Ask the Pool Guy: Painting Pools, Things you should Know {FAQ}

Ask the Pool Guy gives advice on how to paint your pool in the quickest and safest way possible.

Spring is approaching here in Michigan. We start getting calls from people who want their pools "painted." They're not sure what that means, their assumption is that it's a painted finish. Sometimes, it is. Often times, it's not.
Here's my recommendation. If your pool has been painted in the past and you know it's been painted and it needs to be refurbished, it either needs to be repainted with a similar paint or it needs to be sandblasted and then either resurface with a different type of paint or resurface with a cement product like a marcite based finish.
If you're going to paint your pool, realize that the pool that's empty is like a boat. It's waiting to float out of the ground. I would never recommend you drain the pool and let it sit empty ever especially during rainy season which is Spring but never is better than ever in this case.
If you're going to paint it though and you have the right paint and you know that you're going to need to do it, my recommendation is do it as quickly as you can. Get it painted. It does need a day or two to dry before you fill a back up but that's what always make me nervous. That's why we've never, I should not say never, but we don't ever do it now.
A few times in my early years we painted pools, I would never do that again because there's too many liabilities with what if the weather changes and we get rain or water underground. Their underground river has changed and there's pressure that push the pool out of the ground. I've seen the after effects of pools being pushed under the ground. It's not a pretty site and it's not an easy fix.
If you're going to paint your pool though, acid wash it, TSP it which is to neutralize the acid. Let it dry. Paint it as fast as you can. Let it sit the minimum amount of time it needs to sit depending on the paint. It's going to be two to four days typically and then fill it immediately.
Don't, "Well, I'll drain it this week and I'll get to it next week," or put the pump in Friday night thing. You put a little pump this big and they're thinking, "That will be empty by morning." Two days later, it's still not empty and you're going back to work Monday morning. I've seen this happen and that's where a lot of problems come in.
If I were to come in, I pump it with the three-inch hoses, have it empty in an hour and be working. If you get a little pump and you think it's going to pump fast, it sometimes it takes days. If you throw that in on Friday, the pool is not empty by Sunday, people will go, "Well, I'll do it next week and leave it empty." That's when we have pools pop up out of the ground.
If you're going to do it, get it empty as fast as you possibly can. Get it acid washed and TSP to neutralize the acid. Get it dry as quickly as you can get it dry and get it painted immediately. Let it dry, get it filled and do this within a couple of days as fast as you possibly can. It minimizes the risk.
The downside to that is, if the paint is not enough to dry long enough, it's going to tend to chalk up within a year or so. There's that balance. You don't want drain it, let it dry, ready to touch and fill it either because the paint won't last but you don't want to let it dry and vacant it for two weeks and then fill it because of the risk of what can happen if it's left that be.

Music in the videos:
"Bright Wish", "Cipher", "Sunshine", "Sunshine (version 2)", "Wallpaper"
Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0