To catch you up, here are the posts about the pool area work we had done up to this point:
- Replacing fallen tiles
- Repairing crumbling concrete coping blocks
- Replacing old cracked caulk in pool deck expansion joints
So the final step in this renovation was repainting. After doing the requisite research, it became clear that pool deck paint is special stuff, often expensive, and not available at Lowes or Home Depot. The knowledgeable and supportive pool forums at troublefreepool provided some options, and the simplest, cheapest, and best seemed to converge on a product called H&C Solid Color Water-Based Concrete Stain. It was available at Sherwin-Williams, like the specialized caulk we needed, and we were able to purchase it at 40% off, for a final price of $26 per can. We chose to use the ultra white for the coping and a sandy-tan “Bombay” for the deck. We also picked up some of their SharkGrip product to mix in for anti-slip protection… on sale, it cost less than $10 for enough to do 5 gallons of paint (we needed 4 gallons total).
I spoke with the SW people about prep… I scraped and peeled off any loose paint, and made sure the surfaces were clean, dry, and rough. I still cannot wrap my head around the difference between paint and stain in this situation though. Paint is a surface coating, stain sinks in. How can stain go over previously painted surfaces? How can a stain have a non-chemical additive? Even after successfully applying this product, I just don’t know. It certainly behaved different than paint… much drippier, dried thinner, but very intensely pigmented and it almost didn’t need a second coat (almost but not quite). According to the SW website:
“H&C® Concrete Stain Solid Color Water-Based bonds to concrete and forms a tough shield so it doesn't fade, peel or flake like paint. It is resistant to acids, ultraviolet rays, oil, gas and alkali while maintaining a decorative finish. Available in a variety of ready-to-use and tintable colors, as well as a clear, this stain is ideal for high pH surfaces.”
Okay then. Brushing it on the coping was a loathsome task among other loathsome tasks, but it looked so good it was addictive and I just wanted to coveralltheuglyconcreterightnow!! I could just tell it was going to be fabulous. And it was. While the reviews on the SW site are mixed, I am very pleased with this product so far and will leave my own review after it’s been in place for a while.
You can see above how it doesn’t fill in depressions… we can definitely still see depth differences in areas that were never painted amidst the heavily painted ones. But the uniform color now masks those imperfections really well. I painted two coats on the coping while Tim cleared debris and plants and anthills and bird poop from the pool deck. Then he rolled the first coat on the deck as I cut in with a brush. We started in the morning, took a loooong break to go to the zoo with the kids, and finished the first coat in the dark of night.
In the morning (on July 4), it was clear it needed a second coat. Below you can see that the corner part has a second coat, but the closer portion is thinner and still needs it. All the same, this was amazing coverage and adhesion. I put on the second coat and then we went to go swim elsewhere and eat and celebrate our Independence.
Whew! I can’t believe we ever got this far! DIY pool repair is definitely NOT rocket science, or brain surgery, or like building Ikea furniture. But it will exhaust you, and also save you a lot of money. All that was left was to have a really big 5th of July party and enjoy the finished project…
Honestly, I don’t think anyone noticed the repairs at all except for my mentioning it. And that’s okay… because now it just looks right. Clean, fresh, and oh so right. I plan to spend a big part of the next 2 months in or near that pool, and I couldn’t be happier that its done!
Good luck on your own DIY adventures, and happy summering!