Painting a swimming pool is one of those jobs that is so demanding and extensive that you want tomake sure you do it right the first time. This guide will explain the differences between three most popular painting techniques, as well the advantages and shortcomings of each of them.
Let’s first explore the scenario where your pool already has an existing layer of old paint. You need to determine the paint type because it may not be compatible with what you have. If you haven’t saved the paint can, take a sample of the old paint and send it to any paint manufacturer and you will get the answer. Alternatively, you can run your own series of tests. Scrape a 1 inch paint chip and let it sit in denatured alcohol.
If the chip dissolves, the paint is water-based, also known as acrylic paint. However if the chip doesn’t dissolve, drop a new chip in 75% mineral spirits and 25% Xylol. After 30 seconds, remove the chip and rub it between your fingers. If it dissolves, you are dealing with synthetic rubber-based coating. If it still stays intact, immerse the last chip in 100% Xylol. If it dissolves, it is chlorinated rubber paint, if it does not, it is epoxy paint.
Currently there are three paint types that are used for pools: epoxy, premium acrylic and water-based acrylic. Environmental concerns have long ago ruled once very popular chlorinated rubber paints. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three paints.
Epoxy Pool Paint
This solvent-based paint is the most durable option and the one that is the most resistant to chemicals, stains and physical damage. It can last up to eight years and gets a durable satin finish when it dries. It can be used with success on previously unpainted concrete, plaster, fiberglass, and gunite pools. It can also be used for repainting pools that have previously been coated with epoxy.In a recent conversation with highly-rated suppliers of swimming pool paint, I learned that it can be exploited for smoothing rough surfacesas it builds up to 8 mils dry per coat.
Epoxy paint application is the most complicated procedure of all three pool paint types. Not only do bare fiberglass and old epoxy surfaces have to be sanded to a #80 grit profile, but they also have to be cleaned and acid washed. It is also the pool paint that dries the slowest.
This paint replaced chlorinated and synthetic rubber-based paints, as it complies with environmental regulations concerning volatile organic compounds (VOC). It has the life expectancy of 4 years and can be used for painting unpainted concrete and plaster pools, as well surfaces previously painted with acrylic. And advantage of acrylic is that it can be applied to damp surfaces and it dries to a high gloss finish. However, it should not be used on wood and fiberglass surfaces or hot tubs and spas.
This pool paint option dries the quickest for all three types. It only takes 3 dry days for outdoor pools and 6 days for indoors. When the pool needs to be refilled as soon as possible, water-based acrylic is the way to go. Unfortunately, quick drying comes with a price. It has the shortest life span of them all, limiting it to one season for commercial pools and 2 years for home pools.
If you are dealing with unpainted concrete or plaster pool, go with premium acrylic or even better epoxy paint. Pools previously painted with banned synthetic rubber or acrylic, your choice should be premium or water-based acrylic, while epoxy paint is best for unpainted fiberglass or gunite as well as old epoxy costings.