If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, this is a question you will have to answer at some point. In the olden days, people really did not have many options. The only makeover available for the pool was painting it. But now, with the option of pool plastering available, you can choose the option best suited for you.

Deciding between painting and plastering

You can decide whether you want to paint or plaster your pool after considering the advantages and disadvantages of both these methods. The various aspects you should consider before deciding on one include the following.

  • Appearance

If you have a pool in your backyard, you surely want it to look its best at all times. Pool paint is reflective and shiny, whereas fresh plaster has an eggshell-like, deep sheen. Plaster can, of course, be coloured and given additives to produce unique tones. The same thing is possible even with paint. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even make underwater paintings or murals while you are at it.

Though the appearance of both will be almost similar during the initial years, the plaster will probably endure longer. Painted swimming pool surfaces become thin over the years, and in 4 or 5 years, the subsurface will start showing through the thinner areas.

Plaster surfaces, particularly white plaster, are susceptible to stains and can lose their appeal over time. These stains can be covered up using pebble plaster. Coloured plaster, usually in blue, black, or grey, has a drawback. The calcium scale that gets deposited on your pool surface will become easily visible in this case.

All in all, both fresh paint and new plaster will look great on your swimming pool. The deciding factor becomes your choice.

  • Durability

This is an important aspect to consider since you do not want to resurface your pool every month or so. The paint that we generally use for spas, Fibreglass swimming pools Newcastle, or fountains is designed especially for use underwater. They are also remarkably resistant to the poor chemistry of pool water. But paint can chip away and float in your pool water. Also, paint is applied as a thin layer. You will need to clean your pool more to remove them.

Plaster has a thickness of around 0.5 inches. This makes it highly resistant to a higher amount of distress when compared to a paint job. This makes plaster more durable than paint.

  • Longevity

Pool plaster gives paint a run for its money in this aspect. When properly blended, coated, cured, and maintained, pool plaster can last for 15 to 20 years. A paint job for your pool, based on the paint type, application method, and curing conditions, can last around two to seven years. This makes investing in a pool plaster a better option if you want the resurfacing to last longer.

  • Prepping

The pool must be carefully drained and prepped before applying the new pool paint or plaster. If you have decided on painting, you will first need to wash and clean the surface with Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP) to remove any oil residue.

Then you need to etch the plaster using acid and again clean with TSP. If you are using acrylic paint, then you can paint when the pool is wet. But you must wait for the pool to air dry for three to five days before painting with epoxy paint. The epoxy paint lasts longer, so many people tend to go with it.

Pool plaster needs significantly more sophisticated industrial preparation. After the pool is drained, professionals need to use tiny saws to chip the plaster around the floor and wall fixtures. The pool then needs to be acid-etched by a different team. This is done so that the new plaster adheres properly to the layer beneath it. In some cases, a rough first coat is also applied before the final layer. This complex prepping process makes plaster a less attractive choice for some pool owners.

  • Cost

Pool paints are extremely costly, averaging between 480 and 650 AUD. If you have a large swimming pool, the cost of painting can go as high as 3,000 to 10,000 AUD. Even though the cost may be reduced a bit if you are doing it by yourself, painting your pool can still make a huge dent in your wallet.

Pool plastering is also costly. In the majority of cases, you will be spending somewhere between 2000 and 8500 AUD for a replastering job. Though this amount is technically higher than what you will be spending on painting, your plastering job will last longer, maybe even four times longer compared to paint. This can make plastering an economically viable option in the long run.

  • Application

Painting the pool after proper prep is a simple process. You can even do it as a DIY project. But plastering the pool is the job of a professional. There are many complex processes that should be done carefully for the plaster to be proper.

Some machinery is also needed for the purpose. You cannot do it as a DIY project. After you paint your pool, the drying time will depend on the temperature and the paint type. On average, you will be able to refill your pool in about two to five days. Your pool will be filled soon after it is plastered. But you will need to brush your pool twice daily for about two weeks and should keep an eye on the water chemistry. This makes pool painting an easier job.

Chances of failure

Both paint and plaster jobs have a chance of failing. Some common issues seen with painting include blisters, or flaking and peeling paint. Issues with plaster jobs include spot etching, delaminations, trowel burn, variations in colour, and streaking. Keep these in check before you move ahead with your choice.

Wrapping up

Both plastering and painting your swimming pool have advantages and disadvantages. The choice you make should depend on your budget, the time you can spend on it, and the durability factor you are looking for after resurfacing. You can also decide based on the appearance you want for your swimming pool. You can also ask for expert opinion from seasoned pool professionals before making a choice.

Jacob Wang

Jacob Wang earned his Master’s in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, focusing his 20-year career on paint formulation and environmental sustainability. Since joining our website in 2021, Jacob has provided insights into eco-friendly paints, surface preparation, and trend forecasting. His background includes roles in paint manufacturing and as a consultant for renovation projects. In his free time, Jacob is an avid gardener and a volunteer in community beautification programs.

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