Also Known As: Pool Paint

Paint offers a seamless, smooth finish that comes in a rainbow of colors, is easy to clean and, with careful maintenance can last for many years. The paint itself comes in a wide variety of formulas: acrylic- or water-based, epoxy-based and rubber-based. Yet painting can present a set of costly problems.

Acrylic paints are less durable than epoxy-based paints, but do not require a catalyst or hardener, and so are easier to apply. However, reapplication is necessary every two to three years. Epoxy-based products require mixing resin and hardener, under very specific application conditions. Unlike acrylic paints, epoxy paints can only be applied over unpainted surfaces or a previous epoxy-based layer. However, with proper application and maintenance, epoxy paint can last up to seven to 10 years.

As with any paint job, prep and application are critical considerations, before and after the job is done. Painting a pool surface that is not clean, dry and free of wind-blown dirt and debris can cause major problems, including peeling. In addition, each paint manufacturer has technical, product-specific guidelines for temperature and humidity during paint application.

Preparation for the painting process can be tricky. The pool shell must be completely without moisture, which typically requires at least five consecutive days of dry weather before the paint can be applied. After painting, the coating may also need two to five additional days of arid weather for the paint to properly dry and cure before refilling the pool.

Once the paint is applied and the pool is refilled, the surface may blister, peel or chalk, especially if there were any application issues or if the water chemistry is less than ideal. Pool chemical treatments and cleaning tools may damage paint finishes. And if the paint peels, the pool must be completely drained. Then loose paint can be scraped off and the area can be repainted.

Still, paint can offer a relatively inexpensive finish that many pool owners and managers may be able to accomplish without professional help.