Step One: Time your pool painting project
If your pool is outdoors, as most are, you’ll need to time your pool painting project to suit the weather. Ideally, you’ll need a minimum of one week without rain and with at least a few hours of sun to ensure your paint job will be a success.
We recommend painting on a day between 24 and 44 degrees Celsius and avoid extremely humid days and days with high winds – you don’t want any debris attaching itself to fresh paint!
Before and after painting, your pool needs to be very dry (unless you’ve chosen acrylic pool paint or epoxy primer), so you’ll need to be prepared in the instance of rain or wind. Have a leaf blower and clean shoes on hand to clean out the pool of any debris or rain water as soon as possible.
We recommend waiting a few days after a storm to paint, as a higher water table can ‘float’ the pool, which may end up dislodging your pool from the ground. To avoid this, open up the hydrostatic relief caps at the bottom of your pool.
Step Two: Prep your pool
You’ll need to prep your pool for paint. The first step is to drain the pool and open the hydrostats. Ideally, you want to drain the water as far away from your pool as possible.
From there, take the time to scrape away any loose paint and repair or fill any cracks or hollow spots with filler.
Then rinse and scrub your pool with Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP) to remove any excess oils in the pool and acid wash the pool’s surface to roughen it up a bit. Rinse both these products off thoroughly.
Then, pump out any remaining water and let your pool dry completely over three to five days and tape up any lights, tiles and fittings with painter’s tape.
Finally, make sure you follow any manufacturer’s directions on your Surface Prep Kit (such as TSP or acid etching products) to make sure you create the prime surface for your paint to bond to.
Step Three: Painting the Pool
Once your pool is completely prepped and dry, you’re ready to paint it. We recommend adding a primer, especially if you’re pool has never been painted, to improve the bond and extend the distance of the more expensive finishing coat. There are several different types of primers, consult our pool primer chart to choose the right one for you.
Before painting, mix your paint using a power drill with a mixing paddle to ensure that it is mixed thoroughly. Epoxy paints have an additive that begins to react when you mix it into the paint – so make sure you finish each batch within a few hours of mixing.
Start your painting in the deep end – you don’t want to end up trapped there at the end! We recommend investing in a telescoping pole to reach all the way up the walls.
- A low-nap roller (3/8 nap or less) will created the smoothest surfaces and a 5 gallon bucket with a grid is superior to a low, flat paint pan for this task.
- Buy a wooden extension pole and screw this into the roller frame to help you roll the paint more easily.
- Overlap your strokes of paint just slightly and use an even pressure for a superior finish.
- Use a small cut-in brush to handle the 90 degree corners around steps and swim outs.
Before, during and after painting, blow off the pool desk with a leaf blower or garden hose to stop any debris blowing into your pool. We also recommend tying up your dog – as they seem particularly partial to running circles in a drained pool.
If you need to put down multiple coats of paint, follow the directions on the paint can closely and never rush a second coat of paint if the first isn’t ready. It can take up to 8 hours for paint to dry.
Monitor the amount of paint you’re using – you don’t want to run short, nor do you want to have lots leftover!
Painting doesn’t have to be tedious. Take advantage of the fact that you’ve prepped the entire area for a new coat and add a few fun coloured stencils, splatters or even a complete mural across the bottom of the pool. Remember, it’s your pool – so do what you like!
Step Four: After painting the pool
You’ve done it! Paint job complete! Unfortunately, you can’t just jump right in. Pool paint takes up to five days to dry, so you’ll have to be patient. You also need to keep an eye on the weather outside and get down there with a leaf blower and clean shoes to keep moisture and debris away from your masterpiece.
Step Five: Filling the painted pool
Now the paint is completely dry, fill the pool with water and don’t stop until it’s full. Then balance the pH, alkalinity and hardness levels. Add chlorine, start the filter system and jump in!