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Pool paint provides a smooth, chemically resistant,
waterproof coating that can be applied to concrete
(gunite), fiberglass, plaster, or most any other interior
There are several types of paint available
that yield a variety of colors.
Each type has certain
properties that make them more suitable for specific
surfaces and environments. Generally speaking
painted interiors will last from 3 to 5 years before
needing to be re-painted, with 1 to 8 years being the extremes.
How long a painted pool
surface lasts depends on several factors: initial preparation and application, type of paint, water
balance, chemicals and geographic region of your pool are all factors in how well a painted
surface will perform.
There are 3 types of pool paint: Acrylic (water-based), Chlorinated Rubber and Epoxy.
is the longest lasting of the 3 finishes.
As with any pool interior how you maintain your pool is
critical to the look and life of the finish.
Maintaining good water balance and proper use of
chemicals will ensure the longest life from your painted finish.
The following are the water
balance guidelines you should use to maintain your pool with a painted pool surface; more
details on water chemistry are available in the
Water Chemistry
1-3 ppm
Total Alkalinity
Calcium Hardness
Total alkalinity levels for painted pools are higher than other pool types.
Test strips
and other indicators will show the general range for alkalinity as 80-120 ppm.
With painted
pools an alkalinity that is too low will actually begin to dissolve the top layer of paint, therefore
it is recommended that a higher alkalinity level of 125-180 (150 is ideal) be maintained.
If you routinely shock your pool using a lithium or mono-persulfate type oxidizer it will be much
gentler on your painted surface.
Shocking your pool is a necessary part of any chemical
routine and should be performed every one to two weeks; see
Shocking or Superchlorination
for details.
With time all painted surfaces will fade, the darker the color the more quickly and more
pronounced this will be.
Your pool professional may be able to recommend an acid-wash to
brighten a dull or chalking finish but eventually your pool will need repainted.
When it is time to
have your pool re-painted you must know what type of paint is currently on your pool.
Chlorinated rubber based paints must be covered with chlorinated rubber and Epoxy paints
with Epoxy.
Acrylic is the only paint type than can coat another.
If you are uncertain as to
what type of paint is on your pool- don’t guess, take a paint chip to your pool professional they
can test it or send it to the paint manufacturer for further analysis. As mentioned earlier, good
surface preparation and proper application are critical to a successful paint job.
Your pool
professional will probably offer this service, but if you decide to paint the pool yourself be sure
to carefully read and follow all manufacturers’ instructions and take the proper steps to prepare
the surface.
This generally begins with sandblasting the old painted surface and removing any
loose paint.
Remember paint is only as good as the surface it is applied to.
Any imperfections
on the surface will show (and possibly be magnified) once they are painted.