DIY How To Paint A Swimming Pool


Applying a fresh coat of pool paint to your swimming pool is one of the best ways to breathe in a new life to your swimming pool. If you don’t have the budget to hire a pro for the job or simply want to do it yourself, then you can probably do it yourself. Read up on our guide on how to paint a swimming pool below to make sure you do it right the first time. The steps and processes below apply to concrete pool painting in general, as well as other types of swimming pool surfaces.   

12 Steps to Painting a Swimming Pool

It is important that the swimming pool is thoroughly cleaned and prepped and the swimming pool paint is properly applied to prevent the paint from bubbling or blistering. The following steps on how to paint a swimming pool helps you to avoid a major disaster and ensure the best results.

1. Get the Correct Pool Paint

You must choose the correct type of swimming pool paint to use. This is because not all types of swimming pool paints are compatible, meaning you can’t paint a swimming pool that has epoxy paint with chlorinated rubber pool paint. Acrylic paints, on the other hand, are more flexible because they work well on any surface or with any other type of pool paint.

So to ensure that you get the correct type of swimming pool paint, you first need to determine the type of the original or existing paint. There are several ways to do this.

First, you’ll need to get several chips of the existing paint from the swimming pool. Then, prepare three containers that contain an epoxy solvent, a rubber paint solvent, and denatured alcohol. Drop a chip of paint into each container and observe what happens.

  • If the chip of paint is dissolved in the epoxy solvent, then the original paint is certainly epoxy-based. That said, the new paint you plan to apply should be epoxy-based as well.
  • If the chip of paint is dissolved in rubber solvent, then that means that the original paint is rubber-based so you’ll want to use premium acrylic.
  • If the chip of paint is dissolved in denatured alcohol, then the original paint is acrylic so you’ll be using acrylic swimming pool paints.

Now that you know what kind of swimming pool paint you need, you can go ahead and purchase the materials you need for this DIY project.

2. Gather Your Materials

To paint a swimming pool, you’re going to need the following:

  • Swimming pool paint
  • Plaster mix
  • Trisodium-phosphate (TSP)
  • Acid wash or water-muriatic acid solution
  • Nap roller
  • Paint scraper
  • High-pressure power washer
  • Diamond blade saw or grinder
  • Brush
  • Painter’s tape or wide masking tape

3. Clean and Drain the Swimming Pool

Clean the pool by getting rid of everything that’s floating on top of the water. Remove your kids’ pool noodles and pool toys. Use a pool skimmer and remove dried leaves and other debris that have accumulated in the water. If you have a robotic pool cleaner, take it out of the pool as well.

After that, you can now start draining the water out of your swimming pool.

4. Remove Loose Paints

Once the swimming pool is drained, go around the swimming pool and remove any loose paint from the pool’s surface. Scrape them off with a paint scraper or you can use a high-pressure power washer if you have one.

You must get all of the loose pool paints, otherwise, the new paint will only stick to the chipping pool paint (instead of the swimming pool surface) and fall off eventually.

5. Locate and Fix Surface Cracks

Check the surface to be painted for cracks and large chips of concrete. If you see any, cut them out using a diamond blade saw or a grinder at least ¼” deep. Then, caulk the cracks and patch large chips with pool plaster mix. 

6. Clean and Scrub the Swimming Pool

Clean the swimming pool with trisodium-phosphate (TSP) to remove grease and oils. You can get TSP from most paint and hardware stores. Generally, you’ll want to mix 1 lb. of TSP with 2 gallons of water but the instructions may vary depending on the manufacturer so be sure to read the label.

Once mixed, pour the mixture over the swimming pool walls and floor. While doing so, firmly scrub the pool surface with a brush. Rinse off the pool surface with clear water immediately after scrubbing.

7. Acid Washing

Acid washing the swimming pool is important because it removes chalky residue and hard mineral deposits on the pool surface. It also opens up tiny pores on the surface which then allows the new coating of paint to penetrate and stick to the surface much better. Scrub the surface with a brush while acid washing.

Be sure to wear protective gear like gloves and goggles when working with acids. A mask is also helpful in preventing you from inhaling the fumes. Remember, acids can still be harmful even when diluted in water.

After acid washing the pool’s surface, rinse the whole area with clear water and then pump out the water.

8. Clean the Pool with TSP

After acid washing, you’ll need to clean the pool using TSP again. Doing this will neutralize any remaining traces of acid, as well as remove grease and oil that may still be sticking onto the pool’s surface. Remember, the new paint will not adhere to the pool surface if there is even the slightest oil residue on the surface. Also, do not use detergent soap when cleaning the pool area because it is not a good alternative to TSP. Besides, detergents leave a soapy film which will create a barrier between the pool surface and the new paint.

Rinse the pool completely with clear water.

9. Clean and Dry the Swimming Pool

Pump out all the remaining water in the swimming pool and remove any debris. Clear out the water from the skimmer and wipe away standing water from low spots and around the steps and fittings.

Leave the swimming pool to dry for at least 3-5 days. Although you can use acrylic pool paint on damp surfaces (if that’s the type of pool paint you want to use) it’s still better to wait for the pool surface to completely dry before application.

10. Tape the Pool

Once the pool is completely dry, tape off the tile band or the lower edge of the pool tile, fittings, and other non-removable items with painter’s tape or wide masking tape to prevent the paint from getting on them. Pool lights, drain covers, and pool ladders are normally removed before painting.

11. Check the Weather

You’ll want the weather to be perfect when you paint your swimming pool since even the slightest rain can wash away the paint while it’s still wet. Check the weather forecast for the following days and make sure that you have clear and sunny skies ahead. If there is a chance of rain or even high winds, then you’ll want to wait.

You might also like: How To Clean Tile At The Swimming Pool Waterline

12. Painting the Swimming Pool

Open the swimming pool paint and mix it well. You can use an electric drill with a paddle mixer to make things easier.

After thoroughly mixing the paint, use a ½” nap roller to apply the paint. Don’t use a roller with too much nap because it will shed. Start by applying the paint on the deeper end of the pool and work your way towards the narrower end of the pool. Wait at least 2 hours or until the paint is dry to the touch before applying a second coating.

Experts generally agree that the best time to paint a swimming pool is around mid-morning after the dew has lifted. Also, do not apply paint when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit because extremely humid weather will affect how well the paint adheres to the pool surface.

Give the paint 4-5 days to cure. After that, you can now fill your pool with clear water, add and the necessary pool chemicals to balance the pool water and use a pool test kit to check water quality. Now, your pool is ready for use.



Q: What kind of paint do you use for a swimming pool?


There are three kinds of paint which are generally used to paint a swimming pool. These are epoxy, premium acrylic and water-based acrylic. Chlorinated and synthetic rubber paints were also used in the past but are now phased out because of the negative impact it has on the environment.

Q: Is painting a pool a good idea?


Painting a pool has several benefits. For one, it offers a seamless and smooth finish. They are also pretty durable, with some high quality epoxy-based paints lasting for as long as 10 years. Proper pool maintenance can help to increase its lifespan. Pool paints also come in a wide array of colors to choose from.

Q: How much does it cost to paint a pool?


Painting a swimming pool can cost anywhere between $450 and $650. The price can go up or down depending on several factors like the size of the pool, the quality and amount of materials to be used, and the charges or fees of the contractor.

Q: How do you paint a concrete pool?


The first step of concrete pool painting involves draining and cleaning the swimming pool. Then, you’ll have to prep and prime the surface to be painted. Only after that can you start with painting the swimming pool. Refer to the article above for a more detailed discussion of the processes involved in concrete pool painting.

Q: Can I paint my own pool?


Yes, you can paint your own pool if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional or would simply prefer to do it yourself. Make sure that you research and read up on articles on how to paint a swimming pool so you can minimize or avoid any unnecessary pool painting mistakes.

Q: Can you paint a pool without draining it?


No, you need to empty or drain your swimming pool before you can paint it. Acrylic pool paints are water-based and can be applied to damp pool shells which means you don’t have to wait for your swimming to completely dry prior to painting. Nonetheless, you need to empty your pool before you can get any actual paint job done.

Q: Why are pools painted blue?


Pools are painted blue in order to enhance the bluish color of water. It really is nothing more than an aesthetic preference, and you can see a lot of swimming pools that are painted in various shades of white and green. Some manufacturers even offer midnight black and stone gray paint colors.

Q: How long will pool paint last?


That will depend on the type of pool paint you use. For instance, acrylic pool paint can last anywhere from 2-4 years, while epoxy pool paint has a longer lifespan and can last from 5-7 years. The number of years mentioned can either go up or down depending on the quality of the pool paint.

Q: Can you paint a concrete pool?


Yes, concrete pool painting is not only possible but also pretty common. Residential and commercial swimming pools often choose pool painting over other options because of its benefits. If you plan to paint your concrete pool yourself be sure to read up on how to paint a swimming pool so you’ll have a good idea of what to do.

Globo Surf Overview

Applying a fresh coat of paint is a big project that requires a lot of time and effort. Yes, it is a time-consuming task but it’s not as difficult as many people imagine it to be. If you plan to paint your swimming pool yourself, be sure to take some time to read up and research how to paint a swimming pool to ensure the best results. Whether the project is about concrete pool painting or painting other types of pool surfaces, proper planning, surface preparation, and using best practices when applying swimming pool paint will help you to avoid a major DIY catastrophe.

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