Bubbles/Blistering Paint


My paint is bubbling /blistering along the walls not on the bottom so far it seems good. I painted the pool last fall the weather was ideal it was sunny, the paint did dry fast.

When the pool was drained it got acid washed and repairs were done on the tiles. After a couple of months I then painted the pool. I was told I did not need to acid wash it again before painting as it was already done once just to rinse it well with water let it dry and then paint, which I did.

Can it also be the chemicals and stabilizers that could have caused it or was that just a coincident. It seemed it started right after.

It did not bubble on me right away I had the pool circulating for at least over a month before it started to bubble. Or can it be the paint.

Thanks for the question

There's less of a chance that wrong pool chemistry can cause bubbling and blistering, but we want to cover all the bases. I'd like to have your complete chemical readings, the actual numbers:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs.

There is a section on this page that goes into detail about pool paint the common problems associated with it.

Bubbles and blistering is normally caused by improper preparation. Not allowing
the normal 7 - 10 days to cure. Pool paint needs preparation and time. If not, you're going to get peeling and blistering problems. There's a HUGE difference between paint drying and curing.

Drying is when the paint solvent has evaporated from the coating. Curing is when the coating has reached optimum hardness. Oil paints can dry within 4-8 hours and cure within 10 days. Latex paints dry within 2-4 hours and cure within 30 days.

It also depends on the kind of paint you used. Without knowing this it's a guessing game on my part. My experience has shown that most of the time it's improper prep.

You need to deal with the bubbled painted surface that you have now and remove the bad spots with a pressure washer. If that doesn't work you'll need to sand blast it off. The paint is only as good as the surface it's on.

What I've done is a 3 step surface process. First is to patch any spots that need it.

Then do the surface preparation work: TSP (trisodium-phosphate), muriatic acid, then TSP again. The TSP removes any residual oils. The acid will remove a layer of calcium (plaster). Then use the TSP again to wash off any excess acid.

If you plan on hiring the job out it's good to check licenses and insurance before hiring a contractor. Get good references. Go see the contractor's work and talk to the customers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Cracked Chlorinated Rubber Paint

by Stan

I painted my pool with a chlorinated rubber paint and when I opened the pool the next year all the paint had cracked. It's as if the paint had contracted during the winter and cracked.

This cracking is throughout the entire pool -- including the walls and bottom.

Is this the result of a bad batch of paint?

Thanks for the question Stan

I like using rubber based paint for pools because it tends to hold up a little better than acrylic paints and it's not as expensive as epoxy. I've used rubber paints in Arizona and have painted and fixed the YMCA pool several times.

Blistering and cracking could be one or a variety of issues. Most of the time, that I've experienced, it's the lack of preparation and rushing to finish the job. Not allowing the normal 7 - 10 days to cure. Pool paint needs preparation and time. If not, you're going to get peeling and blistering problems.

Also, chlorinated rubber based paints (CR2600 Series) can only be used over another chlorinated rubber. Yes some say that chlorinated rubber is alright to apply over epoxy but I error on the side of caution. Epoxy should not go over chlorinated rubber because epoxy is more rigid.

It could also be the chemicals are off. I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper).

This is what I've done -

For dry hairline cracks:
Use SAU-SEA Liquid Plastic over the cracks and allow to dry. Wait 24 hours and apply a coat of ECO-CHOICE Premium Rubber Coating over entire pool.

For larger cracks or areas where the cement is missing up to a ½ inch deep:
You'll need to prime crack with rubber-base paint. Allow to dry and cure for 5 - 7 days, then use SAU-SEA Putty Patch with a putty knife. The putty sets in about 15 - 30 seconds. Smooth over surface with your hand.

Allow to cure for 24 hours before painting with a chlorinated rubber paint.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Pool Paint" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Contact Me


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Fading of Rubber Base Swimming Pool Paint

by Kevin Policay
(Virginia Beach, Va)

After 2-3 month of application, following all of the preparation procedures our beautiful Royal Blue pool is now a very light blue.

No peeling at all. You can rub the light blue to restore the royal blue color underneath it????? The entire pool has faded evenly so it is not spotty.

Thanks for the question Kevin

Having unbalanced pool water can contribute to premature fading of the pool paint. The #1 reason for paint to fade that I've personally found is poor prep work. I'm not saying this happened to your pool but I am simply stating what I've experienced from taking care of pools for over 15 years.

Shocking the pool too often can cause the pool paint to chalk and fade. Using lithium chlorine or a stabilized form of chlorine such as dichlor, trichlor, and unstabilized calcium hypochlorite can contribute to the deterioration of the pool paint.

Shocking should only be done when the combined chlorine gets too high, 0.6ppm or above. When the pool water chemicals are balanced there really is no need for weekly and routine shocking.

Another procedural error is not allowing the paint to cure properly. Sometimes a dry time of of 3 - 4 days and a cure time of up to 7 days is needed before refilling.

When I had my route I tried to not paint during the hot part of the day. Temperatures in AZ can reach 118 degrees and around 140 on the surface. Painting a hot surface can cause blistering and fading due to the evaporation of the solvents in the paint.

Several light coats are normally recommended rather than a couple heavy coats.

The first thing I would encourage you to do is be sure the chemicals are properly balanced to possibly lessen the effects of the fading. After that you may need to repaint.

Have a great rest of the Summer.


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Proper 2 Pac Pool Paint... Oxidized Only After 2 Months

by Colin

My pool is painted with a proper 2 pack pool paint and has oxydized only after 2 months.

If I paint it again, what's to stop it happening if the pool turns green with algae and have to shock dose it with chlorine?

The swimming pool water is checked every week. Pool is 75,000 LT.

Should I expect 4 to 6 years out of paint?

Thanks for the question Colin

I'm not sure how you painted the pool the last time, but this is how I did a few pools in Arizona.

2 Pack paints will harden with the addition of an activator that starts a chemical reaction. It's this reaction that causes the paint to 'harden'. The chemical used is usually isocyanate based and very toxic. The use of booths and breathing gear are a must.

It's best to stick to one system when applying paints as different manufacturers use different chemicals and this can cause problems when paints are mixed, even when the paint dries.

There are many different types of paint. All are slightly different according to many different application methods, protective/ decorative reasons, and different manufacturers. Be sure you're using the correct kind of primer an application method. The instructions on the can give you the best information and details.

Concerning pool algae problem, if you stick to the information on this site, you shouldn't have any algae problems. This is from years and years of personal experience of being in the Arizona sun working on and maintaining pools.

Swimming Pool Algae..Green Water..Removal..Control

Hope this answers your question and have a great Summer


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Fountains Paint Bubbling

by Brandon
(Pensacola Florida)

I have some fountains that need help. I'll test the paint tomorrow now that I know how. Thanks.

I believe it's chlorinated rubber as I've painted my pool before. The problem is that its bubbling REALLY BAD !!! They're painted. Black and in direct sunlight.

Am I going to need to cover them (build a tent) as to not allow the sun to bake/blister the new paint job? Also ..I'm in Florida so its very humid, sunny and rainy ..any suggestions

Thanks for the question Brandon

There are a few ways you can go with this. First is to get the fountain electro-coated or electro-painted. This process is similar to the way a car is painted.

Next is to use a product from Home Depot called Seal Krete.

You can use trisodium phosphate cleanser, a good stiff brush and finish it with steel wool. Rinse the fountain using a pressure washer if you can. Make sure that the concrete is completely dry before painting.

For a nonmetallic fountain you can use an acrylic latex primer and a galvanized metal etching primer on a metallic fountain.

Use a roller and a 3-inch synthetic polyester paintbrush.

Have a great Summer.


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