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Should I Paint or Replaster My Pool?


A common question that people face when deciding to renovate their swimming pool is, “should I paint or replaster my pool?” It’s a tough question to answer off the bat, but with some further analysis, you should be able to decide which method will be best suited to your tastes and requirements. In this article we will let paint and replastering battle it out and see which comes out on top!


When it comes to longevity, plaster tends to be the best option. When mixed properly and well maintained, it can last some 15-20 years. Paint on the other hand, only has a lifespan of 2-7 years.


Whilst paints that are used for spas, pools, and fountains are typically designed for underwater use, plaster wins out given it’s ½” thickness.


Another factor to consider is how big a job the preparation is for both painting and plastering.

  • For painting you will need to degrease the surface, acid etch the existing plaster, including a further wash and scrub. Acrylic pool paints can be painted on damp surfaces; however, epoxy paints (which last longest) require that you air the pool for 3-5 days before painting.
  • Plastering is a much more industrialised prep process. You have to drain, cut and chip the plaster beneath the tyle, acid etch the pool, roughen the plaster surface (allowing it to bond with new coat of plaster), and more.


When it comes to the application side of things, painting is rather simple. You’ll need to apply a first coast, and then leave it to dry for 4-6 hours before applying another. Depending on the size of the pool and the outdoor temperature etc, you should be able to start filling your pool within 2-5 days.

Plastering on the other hand is a bigger job. The plaster will be mixed using a combination of white cement and marble dust, with additives for strength or colour added when necessary. Once it is ready the plaster will be sprayed onto the surface of the pool, smoothing out to give it an even surface. After 3-4 hours, the swimming pool should be plastered. Following that, the pool will be filled up slowly until it is full. Then you will have instruction for after-care, getting the water chemistry right, and brushing the pool twice daily for 2 weeks in order to eliminate the plaster dust.


In honesty, both fresh paint and new plaster look amazing. While both do look the same in terms of quality at first, after a while, the paint will lose its colour and the plater job will remain fresh for longer.


As a rule of thumb, plastering tends to cost about 1/5th more than painting. That said, as we have established already, plaster lasts considerably longer, so they are more or less equal in cost.


Getting the paintjob done properly is no simple task. You have to have the right paint, it has to be applied properly, the swimming pool has to be prepped appropriate prior to that, the amount of moisture in the air at the time of application might effect the overall finish, and subsequently, paint can blister. It’s frustrating, but when done properly by a pool resurfacing company, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Plaster can also fail and here is more to go wrong. Spot etching, pits and pockmarks, delamination’s (where large sections of plaster peel off), poorly balanced mix ratios, steaking, application temperature, after chemical care, and so on. These are just a handful of hurdles that need to be overcome in order to ensure a quality finish.


It is quite close to be honest with you, as there are pros and cons to both. Paint is quicker, cheaper, and easier, but doesn’t last so long. Plastering is more expensive, but it does last considerably longer. In the short-term, both paint and plaster jobs are equal in terms of aesthetic appeal (when applied properly), so the question is, which makes more sense to you?