Sun is damaging the fiberglass on my filter housing and pump - surface is chalky ...


Bronze Supporter
Apr 3, 2016
Orlando FL
The fiberglass on my pool filter and pump is being damaged by the sun. When you run your hand across the fiberglass it wipes off like a powder. And it does make my skin itchy like fiberglass insulation will.
I don't have much options as far as protecting this equipment from the sun (I can't build a roof over the equipment anytime soon). Is there such a thing as a cloth-like filter cover (its a Pentair FNS60Plus)?

Last year I gave the filter housing a coat of automotive wax. I'm not sure if that stopped the damage but it did contain the chalk/powder coming off. I noticed the problem is back (no more signs of the wax remain this year).

Has anyone else seen this problem?
Is there any coating (paint like) that might help? Fiberglass boats don't have this problem (that I know of) is that due to a different type of fiberglass or perhaps they have a top coating/paint of some sort.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
SW Indiana
Boats do have the problem with enough sun exposure. It is slowed on them because of the gel coat.

I'd try painting the filter. Sand it with medium sand paper, rinse it off, then wipe it down with paint thinner. Krylon Fusion would be one choice for a paint.

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
As JohnT said, it's common and even if left alone the filter will last a very long time.

Painting is a good idea. You don't even have to sand it if you don't want to. Just wipe it down with thinner and paint it. Sanding it will just make the surface a little smoother.


Well-known member
Oct 7, 2016
I highly recommend Rustolem Hammered Metal paints applied by brush or roller from a can. I have painted the aging filters on both of my pools with this and it works great. The "hammered" effect hides brush marks and goes on thick. I apply two coats. The silver is very protective since I have the Arizona sun to deal with.

The paint locks down all those itchy glass fibers. I coated the filter housing at my rental house with this 5 years ago and it still looks great. The enamel is not as prone to chipping as some of the plastic "fusion" paints I have tried. Those are hard and seem to flake on me. I just painted the filter pictured below at my house last weekend because I am relocating all the pool equipment to a new pad and it was a great time to protect it. The base support of the filter was painted with the same paint but in a spray can version because that is what I had in the cabinet. It's not in the photo but I also painted the top cap with the same spray as the base because it was also showing age with glass fibers exposed.

I paint all my metal pool fencing with this and even a whole car trailer. It is very durable and does not require a primer or special prep work.



Bronze Supporter
Jan 9, 2017
Thanks for the great tips.
Does it matter whether I use a spray can or bush-on Rustoleum? Is it the same product just with different application methods?
Would an automotive (spray can) paint (presumably has UV protection) be a better choice - or does the Rustoleum also have UV protection?


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
Monroe, GA
slickraft - thanks for sharing. Does look nice. I was thinking of painting mine to look like a giant minion - as the grandkids would like, but that looks really nice.


Well-known member
Oct 7, 2016
I feel I get a better, thicker appication with a brush or roller but if the area is small I'll go with the spray for convenience. Two coats are always best with either type application. The spray will cost more to cover a large area of course.

With the hammered effect I'm not worrying about a smooth surface finish but it sure hides a lot of scratches and defects underneath. Rustoleum is made for outdoor use, especially this version. I would not think an automotive spray paint would be any better suited for this use.


New member
Mar 15, 2018
That looks great. I dread working on my filter housing due to the fact that I itch terribly when I'm done. Did a quick search, found your answer here and then searched on the paint. Wally world had Gray on quarts on sale for $15. Two plus a brush and I got free shipping. Thanks for the heads up. The FL sun has been giving it a beating.