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Thread: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

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    diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    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.
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Interesting webpage on a DIY plaster job with info on plaster materials - Swimming Pool Plastering Do-It-Yourself Project

    - - - Updated - - -

    You might also try PM'ing TFP Plaster Expert onBalance. He owns plastering companies in CA and AZ and knows just about anything there is to know about plaster.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and NICE JOB becoming a paid member on your FIRST post!!! Believe when I say, there will be many people watching your home/pool renovation project...
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Welcome to TFP!

    This is just the thread you need. Good luck!
    DIY Pool restoration project
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    I am SO in to watch this one!

    Was it REALLY used as a koi pond?

    I am guessing it holds water so that is a big first step. To me the the next thing would be checking the equipment and plumping lines before I worry too much about the plaster.

    Those links above will be very helpful to you.

    WOW on becoming a supporting member right off the bat. That will help you with your photo amount.

    PLEASE go ahead and share a picture of your koi pond and tell us about the house as well. We LOVE reno stories!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    I'm not sure what you want to know but first I strongly suggest you read the threads above. The thread posted by pooldv is extremely informative from a diy perspective.

    As I read you post you want to mix your own plaster? Probably not a good idea. First there are plenty of premixed plasters out there many of which can be ordered from most local masonry and cement supply houses. Go into one and talk to the manager and see what he can do for you. You may have to do some research and find out what lines he offers and what those lines have. Most of these places sell a lot of what their customers order and they often don't fully understand the breath of the product lines and are surprised at what they can order for you.

    Second, the cost of much of this material is directly related to the cost of trucking it all around. So the cost of obtaining a specialty material like white Portland cement may be high in your location. But it is available. Its even listed on Home Depot online.

    Finally, I would go with a premixed pool plaster. This is hard exhausting work for a diy project. The less you can screw up the better. Having to make sure your your mix is correct when you are tired and plastering is not easy for professionals and its much more difficult for the dyi.

    In the LA basin or suburban Dallas or even suburban Sacramento you have multiple plaster vendors selling a variety of products. You may not have that so prices and selection may be more limited for a dyi.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    [QUOTE=JoyfulNoise;974274]Interesting webpage on a DIY plaster job with info on plaster materials - Swimming Pool Plastering Do-It-Yourself Project

    That is a great article which I will surely reference throughout this project. The white portland cement isn't available, even online, at any of the box stores around here. I'll walk in an see if they can special order it. I'll also check the local masonry company where I get my fire brick.

    You might also try PM'ing TFP Plaster Expert onBalance. He owns plastering companies in CA and AZ and knows just about anything there is to know about plaster.

    I will. Thanks!
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    This is just the thread you need. Good luck!
    DIY Pool restoration project

    Wow, that pool was in much worse shape! My cracks and pits are only above the water line.
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    It's disappointing to hear that I shouldn't mix my own plaster. I will need 50 cu.ft. of material (1200 sf @ 1/2" thick), so if I can't get it for what it would have cost me to self-mix ($30/cu.ft) I'm afraid I will have to go with options 1 or 2 and save up for next spring for a premixed product. I'll look a little more proactively to find a source. I do have an federal EIN...

    That said, If I just cleaned it up and refilled without paint, what would I expect with regard to water balance or even structural/equipment damage?
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    This is the pool in its current state. (It really was a koi pond!) There is no equipment but the original Sta-rite pump cir. 1963. But, because I am a craigslist ninja, I have acquired nearly everything needed. To get what I wanted out of a deal, I had to buy all of the sellers' equipment, which means I have four pumps, two diving boards, two cover reels, two filters, ladders, railings, misc equipment and fittings, and even a working 2004 Raypak gas heater - $1100 total. If I can resell the unneeded items, I will have about <$400 into equipment. The filters and diving boards are in excellent shape, and everything else is pretty good. I don't know how efficient the pump is, but I'll keep the 1H Pac-Fab Pinnacle/Centurion pump if I need more flow.
    IMG_3991.jpg
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Well at least you can see it LOL

    Did you get all of the koi out?

    What is your water table like there?

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    If it were me, I'd just clean it up, get it working and do nothing to the surface,
    until you have the budget for a proper re-plaster.

    I had a painted pool once (previous owner painted) and wouldn't recommend it.

    Anytime you brush it, the paint comes off into the water like an algae bloom then
    you have to wait 3 days with the pump constantly running to clear it up.

    And who knows what you'll find once it's cleaned up...might be ok.

    keep us up with the progress...always fun to observe these.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    White Portland cement is going to be a special order.
    I would be talking to the guys at the counter at the masonry supply and concrete supply houses-- they can cut deals if they want to -- who knows whats in the back of the warehouse.

    If you are a Craigslist Ninja you might try getting pool plaster online. Its been done by folks on here before -- although in So Cal in the middle of the recession.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    If it were me, I'd just clean it up, get it working and do nothing to the surface,
    until you have the budget for a proper re-plaster.

    I had a painted pool once (previous owner painted) and wouldn't recommend it.

    Anytime you brush it, the paint comes off into the water like an algae bloom then
    you have to wait 3 days with the pump constantly running to clear it up.

    And who knows what you'll find once it's cleaned up...might be ok.

    keep us up with the progress...always fun to observe these.
    I think this is what I'll do - just have fun swimming and learning tfpc this summer and save up for the right materials for next spring.

    I've read here that bare concrete will make it difficult to maintain water balance, but the post didn't go into detail. What should I expect?
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Well at least you can see it LOL

    Did you get all of the koi out?

    What is your water table like there?

    Kim
    I'm at the edge of a wetland, but there's a hill that begins at the far side of the pool that drops about 8' feet over 20' or so. That should eliminate the possibility of floating the pool, right?

    After the owner passed away, the estate's trust donated the koi to Frederik Meijer Gardens' which just opened a Japanese garden exhibit. There were hundreds.
    26K IG painted gunite / 24" Cristal-flo (prefilter) to Pentair Warrior DE filter / 1hp Hayward Super II / TF-100

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    I'm not sure that the bare gunite surface is a good idea. I really think you should at least paint it even if the paint isn't very good. Pool water in contact with bare concrete will neither be good for the water (high pH and calcium levels) but could even be detrimental or damaging to the gunite.



    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Did you get to see them catching the koi? I bet that was a circus! I hope there are no babies in there still.

    I would use care to not have it without water just in case (I will NEVER tell someone it is okay to empty their pool. That way they cannot say "but she said is was okay").

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    agreed, a very old pool like that might not have a hydrostatic valve under the main drain cover.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
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    Re: diy plaster - where/what materials to buy

    Wow, will be following this one.

    I'm going to need plastering in the next year (rough surface, tile falling off water line). In Kentwood myself.

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