Swimming Pool Blog

Pool Deck Painting: A How-To

pool and patio deck painting
by Mark Garcia July 19, 2013

How to Paint your Pool Deck or Patio

colorful painted pool deck


Now, I'm not necessarily speaking of painting your pool deck in multi-colored desert hues, but whatever floats your boat! Looks like a lot of work.

Most pool decks in the west and south are treated with a Kool Deck type of finish, which is a colored cementitious topcoat, splatter-sprayed onto plain concrete, then knocked down with a trowel, to create a travertine finish of irregular valleys and flat higher spots.

Stampcrete, shown above, is another popular surface, which uses templates to create impressions in concrete, is sometimes given a colored top coating of pool deck paint.

Pool deck colors fade over time and can be rejuvenated with a deck coating made specifically for pool deck surfaces, popular not just for pool decks, but also patios and sidewalks.

You don't need to have a Kool Deck to use pool deck coatings. Regular broom finished concrete can become stained or discolored, or just generally plain. Giving your pool deck a makeover is easy - just roll or spray it on.

Well, actually - not that easy - most of the work is in the preparation. For the most successful bond, the pool deck or patio needs to be cleaned very thoroughly before any painting is done - just like painting a pool. In fact, the prep is exactly the same as for pool painting. TSP - Acid - TSP.

Choosing Pool Deck Coating Color

If you are recoating a Kool Deck or Lace Deck coating, see our selection of pool deck coatings made by EZ Products to match Kool Deck colors by Mortex. Sand Buff (on the end, right side) was the biggest seller for Mortex, and also matches other colors by other textured deck product manufacturers, like Frontier, Miracote, Permacrete and SunDek.

EZ Products Coatings for Kool Deck or Lace Deck or Desert Deck

For those of you not trying to match a previous color, or a textured concrete color, you can choose from several other colors by other deck coating manufacturers. Ramuc is a well respected pool paint and deck coatings manufacturer, that has been making technical coatings for over 50 years. Ramuc Acrylic Deck Coatings

We carry the Ramuc line of acrylic deck coatings, in 3 colors. Acrylic deck coatings have the advantage of being able to apply onto a moist pool deck or patio, or in high humidity conditions. Epoxy coatingss require that the surface be very dry before you apply the coating to the concrete.

If you are looking for savings, try our private label brand, which is the same formulation as other nationally known brands, but is cheaper because it comes to us without marketing, sales or distribution costs. Poolcenter Deck and Patio Coatings come in 7 colors, 6 shown, plus white. It also contains non-skid, already mixed in.

Poolcenter pool deck paints

White is best for indoor pools, or desert pools with few shade trees over the pool deck. If you have shade trees over the deck that create dark dirt deposits on your deck, a darker color may be best - to hide the dirt deposits.

If you have a problem with specks of algae growing in the low crevices of your textured pool deck, a darker color may also serve you better, and require less cleaning. Something like Buff Tan, Putty, or even Granite.

Preparation for Pool Deck Painting

To prepare the pool deck for a new coating, it must be as clean as possible. You'll need to assemble some supplies beforehand.

  • Pressure washer of 2500-3500 psi.
  • TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) to degrease the surface.
  • Muriatic Acid or Sulfamic Acid to etch the surface (only if your deck is very smooth).

Pressure Washing: After removing all of the furniture and potted plants from the deck, start with a slow and careful pressure washing. Work from the pool edge toward the outer edge, to minimize the amount of dirt that sprays into the pool. If your have a cantilevered deck, don't for get to clean the edge also.

TIP: Keep the pressure washer off the edge of the pool deck while cleaning. It's likely that some grease, oil or gasoline may spill on the deck, and that's something to avoid. If not possible, use a mortar mixing tub, or other large plastic sled to house the pressure washer while you work.TSP

TSP Wash: After pressure washing the entire deck, mix up TSP with hot water, (1 lb of TSP per Gallon) and slosh it around the deck with a firm bristled push broom or scrub brush - your pool brush could work, but it's best to use a brush with more surface area. Scrub hard, over every square inch to clean and remove any oils and dirt.

You can find both TSP and a good brush on a pole at a Home store, or you can find them here on Poolcenter.

Acid Washing: If your concrete is very smooth, like a garage floor, you should acid wash it with a 50% solution of muriatic acid added to water. Pour it on, brush it around, and hose it off within a few minutes. This will etch the surface to allow for a better bond.

Use lots of water when rinsing it off, to dilute it - or you can use a pH up product like soda ash, to neutralize the acid. Sprinkle 2 lbs of soda ash per gallon of acid before rinsing thoroughly. This is helpful to avoid damaging delicate plants (and ecosystems) around your pool deck area.

For most broom finished or textured pool decks, acid washing is not a necessary step in preparation before painting your pool deck.

Painting your Pool Deck

You can use a paint sprayer, but a low nap roller would probably be a better choice. For textured decks, you want to be sure that the coating doesn't puddle in the low spots, and a roller helps.bucket with paint screen

Use a 5 gallon bucket with a paint screen, it's a lot easier to move around than a paint tray, with much less chance of spilling.

TIP: I would advise to not paint precast coping stones. Give them a good pressure washing, but leave the deck coating for the deck. Coping stones don't hold deck coatings very well, and it looks awful when it begins to peel.

Deck coatings with a granular grit mixed in, for slip resistance, or added during mixing, need to be thoroughly mixed and re-mixed during painting, to prevent the grit from settling to the bottom. Stir it up every 5 minutes or so.

And, just roll on the paint, with smooth, even strokes. Two coats will give a longer lasting finish.

TIP(S): Be sure to wear clean shoes - and lock up the dogs! And - check the weather before you begin, to rule out thunderstorms or high winds.


Thanks for Reading!

Mark Garcia