Hi everyone, first post.
I just bought the worst house in the nicest neighborhood that happens to have an 18x36 concrete pool that has been a koi pond for the last 20 years. Now as one can imagine, it is in terrible disrepair. (You should have seen the house!) I am absolutely ready for the challenge of breathing new life into it, (and maintaining it, thanks to TFP) but where I am stuck is where to begin. It will need to be drained to repair the concrete and inspect the plumbing, but then what?
I am a do-it-right-the-first-time kind of person, but unfortunately, my budget dictates how right right can be, at least for now. I know already that I cannot afford a professional plaster job, and I'd rather not mess with a liner, so that leaves me with three options:
Repaint - We can swim right away and it will look nice, but will come full-circle in one or two years. ($225 for (2) 5 gal buckets of pool paint at Home Depot)
Blast off the paint and just refill bare - We can swim right away, and won't have to remove the paint later when I can plaster it, but it will be ugly and I may/will have a harder time keeping chemical balance.
Plaster - This is what I want to do, and I have the skills and the time, but I can only afford to work with raw materials. This is where I've run into a snag - I can't seem to find white portland cement. So can I use Versabond? It is, after all, white portland cement with aggregate and fortifier - just what I want, right? And it's only $15 per 50# bag. I have a cheap source for glass bead blasting media to add, if necessary.
If that is a viable option, how thin can I go? 1/8" (cheap!) 1/4" (sure, ok) or 1/2" (I will if I have to)
If not, what do I get and where? The professional pool industry seems frustratingly secretive and closed off to the diy crowd.