Frequently Asked Questions on Pool Maintenance & Products
How much paint will I need?
For a standard backyard pool, 40 to 60,000 L, you will require 20 L of paint and 4 litres of thinner in order to do a primer and two full topcoats. This is worked out using an average spread rate of 8 m² per litre.
Can I paint my pool?
Yes, you are able to repaint your pool. The only substrate that chlorinated rubber paints and epoxy paints are not recommended for is steel. The process of painting your pool is very simple and straightforward.
How do I tell what coating is on there?
To test what coating is currently on the pool surface, you will require solvent and rags. It is best to test using xylene, which you are able to buy from local hardware stores. Ensuring you wear the necessary protective equipment, damp the rag with the xylene and gently rub it on the surface. If the surface turns sticky and starts removing some of the colour, you are dealing with a chlorinated rubber paint. If the surface starts to shine but no colour comes off, you will be dealing with an epoxy paint.
Can I paint fiberglass?
Yes, it is possible to repaint a fibreglass pool, so long as the gel coat is still intact. If fibres of the original fibreglass are showing through. It is not recommended to repaint over those as it could cause moisture vapour transmission which will cause dramas.
How long does it take to paint my pool?
The actual painting process of your pool for the priming and to topcoats should take no longer than 8 to 10 hours of time. This is based on an average backyard pool of 40 to 60,000 L. The prime coat should take roughly 4 hours, the first topcoat should take roughly 3 hours, and the final topcoat should take roughly 2 hours.
How long after painting my pool can I fill it?
In general, when using a chlorinated rubber paint, it is recommended to leave the pool a minimum of seven days in order to allow complete solvent evaporation before refilling. This may increase to 10 to 14 days in very cold conditions (less than 5°C). When using an epoxy paint, it is recommended to leave the pool for seven days prior to filling. This is to allow complete chemical cross-linking of the product to ensure optimal hardness and chemical resistance of the product. This may increase to 10 to 14 days in very cold conditions (less than 5°C).
How long will it last?
Generally speaking, epoxies will last longer than chlorinated rubbers in the pool environment. Chlorinated rubber coatings should be recoated every 3 to 5 years for residential pools. Epoxy coatings should be recoated every 7 to 10 years in residential pools.
What is better, Chlorinated Rubber or epoxy?
Both products offer their own advantages and disadvantages. For a residential pool, chlorinated rubber paint is the quickest and easiest product to use as it does not require owner’s preparation techniques upon reapplication. Epoxy paints will last longer, however their major limitations are that they will chalk above and below the waterline as well as requiring significant mechanical preparation prior to re-coating.
How much does it cost?
Generally speaking, a complete preparation, patch and repaint of an average backyard pool require less than $1000 in materials using chlorinated rubber paint. The same pool to be completed with epoxy paint would cost approximately 2 ½ thousand dollars.
Will my pool pop when I empty it?
This is a risk mostly for fibreglass pools when they are empty for long periods of time. It is possible for concrete and marble sheen pools to pop as well, however it is far less likely. The hydrostatic valve is in the pool in order to help maintain a hydrostatic balance between the pool shell and the surrounding birth. As a general rule of thumb, once your pool is empty it is best to start all preparation and repainting work as quickly as possible. It is also recommended that while the pool is empty that the hydrostatic valve be checked and replaced if required. For people with fibreglass pools, you are able to employ braces to provide pressure on the side walls of the pool in order to limit the likelihood of the shell popping.
How do I repair cracks?
In general, cracks can be repaired with a cementitious grout that can be greeted to defend the level to ensure that there are no lumps on the surface when repainting. For wider cracks, it may be beneficial to cut around them to allow greater penetration and filling with the crack repair compound. The benefit of using a cementitious crack repair compound as opposed to an epoxy is that you will not need to wait seven days for full cure. You should be able to re-coat overnight. The basic process for crack repair is to clean the crack out, mix up an amount of cementitious crack repair, apply the cementitious crack repair using a flexible trowel allowing you to work it over the surface. Once that has gone onto the surface, leave overnight to cure up and apply a light stand to smooth out any edging so that it is flush with the existing service. Once this repair has been undertaken, you would treat the area as an unpainted surface which would require a spot prime of one part paint to one part thinners.
How many coats does it need?
For an uncoated cementitious based (cement, cement block, cement render, marble sheen quartz on), you will require three coats of chlorinated rubber coating to repaint the pool. First coat is a primer made by mixing one part paint to one part thinner rolled over the entire surface. The second coat is applied straight out of the can with no thinning. The third coat is applied straight out of the can, also with no thinning. In areas of high wear, for example shallow ends and steps, additional coats may be put on to increase longevity. It is important that re-coating is not attempted until the following day after applying one full coat of either primer or un-thinned product. This will allow all solvents to evaporate out and limit the risk of bubbles occurring. If you have a previously painted pool with chlorinated rubber coating which is in good condition, you would only need to apply two coats of paint un-thinned out of the can. Fibreglass pools require the same number of coats, however you only need to thin your first coat 20 to 25% with thinners. You will also require three coats of epoxy for a pool repaint. This will consist of a prime coat followed by two coats of epoxy. It is generally not required to thin either the prime coat or the epoxy for application.
What colours does it come in?
We have four colours available for the chlorinated rubber. It is available in Olympic Blue, and is on blue, Black and White. For the epoxy, we have it available in Olympic Blue and Black.
Do I need a primer?
A primer is only required for chlorinated rubber when the pool is bare cementitious substrate or fibreglass. Bare cementitious substrate primer is made by mixing one part paint and one part thinners. For a fibreglass pool, the primer consists of 25% addition of thinners to the chlorinated rubber pool paint. When coating with epoxies, a primer is recommended for both their substrate as well as previously coated epoxy.
What preparation work is required?
It is important to remember any pools constructed prior to 1991 that have cementitious or marble sheen substrates may have asbestos. It is required to get this tested prior to commencing any deconstruction work.
Once the pool has been emptied, the entire surface should be water blasted to clean down the entire surface. It is recommended to use a water blaster with a minimum 3000 psi pressure. This will remove any loose adhering paint and may also remove any unsound areas of the substrate. Upon completing the water blast inspect the entire surface particularly in areas where the substrate has been removed to determine how far that loose adhering substrate has to be removed. Continue inspecting the entire surface while tapping the shell to listen for any hollow sounds. Any areas that have a hollow or drummy sound will need to be removed and replaced in order to ensure maximum adhesion of your paint. Any areas of the pool that do not have a broom and concrete-nish feel will need further abrasion in order to allow maximum adhesion of either the chlorinated rubber or epoxy paint. Further abrasion can be achieved using orbital Sanders, wire brush attachments on angle grinders or sandblasting. If any further abrasion is required once completed ensure the surface is water blasted thoroughly afterwards to ensure removal of debris and potential contaminants.
Do you know anyone who paints pools?
Please contact us so we can direct you to the closest applicator in your area.
Does it cover rust stains?
Yes it will cover rust stains however, best practice is to remove and treat the rust prior to top coating as this will ensure maximum longevity of your pool.
Can it go over pebblecrete?
Yes, chlorinated rubber and epoxy can both be used to recoat pebble, however it is advised that a Brenda coat is put over the surface so that it smooths it out prior to application. If you paint over pebble without doing the render coat you will get uneven wear of your coating and little dots will appear as the coating wears away from the top of the pebble and remains in the grout holding the gravel.
What time of day should I paint?
It is best to paint early in the morning with both chlorinated rubbers and epoxies so that it is not too hot during the application time as well as utilising the heat of the later morning and afternoon to help with the curing and cross-linking of either chlorinated rubber or epoxy coatings. Painting during the middle of the day poses certain risks, for example, increasing bubbling with chlorinated rubber coatings as the solvent flashes off too quickly, reducing your working time with your epoxy as higher temperature reduces the pot life of the product.
Can I use GP Thinners?
No. GP thinners are not compatible with either chlorinated rubber or epoxy products. The only time GP thinners could be used is to clean your equipment down afterwards.
How long between coats?
With chlorinated rubber it is recommended that there is a minimum period of overnight in between each coat so that you allow maximum solvent evaporation to prevent entrapment and bubbling issues on subsequent topcoats. For epoxy, leave the coating no longer than 24 hours before recoating. If it is longer than 24 hours between recoating lights standing of the entire surface will have to take place in order to ensure maximum adhesion of the product. Attempting to recoat epoxy without a light stand after 24 hours can lead to intercoder adhesion failure.
There are bubbles on the surface, how do I fix that?
It is recommended to pop the bubble prior to attempting to fix it so that you can understand what the bubble has been caused by. If it was caused by solvent entrapment, no water will come out from under the bubble. If it was caused by moisture vapour transmission, there will be moisture behind the bubble. Allow that moisture to fully dry out before attempting to fix the bubbles. It is important to understand where that moisture has come from and prevented because if you cannot isolate the source of moisture this could be an ongoing problem. Once the surface is dry, lightly damp a roller in thinners and gently roll this over the area where the bubbles have occurred. This will cause the bubbles to re-melt and reform.
Colour has faded, why?
There are two main causes of colour fading in full coatings. First is general ageing of products. Both chlorinated rubber and epoxy products will chalk over time resulting in a white film on the surface causing a fading of colour. The second cause of colour fading is deposition of insoluble calcium salts on the surface. The formation of these salts can have various causes most likely the use of granular chlorine-based products. Other causes include hard water, or an increase in total dissolved solids. The most likely cause of discolouration early in the coating is due to insoluble calcium salts deposition on the surface which is why it is important to maintain a balanced water chemistry. To tell if your discolouration is caused by ageing of product or water chemistry, salts deposited by water imbalance can be removed by brushing, and bringing salts caused by discolouration are much harder to remove.
It rained overnight and there are white patches, how do I fix these?
This is a concern only if it is rained on for final coat. For a chlorinated rubber pool, you will be able remove the white patches by lightly damping your roller in thinners and gently rolling over the areas that have whitened. For an epoxy pool, it is recommended to do a solvent wash to try to remove the whitening. If this solvent wash does not remove the whitening it is recommended to recoat those areas with a small mix.
Can I paint my spa?
It is not recommended to paint your spa using chlorinated rubber as the elevated temperatures will accelerate the degradation of the coating.
Can I paint my fish pond?
Chlorinated rubber paint can be used to paint your fishpond. The preparation and application is exactly the same as a concrete swimming pool it is recommended after the seven day cure that the surface is thoroughly flushed with clean water 2 to 3 times to ensure that any latent solvent that is just on the surface is washed away so that it causes no harm to the fish.
Can I paint over epoxy?
You cannot repaint chlorinated rubber over the top of an existing epoxy finish. The existing epoxy will have to be completely removed by either sandblasting or mechanical abrasion back to a better substrate.
Can I paint over another manufacturer’s product?
So long as the other product is a chlorinated rubber there should be no compatibility issues recoating with Australian Pool Coatings chlorinated rubber. It is, however, recommended that a small area be tested first, ideally on a discreet area of the surface you’re recoating, to ensure no compatibility issues arise.
How long after the last coat can I fill it?
It is generally recommended to leave the coating seven days after the final coat has gone down before filling with water. This will be extended to 10 days or up to 14 days if temperatures are less than 5°C during curing.
Can I paint under water?
You cannot paint chlorinated rubber underwater.
I want to remove my waterline tiles, how do I do this?
Easiest way to remove your waterline tiles is to use a tiled chisel and hammer. Take care not to cause any damage to the surrounding substrate. Once the tiles have been removed, smooth the surface down if there is a void between where the tiles were and where the pool interior is that can be filled with a cementitious render.
Will chlorinated rubber fill cracks?
Chlorinated rubber will not fill cracks. It is recommended to use a cementitious repair product to fill those cracks prior to painting with chlorinated rubber.
What is a hydrostatic valve?
Hydrostatic valve is a one-way valve usually installed at the deepest point of the swimming pool which helps relieve water pressure from surrounding groundwater that could potentially cause pool movement cracking or popping. The hydrostatic valve does this by allowing groundwater from the surrounding yard to flow into the pool so it will relieve pressure on the pull structure.
How long do I leave before recoating?
It is recommended to leave the surface a minimum overnight before recoating with chlorinated rubber. This will allow as much solvent to evaporate out of the coating and will prevent bubbling to occur when subsequent topcoats are put over.
Can I use these paints with an ozone or ionizer sanitization system?
You can use chlorinated rubber paints with ozone or ioniser sanitisation systems. With ioniser sanitisation, it is still important to ensure that your anode and cathode are working properly as salt buy in excess of copper leaching into the pool will result in a blue staying over the surface which can be confused for coating breakdown.
Can I use these paints in a saltwater pool?
Yes you can use chlorinated rubber in a saltwater pool.
MY pool smells funny after filling it, what could this be?
If you have not waited seven days prior to filling your pool, there is a possibility that the smell could be residual solvent still evaporating out from the coating.
I have heard that my pool may contain asbestos, how will I know?
Asbestos is most likely found on marble sheen. If your pool was built prior to 1985 and has a marble sheen render over the concrete, it was a common practice to have as their styles mixed in with the marble sheen. Therefore, it should be tested prior to any preparation work being undertaken. The use of asbestos in building products was banned after 1985, however, it was still being used away up until 1991. If your pool was built between 1985 and 1991 there is also a possibility that your marble sheen may contain asbestos. It is also recommended that this be tested prior to any preparation work being undertaken.
Can I regrout my coping tiles?
The grout between coping tiles can be eroded due to constant splash of pool chemical water over time. This grout can be replaced with Australian Pool Coatings grout.
Can I cover my existing coping tiles?
Existing coping tiles can be covered to help keep costs down of having to re-tile repave coping. Before undertaking any preparation work, it is important to check for any drumming tile pavers that will need to be replaced. It is recommended to run a light grind over the entire coping’s surface to open up the substrate and allow optimum adhesion of subsequent coatings. If you don’t want to see existing grout lines, it is recommended to run a cementitious grout filler screed over the entire surface so that it provides a level substrate for subsequent topcoats. You would be able to topcoat the cementitious screed with either a coloured concrete sealer or Aquatex.
How do I protect my coping tiles from water damage without making them slippery?
The best way to protect your coping tiles from water damage is to apply a silicon-based penetrating sealer. This is applied to flooding the surface and grooming it over the tiles so that there is no ponding. This will leave a wet look on the surface and as it dries it will return to its natural look. The silicon will be impregnated into the tiles and will cause water to bead on the surface. Because there is no film formation left on the surface it will not cause an increase in slipperiness of the existing coping tiles.
How do I repair cracks in my coping tiles?
We recommend the use of Australian Pool Coatings cementitious Crack Filler for repairing any cracks in your coping tiles.
My coping tiles sound hollow, what do I do?
Coping tiles will be hollow if the adhesives holding them has eroded. This will make the tile loose. It is recommended to remove the tile, inspect the bedding, apply more grout and adhesive, and replace the tile.
My pebblecrete coping is uncomfortable, can I smooth it out?
It is possible to smooth out pebblecrete copings that continue from pools. We recommend the use of Australian Pool Coatings cementitious grout which can be secreted over the entire surface to provide a smooth substrate. This will allow it to be coated with either Australian Pool Coatings concrete sealer or Australian Pool Coatings Aquatex.
People say not to use a film forming product on my coping tiles – what is a film forming product and why would I not want to use it?
A film forming product is anything that leaves a resin film on the surface, and usually these are gloss finishes. The reason why they’re not recommended for use on coping tiles is that they will cause an increase in slipperiness of the surface. That is why invisible penetrating sealer is our recommended for coping tiles and not film forming sealers.
How can I remove stains from my coping tiles?
Stains on coping tiles can be removed depending on what type of stains they are. White calcium deposits can be easily removed using a bristle broom and water. Stains from leaf saps and tannins will be harder to remove as these will sometimes have penetrated into the surface. You may use a water blaster, however, if this does not remove the stain, it may require a commercial cleaning product to remove this.
Can I paint my coping tiles?
Yes you can paint coping tiles. Consideration should be given to how slippery the surface may become when applying a paint over your coping tiles.
I have pavers surrounding my pool, can I paint over them?
Yes, you can paint over your surrounding pool pavers. Consideration needs to be given if this will cause the surface to be more slippery. An alternative is to use an invisible penetrating sealer which will prevent moisture ingress and not impact on the slipperiness of the surface.
I want to change the look of the pavers around my pool, how can I do this?
So long as the pavers are in sound condition with a good bedding underneath them it is possible to change the look of your pavers. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to apply a cementitious screed over the entire surface and then you are able to apply either Australian Pool Coatings coloured sealer or Australian pool coatings Aquatex. Consideration should be given to the impact on slipperiness of applying Australian Pool Coatings coloured sealer.
Tiling my pool surrounds is more expensive than I expected, can I do anything else?
Instead of tiling pool surrounds it is possible to use Australian Pool Coatings Aquatex to create a faux tile look. You could also look into doing either a granule or a flake system for your pool surrounds.
Can I paint or seal my terracotta tiles?
You can paint or seal terracotta tiles, it will depend on how porous or if there is a glaze over the surface. It should always be remembered that putting a paint which will form a film will increase the slipperiness of the surface so that needs to be considered. It is recommended to only seal terracotta tiles and that would be using a penetrating silicon-based sealer.
My pool surrounds are slippery, can I put anything over them to make them less slippery?
If you have a film forming sealer on your pool surrounds and it is slippery, it is recommended that that sealer be stripped off so you go back to the natural substrate. It is possible to add a non-slip aggregate to the pool surrounds, however, the non-slip aggregate will wear away over time and it will go back to being slippery.