Painting pool

loop_pea

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2010
156
England, UK
Every year our community pool gets painted by a group of volunteers, who spend ages emptying water, power washing off the algae and then painting. This year it was done again, and the paint was flaking off literally within days, which did cause some problems when paint flakes got stuck in the spider gasket after vacuuming.

The work takes a lot of time and effort, even though the preparation is probably inadequate, and the paint itself isn't cheap. I've been searching the TFP message boards, and I can see that you don't recommend paint (I can see why), but I don't think we're going to have enough money to do anything else for a while at least. A custom vinyl liner is really expensive - about 50 years worth of paint! Are there are any other options to consider for a concrete pool built in 1965 and renovated in 1992?

I'm wondering whether we could make do with the current paint next year, and put the paint money towards a better pool finish. Currently it doesn't look very nice where it's flaked off, but is that purely visual or is that going to give me other problems?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, folks.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
What's underneath the new paint? Is it old paint? Bare concrete? Old plaster? My first thought is that it's probably purely visual, but if you have bare concrete underneath that could be a problem. You said a custom vinyl liner is about 50 years' worth of paint; roughly how much is that? I would think saving up for a plaster job would be a better choice.
 

loop_pea

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2010
156
England, UK
There are patches where you can see old paint, and others where it's gone right through to what might be plaster or concrete. How would I tell the difference? It does look fairly rough. I guess I could try and get some photos. The paint cost £300 this year.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Photos would be good. With a custom vinyl liner at 15,000 pounds, I definitely think plaster would be a better choice, but I'm not at all familiar with how much that would cost over there.
 

loop_pea

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2010
156
England, UK
It's hard to take photographs through water, this was the best I could do.

[attachment=0:190gz0e3]flakeypaint1.jpg[/attachment:190gz0e3]

The patches where the paint is coming off are typically 5 cm across, and the flakes about 1 cm.
You can see there is lots more wanting to flake off :oops:
On the plus side the water is still clear :)
 

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JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
There aren't any simple solutions to that problem. The easiest, though hardly easy, would be to sand blast and then repaint. Much better, but fairly expensive, would be to get a new plaster job (which means either sand blasting or chipping off old plaster (if there is old plaster under the paint) and then plastering over the clean surface.

Bare concrete will leak, but only rather slowly. So you can probably just ignore it for the rest of the season.
 

loop_pea

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2010
156
England, UK
Thanks JasonLion. I think there is plaster. Looking again when I was taking photos, the surface revealed by missing paint looks smooth in most places with only one or two spots where it is rough. Does plaster always have to be painted?
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
No, plaster is not generally painted but left bare. In your case, it probably started looking old and splotchy and someone thought they could give it new life by painting it. As you have learned, it doesn't really work very well.
 

loop_pea

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2010
156
England, UK
Looking closer today and trying to brush the pool with a brush that won't stay on the pole (everything here is on its last legs), I discovered algae starting up in the corners where there is poor water circulation. The pool has sharp right angle corners in it, which I guess is not a good design feature? Oh pants (in the English sense of the word). My husband reckons it is just concrete under the paint. I really have no idea.