Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Is it Better to Paint Your Pool or Resurface?

By Moss Strohem ; Updated September 21, 2017

After several years of use, pool owners are often faced with the decision of how to restore the appearance of the finish of the pool surface. With fiberglass pools, the choice is limited to painting. But with typical gunite construction, either painting or re-plastering becomes an option.

Plaster Finishes

Refinishing a plaster-surfaced pool is the most expensive way to restore a pool, but it is also the most preferred. This is a task for a qualified pool construction contractor.

Re-Plastering Process

Re-plastering is labor intensive; the old surface plaster is chiseled off down to the gunite base and new plaster is then reapplied. An optional, but popular and more durable upgrade is to apply a textured finish such as Pebble-sheen or Pebble-tec finishes.


Painting a pool surface to restore its appearance is also an option, but it is not as long-lasting as re-plastering. Types of surface paint are epoxy, chlorinated rubber, and water-based acrylic paints. Epoxy paint has the longest service life (7 to 10 years) while acrylic has the shortest (2 to 3 years).

Paint Preparation

Painting a pool can be a DIY task, if so inclined, but the key to the best result is in the surface preparation. Power-washing, acid washing, then rinsing thoroughly will typically be sufficient. The new finish can be easily rolled on, much as you would finish an interior wall of your home.


Costs will vary by area and market. Generally, refinishing with paint will be one-third to one-half the expense of re-plastering. Contact a pool builder for more information.


All finishes deteriorate over time. To get the longest life from your pool finish, be certain to keep your pool free from debris and keep the water chemistry in balance.


About the Author


Moss Strohem has a background in business and finance, and an avid interest in youth sports, health, nutrition and physiology. He writes both technical information and market commentary as a private consultant and has researched and authored business plans.