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Thread: Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    StL, MO
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    Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

    I'm having a new liner installed in my inground pool next week and thought I would clean and repaint the coping while the old liner is still in place. I have a few questions:

    1) Will a thorough power-washing provide sufficient surface prep?
    2) Any recommendations for paint? I've read and been told that regular all-weather Krylon or Rustoleum works quite well, although touch up work will be necessary every year or two. I don't expect it to last much longer than that.
    3) I have fiber optic lighting cable installed around the perimeter of the pool. It fits in a special extra track in the coping. The cable is in good shape but over the years, but algae has grown and dried in the track behind the cable, leaving a noticeable grey tone behind the cable. Any concerns about getting that cable back into the track if I removed it for cleaning and painting of the track underneath? Or should I just leave it alone, mask it off any clean/paint around it? I expect that cleaning and painting around it will be more time consuming - but am also fully aware that I will be very disappointed if I'm unable to get the lighting cable back into the track.

    Thanks,
    Joe

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    carpainterinaz's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
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    Tempe az
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    Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

    If it is raw aluminum after you power wash it I would scuff it with a maroon scotchbrite pad and then clean it with vinegar first. I'd also recommend using a etch primer before you paint it. If it's painted or powder coated aluminum use the maroon scotchbrite followed by rubbing alcohol for cleaner, then paint. You can find the maroon scuff pad and aresol etch primer at any automotive refinish supplier or even a napa. Prep work is 90% of a good paint job, and that will help make it last longer in the sun as well.
    7900 Gal custom built in ground beach edge pool
    Custom matched Montego Bay color mini pebble interior finish with abalone shell
    Pentair variable speed pump and cartridge filter
    4 main pool returns and 3 24" sheer descent water falls
    3 Pentair intellibrite led lights in the pool and 2 matching landscape lights

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    dw9000's Avatar
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    Aug 2014
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    NW Ohio
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    Re: Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

    Thanks carpainterinaz,, I had some of the same questions.
    In-ground block / vinyl liner 33' x 22' x 5',, approx 25k gals
    Cartridge Filter
    Floor drains, 2 skimmers, 3 return lines (2" plumbing ultra-flex PVC)

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    Apr 2008
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    StL, MO
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    Re: Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

    Thanks carpainterinaz! The original paint survived the power washing. I was hesitant to use duct tape for masking the concrete deck and settled on a multi purpose polyethylene tape by Shurtape. The label recommended it for stucco, which caught my attention. Highly recommended, it will stretch a bit and really adhered to every little contour and imperfection in the deck. I've finished about 1/3 of the coping, enough to peel back the masking on one corner of the step section and the line is really sharp, no bleed at all and no sticky residue. Mind you, I took my time masking the deck - well over two hours for a 16 x 32. I also found compressed air handy to for a quick final dusting of each section of coping before painting. I settled on Rustoleum Rust Stop in flat white enamel and it looks like new. Most time consuming part of all was masking the fiber optic perimeter cable. I settled on some thin blue painter's tape that covered the cable, leaving just enough to tuck in to the upper and lower edges of the track. It's going to take alot of time and patience to remove it, but I can already see that it's worth the results. I'll probably wash down the remaining unpainted part with alcohol again as I continue. Thanks for the advice!

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    Apr 2008
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    Re: Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

    Update: I don't know how long the new finish will last - hopefully for a couple of years - but it looks like new. Also good to know the original paint should provide a lasting base for future repaints.

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    carpainterinaz's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
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    Tempe az
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    Re: Cleaning and Painting Aluminum Coping

    Glad to hear your project turned out good for you.
    7900 Gal custom built in ground beach edge pool
    Custom matched Montego Bay color mini pebble interior finish with abalone shell
    Pentair variable speed pump and cartridge filter
    4 main pool returns and 3 24" sheer descent water falls
    3 Pentair intellibrite led lights in the pool and 2 matching landscape lights

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