying/curing.
- Typically the paint should only be applied between temperatures of 10 and 30 degrees Celsius.
How should I paint my pool?
- Refer to the packaging for instructions on how to prepare your paint product before application, as a different preparation process applies for epoxy paint and chlorinated rubber paint. The packaging may also advise of any specific application instructions you need to follow.
- Use a clean, stiff brush to apply the paint in the corners of the pool and under the tile line.
- Use a lambswool roller to apply the paint to the walls and floor. Starting from the deep end and making your way to the shallow end (or the end furthest away from the steps), apply paint to the walls first. Repeat the same process for the floor, ensuring you leave the steps until last (you don’t want to get stuck in the pool!).
- Pay careful attention to ensure that no patches are missed, and that application is even along the surface.
- Apply 3 coats of paint to the surface, leaving 24 hours between coatings.
- It is important to ensure your pool doesn’t come into contact with any water for time directed on your product’s labelling to allow the paint to properly cure. This includes refilling your pool, rain and dew, as the water can cause discolouring and can also affect the durability and lifespan of your pool’s recoat. You may want to consider protecting the pool with a covering such as a tarp during the recoat prices, and for the first 72 hours of curing time.
- Generally, it is recommended to leave the pool 14 days prior to refilling to allow plenty of time for the paint to cure. Refer to your product for specific instructions.
Is this the best project for me?
We understand DIY projects are exciting and love to see people get hands on with their home renovations, but before tackling this project make sure you are up for the challenge. If a pool painting project goes pear-shaped, it is not a cheap fix!
Common reasons pool painting projects go wrong
- Instructions are not read/followed properly. Painting a pool is much more complex and involved compared to painting a house or room, and requires you to follow the instructions to a tee.
- Painting is competed in inappropriate weather conditions (too hot, too wet, too humid etc) and the paint does not stick or cure properly.
- The surface has not been prepared well enough.
- Deterioration or damage to a surface has not been repaired appropriately.
- No two pools are the same, they are installed and built specifically based on individual conditions applicable to your home’s backyard and underground water pressure.
Have a chat to our friendly experts!
Not all Inspirations Paint stores sell swimming pool paint so before you head in to have a chat with the team, give your local store a call to see if they sell the product first. The above steps are just a general overview of completing a swimming pool project and should not be followed unless you’ve had a chat to our expert staff who will be able to advise and instructions specific to the requirements of your project.