Last Updated: June 19, 2022

Painting a Fiberglass Pool Step-by-Step

Written By: Pool Care Guide

Like any other swimming pool, a fiberglass pool can get stained, wear, fade, damaged, or have spider cracks due to pool chemicals and exposure to weather.

You can restore your fiberglass pool appearance and finish by painting it. In addition, the painting will help solve pool problems like rust, leaks, osmosis, and mold. But do you know how to paint your fiberglass pool?

How to Paint a Fiberglass Pool

You should paint your fiberglass pool when it’s warm since cold temperatures may inhibit paint drying and the overall appearance of your pool.

Before the actual pool painting, you have to prepare the pool, as explained below.

1. Purchase Pool Paint and Other Painting Supplies

The best paint for a painting fiberglass pool is Epoxy pool paint. The Epoxy swimming pool paint is incredibly long-lasting and 100% waterproof. It makes the surface resistant to pool water chlorine, allowing it to last for over fifteen years with proper care and maintenance.

Epoxy pool paint is suitable for concrete plaster and regular fiberglass pools as it provides a robust seal that is resistant to chemical degradation, abrasion, and leaks.

It comes in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to choose your favorite colors that match your revamped swimming pool landscape. It’s cost-effective compared to other ways of resurfacing a fiberglass pool.

Buy enough paint to avoid going back to the store. Measure all the surface areas of your pool floors, steps, and walls and add them to get the total surface area. If possible, purchase more than enough paint.

You also need pool painting supplies, including:

  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Extension poles
  • Roller frames
  • Masking tape
  • A 5-gal bucket with a painted screen

Additional items include a 2-gallon flower watering can, dishwasher detergent, TPS cleanser, sanding brushes on poles, and scrub brushes on poles.

2. Drain the Pool

Use a sump or pool pump to drain water from your swimming pool.

Not all pool pumps have the capability of draining the pool entirely, as some will lose power before the pumping is complete. Therefore, it’s advisable to have a submersible pump to help pump the remaining water or dewater the pool faster if there is a heavy downfall after draining the pool. 

You also have to check the weather for any signs of rain. There is no need to continue with the painting if there are rainy signs, as the rain can affect the cure time and final results.

The pool painting project should be accomplished as soon as possible, probably within one week. The ideal period to paint your fiberglass pool is during a calm and dry weather forecast. 

After draining, dry the pool by removing any standing water in the skimmer, drain, steps, and behind the lights. Use a dry large sponge or towel and a bucket to get the work done.

3. Clean the Pool Using Dishwasher Soap and Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)

Before painting your fiberglass pool, removing oils, scale, and other dirt from the pool surfaces is essential. Paint does not stick well to oily, dirty, or scaly surfaces since it will pop off, chip off, or peel off within a short period.

Dissolve the dishwasher detergent into the watering container with at least two gallons of water. Apply the solution along the pool walls and then scrub the wall surfaces using a scrub brush on a pole.

After a thorough scrubbing, clean the scrubbed area. Now, get to the floor once you finish with the steps and walls. Scrub the floor, rinse it, and pump out the water from the pool. Consider getting a helping hand to get the job done quickly.

The next step is to repeat the process using TSP, a superior degreaser readily available from various home stores.

Mix the TSP with warm water, spread the solution to the steps, walls, and floor, and vigorously scrub all these surfaces. Then, rinse the pool surfaces and the whole pool again. Please ensure you wear gloves, goggles, and protective clothing when using the TSP to prevent burns to your eyes or skin.

4. Rough the Fiberglass Surface Using a Grit Sandpaper

Roughing the pool surfaces is essential as it helps to enhance paint adhesion, allowing the paint to stick to the pool sides perfectly.

You need to have two sanding pads installed on wooden poles with grit sandpaper. You don’t have to remove the gel coat off the pool altogether; just pass the sandpaper one or two times without exacting much pressure.

Ensure you are sanding in the same direction. Parallel sanding lines are preferred over rubbing in all directions or cross-hatch because they hold the paint better.

Sand (without the pole) areas with transition curves, such as around lights and steps, using your hand for increased control. When done sanding, re-hose the pool and pump out the water until every last drop is gone.

5. Dry the Swimming Pool

A fiberglass pool takes around two days to dry completely. Use masking tape to adhere many vast pieces of transparent plastic to the pool floor and walls to ensure it’s dry before you start painting.

Examine the squares after a few hours to determine whether there is any moisture on the plastic inside. Give special attention to the fiberglass regions with spider web cracks, thin gel coats, or minor surface crazing.

Mop up or pump out any water from heavy morning dew or rain that has fallen throughout the drying period. Double-check the weather forecast to guarantee dry weather.

6. Apply Epoxy Paint to the Pool

After these preparation measures, it’s now time to paint your pool.

Before painting your fiberglass pool, dry wipe the pool walls, floor, and steps using a clean towel. This step is vital as it helps to remove any oils, dirt, saps, and pollutants flown into the swimming pool within the drying period.

Mix up several gallons of Epoxy paint while the person assisting you tapes off any non-removable sections or pool coping that you will not be painting.

Transfer the paint mixture into the 5-gallon painting bucket with a painted screen. Once the sun dries off the morning dew, start painting the pool with paint rollers. Use long overlapping movements with consistent pressure to acquire thorough covering. Two individuals can paint an average swimming pool in one to two hours.

Allow the first layer to dry completely (4-8 hours), then rapidly apply a second coat, ideally on the same day. Follow the drying time guidelines on the label between applications and before filling your pool. It’s worth noting that the second layer may require roughly 20% less paint than the first.

7. Fill Your Fiberglass Pool With Water, Balance, and Filter It

For all painted fiberglass pools, it is advisable to read and follow the directions on the paint container for recommended drying periods.

Depending on the rain, humidity, temperature, and fog, your pool may require more or less drying time. In most cases, the waiting period lasts 4 to 7 days.

When filling the pool, put the hose in the deep end rather than the shallow end to avoid a small torrent of water running down the pool floor.

To safeguard your new paintwork, make sure you balance the water instantly once you turn on the filter. Also, ensure the alkaline level is over 100 ppm and the pH is always above 7.4.

FAQs

Below are frequently asked questions about painting fiberglass pools.

How often should a fiberglass pool be resurfaced?

Resurface your fiberglass pool when you spot the gel coat wearing down. Depending on water chemistry, the gel coat will start wearing down from 10-20 years.

What is the cost of painting a fiberglass pool?

The cost of painting a fiberglass pool with Epoxy paint ranges from $3 to $7 per square foot. The actual painting cost will depend on the pool size, local labor costs, the degree of stains, and the number of cracks or spots.

Should I repaint my pool coping?

You can repaint your pool coping since it extends your pool’s life, allowing it to remain in good condition. Ensure you refinish it using the correct tools, materials, and techniques.

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