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Selecting the Best Pool Paint for an Inground Swimming Pool

Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Basic pool maintenance and care is enough work for most people to do each day. When it comes to painting a pool, that might seem like too big of a project for you to handle on your own. Should you really hire a professional to do this or can you do it yourself?
 
Painting a pool can be done yourself. You just need to learn some things first, such as which pool paint to choose for the surface of your pool. In many cases, the walls of your pool will already have paint on them. Figure out which type of paint was used if you can. That will make it easier to select the next paint for the walls.

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What is Pool Paint? Is it Like Regular Paint?

Pool paint is basically like regular paint, but it is waterproof. The paint is formulated to survive exposure to rain, wind, UV rays, and chlorine chemicals for months and years. None of these elements will affect the paint.
 
The reason you might want to apply new paint to the walls is if there are scrapes or scuffs on the existing paint. Things like pool toys or rowdy children can mark up the paint easily.
 
Pool paint is more expensive than regular paint, though. On top of that, it’ll take a lot of pool paint to cover all the walls of your pool, depending on the size of it. So, only paint your pool walls if they really demand it.

Signs That You Must Paint Your Pool

Do you only want to change the color of your pool walls? If so, you can certainly use that as an excuse to paint the walls if you don’t mind all the hard work involved. But you should consider waiting to paint the pool walls until you don’t have a choice anymore. Here are some signs that your pool desperately needs a new paint job.

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1) Signs of Fading or Staining

All paint will fade eventually, but even more so when it has constant outdoor exposure. In a swimming pool, the sanitizing chemicals will slowly wear down the paint. Also, if there is a lot of mineral content or metal content in the water, it’ll cause stains on the walls.
 
Prior to painting your pool under these conditions, it must be acid washed first. Acid eliminates stains and dirt particles from your walls. You are not supposed to paint over the dirt and stains because the texture won’t appear even on the walls. Every paint job requires you to clean the surface first, whether you’re painting pool walls or bedroom walls. Sometimes sanding is even necessary too.
 
So, don’t think that you can just cover the faded or dirty walls with paint. Not only will it look horrible if you do this, but the dirt will eventually seep through the new layer of paint and cause problems for you all over again.

2) Slippery Paint

Pool paint is waterproof, which makes it rather slippery. When you try to step out of your pool, you might have some problems because of the slippery paint. Since this is a safety concern, keep pets and children away from the pool. Otherwise, keep a close eye on them. If you’re slipping easily on the pool, then chances are they will too.
 
A new paint job can fix the slippery pool problem. There are two ways to do this. One way is to take a couple of tablespoons of soft rubber particles or fine sand particles and mix them with your new paint. This is the paint that you will apply to your pool steps, benches, swim out areas, or shallow areas.
 
Another way is to paint the steps first and then put 2 tbsp of soft sand on top of them.
 
Try not to use more sand than this in either case. If you exceed 2 tbsp of sand, it’ll increase the grittiness of the benches and steps of your pool. The sand particles will rub against your wet skin and cause you a great deal of pain.

3) Bubbles in the Paint

Paint bubbles could form on the pool surface if it wasn’t prepared the right way first. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire surface needs to be repainted. It depends on the severity of the situation.
 
This is the reason why pool surfaces must be cleaned and dried before applying paint. If you don’t do these things, then bubbles will form for sure after you paint. Sometimes a hot surface or a thick application of the paint can cause blistering and bubbling too.
 
In any case, try repairing these bubbly areas of the pool and then repainting over them. But if you notice any stains or fading of the walls in addition to the bubbles, then you might as well repaint the whole surface of the pool.
 
Try to avoid painting your pool in the mid-summer because the surface heat causes blisters in the paint. It is better to wait for cooler temperatures during autumn or possibly the early winter if the weather is cool and dry.

4) Chalky Paint

Imbalanced pool chemistry can cause chalky paint. This happens when the alkalinity level or pH level of your pool water is not balanced. Either you’re not using enough chemicals, or you’re using too many chemicals, and it’s causing the pool paint to wear away and become chalky. In other words, the surface will have a powdery white residue on it. The residue will easily get onto your bathing suit, hands, feet, and anywhere else that is exposed to it.
 
You can try shocking the pool, but that probably won’t get rid of the haziness in the water. If you add calcium hypochlorite, that could make the chalking worse. In this case, you’ll have no choice but to repaint the pool. After you do that, keep the water chemistry balanced this time so that chalking doesn’t happen again.

Types of Pool Paints

There are two main types of pool paint. They are as follows:

1) Epoxy Paint

  • Solvent base
  • Great durability and can resist most chemicals, abrasions, and stains.
  • 8-year lifespan
  • Satin finish
  • Can be applied to fiberglass, gunite, plaster, and unpainted concrete surfaces.
  • Can be applied over existing epoxy paint
  • After the paint is dry, one coat equals eight mils. This smooths out rough surfaces.
  • The drying time is rather long. Outdoor pools take between 5 and seven days. Indoor pools take between 10 and 14 days.

2) Acrylic Paint (Water-based)

  • Water base
  • Not so resistant to stains and chemicals
  • 2-year lifespan
  • Eggshell finish
  • Can be applied to plaster and concrete surfaces.
  • Can be applied over existing rubber, acrylic, or epoxy paints.
  • It has a fast-drying time. Outdoor pools take three days. Indoor pools take six days.
Should You Call a Professional?

Are you overwhelmed by all this? Are you unclear about how to drain the water out of your pool before painting it? Perhaps you don’t have the time or confidence to do the job? If any of these situations apply to you, then call a professional pool painter to ensure the job gets done right. It’ll cost you more money for materials and labor, but at least you’ll know that mistakes won’t be made.

Conclusion

After your pool has been painted, you will be so happy with yourself and what you’ve accomplished. What seemed impossible at first was finally done! That is how you will feel.
 
If you understand the different paint types and the kind of pool surface that you have, then it is easy to choose the right pool paint. As soon as you see the warning signs that a paint job is warranted, get started immediately.

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