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Thread: Old pool in need of a refurbish. Paint it? Bondo?

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    Backglass's Avatar
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    Old pool in need of a refurbish. Paint it? Bondo?

    Hey all,

    I have a 20 year old I/G pool that is in need of some TLC, a 15x30 w/deep end. The pool itself seems to be a bit of a hybrid. The bottom and stairs are unpainted cement, but the walls are fiberglass panels. There seems to be a leak somewhere in the top 18 inches of these panels because if I do not top it off regularly, the water will drop to that level (well below the skimmer).

    What are my options? I am handy and own a pressure washer, so I was thinking I could just drain the pool, acid wash and paint the pool myself with some pool epoxy. But what of the fiberglass walls? Can I use something like Bondo in the panel seams before painting to ensure a good seal?

    Suggestions?



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    You wouldn't want to use bondo on fiberglass, you can use fiberglass resin to repair it. You might need to reinforce it with some 'glass cloth depending on the size of the repair. The difficult thing about repairing pool (and boat for that matter) fiberglass is matching the finish. Unless the panels have been painted, they are probably in their original gelcoat finish. It's tough matching gelcoat.
    Our pool adventure... click here

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    Quote Originally Posted by TresW
    You wouldn't want to use bondo on fiberglass, you can use fiberglass resin to repair it. You might need to reinforce it with some 'glass cloth depending on the size of the repair. The difficult thing about repairing pool (and boat for that matter) fiberglass is matching the finish. Unless the panels have been painted, they are probably in their original gelcoat finish. It's tough matching gelcoat.
    Well, I plan on painting the whole thing afterwards. There are not any holes to patch, just the seams between panels where I suspect the leaks are occurring.

    Any other kind of sealer I could squirt in the cracks before I paint?

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    I did the same project with the same type of constructionas you have (fiberglass walls and concrete bottom).

    We used a pressure washer to remove the old caulk from the seams and refilled them with Permaseal. The Permaseal shrinks so be sure to put on a nice heavy coat. I actually had to go back and do a few areas over again that I didn't put it on thick enough. We paid $20 per tube and bought three and only used one (we have a small pool though). There are probably cheaper alternatives or better places to get it but I went to the pool store before I found this wonerful resource.

    After the permaseal cures We used a Gunite Primer and Epoxy Paint. If you use two colors like we did, let the first color dry overnight before starting the second color. We had some bleed through that slowed us down some. A pleasant side effect to the paint was that it also filled the hairline cracks in the fiberglass walls.

    You can see pictures of my project in the Above Ground and Indoor pool section).

    I am no expert, nor do I play one on TV, but if you have any questions about my project let me know.

    Good luck!
    20x12X4 Oval Fiberglass walls and concrete bottom.
    Pool is in an unconditioned atrium. (being remodeled)
    3/4 HP Hayward Pro Pump. Tankless Water Heater.
    Hayward S180T Sand Filter.

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    Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontuy
    f you have any questions about my project let me know.
    Absolutely! What better resource than someone who has already been through the exact same thing before.

    Expect many PM's from me in the future.

    Here is the first round:
    1. Did you paint both the cement and fiberglass?[/*:m:1vdekc18]
    2. What brand of primer & paint did you use?[/*:m:1vdekc18]
    3. Did you wash with TSP or anything first? Acid wash?[/*:m:1vdekc18]
    4. How many gallons of each did your pool take?[/*:m:1vdekc18]
    5. Do you have to wait for a dry day? I assume so. How to you dry the pool out first?[/*:m:1vdekc18]
    That should get me started.

    [EDIT] I just saw your pictures so scratch #1 & #5. Great job!

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    I misunderstood, I thought you had a crack that was leaking. If it's the panel joints then you would want to seal them as "ontuy" described.
    Our pool adventure... click here

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    Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TresW
    I misunderstood, I thought you had a crack that was leaking. If it's the panel joints then you would want to seal them as "ontuy" described.
    No problem...I wasn't clear.

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    We used The Super Poxy Shield from In The Swim. Two Gallons of Dark Blue and One Gallon of White. We also used their Gunite Primer. They had a discount and free shipping deal running at the time. Still expensive but we are pleased with the results.

    We washed everything with TSP also from In The Swim.

    We emptied the pool and used a shop vac to get the last of the water out. The next day everything was dry. Our pool is under roof so rain was not an issue. Not sure how the Primer and Paint would react to water.

    Be sure to wear a mask and take frequent short breaks. The fumes can be pretty bad. Also be sure to use solvent proof rollers. We started out with the cheap rollers and in a short time they were shedding fuzz everywhere. We had to go over a few spots again to cover it.

    The other funny thing that happened is that there were a few creepy crawlies that got into the paint overnight while it was still wet. They are now a permanent fixture in the bottom of the pool. Not sure how you avoid that either.

    Edit...I just reread this and boy it kind of sounds like an add for In The Swim. Not affiliated. They just had the best prices and terms available at the time.
    20x12X4 Oval Fiberglass walls and concrete bottom.
    Pool is in an unconditioned atrium. (being remodeled)
    3/4 HP Hayward Pro Pump. Tankless Water Heater.
    Hayward S180T Sand Filter.

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