Crumbling Paint From Brand New Concrete Pool

by Kristine

We had quartz and glittery blue colour to finish our new concrete pool. When it is being cleaned there is white powder seen coming from the walls and glitter floats around the water.

The blue is fading and in many parts disappeared leaving brown patches. The pool is less than a year old but the supplier says this is normal.

Thanks for the question Kristine

With a newly painted pool you can expect some discoloration and paint flaking off. This is normal and will decrease as time goes on. However, with a well balanced pool and the paint applied correctly, the paint should last for years, but these have to work together. You can't have a nicely painted pool and have bad water quality and chemicals that aren't balanced out.

Also, you can be in expert in pool maintenance, but if the paint wasn't applied correctly it can bubble up and crack.


This can result in dull and hazy water. It can also lead to a white powdery residue that easily can rub off. To avoid this, water chemistry and maintenance are the key.

Keep your pool total alkalinity between 80 - 100ppm. If the pool alkalinity is too low the pool paint can rub off.

Constant shock treatments will also chaulk up the swimming pool paint. Use di-chlor or sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) instead of calcium hypochlorite (granules).

Bubbles And/Or Blisters

This is caused by improper preparation. For diy pool resurfacing, the paint must be applied to a clean dry surface.

If applied too thick, if the surface is too hot, and if the pool is not cleaned properly, the pool paint might blister.

The only remedy is to repaint the pool or the blistered spots.

It could be that the preparation wasn't properly done or the water chemistry is off. I can't really help with the first, but I'd like to have a complete list of your chemical readings. If these are off they need to be fixed and I can help with that.

If the chemical readings are fine,
the problem would be with the preparation of painting of the pool surface. That is something you'd need to take up with the contractor that did the job.

Get me the readings and we can take it from there.


Comment By Kristine

Thank you so much for your reply.

We take the water to be checked most weeks as the chlorinator has been dodgy - it's only a new pool but we've had a few ups and downs. Would high chlorine affect the walls?

Would you recommend we get Poolwerx person in to get the balances right?

Thank you


Comment By Robert

Hello Kristine

It depends on what you mean by "high" chlorine. I kept the YMCA pool between 3.5 - 4.5ppm and the residential pools on my route were kept between 1.5 - 3.5ppm. Most of the time the pH, alkalinity, and calcium play more of a role with the plaster than anything else, but chlorine kept at extremely high levels, above 12 - 15ppm for extended periods of time can affect the plaster.

You could get a pool tech in there, but you need to be careful. He should be using a professional test kit and not test strips. I use and recommend the Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 test kit. This is the one that most pool professionals use, as well as the Arizona and Oregon Dept. of Health. They're responsible for checking public pools. If he simply dips the strips in and gives you a reading, I'd ask why he uses strips instead of the FAS kit.

Strips are much more convenient but the FAS kit is much more accurate, and that's what you're after. The TF-100 kit is also reliable. If he says it doesn't matter, the strips are fine, I'd drop him and take a sample of water to your local pool store.

You have this site and me to get the best answers. I'm not here to sell you anything, just to give you my 12 years of real world experience in taking care of pools.


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Need Hazard or Warning Strip - What Type Of Paint To Use?

by Bruce
(Kamloops, B.C.)

Our strata has an older vinyl liner swimming pool with fiberglass/plastic pre-formed steps into it.

We are required to have a warning strip applied to the outer edge of the steps to make people aware of the step.

What should we use to paint or mark the warning outer edge of each step?

Thanks for the question Bruce

Warning strips are always a good idea because it gets people's attention and helps keeps them safe. I painted the deck of the YMCA pool each year during the annual shutdown and this is what I used.

Either a chlorinated rubber based or epoxy paint would work. It should last for several years. Just be sure the surface is cleaned and dry. Bright red is the best.

You can apply it with either a brush or roller but I prefer a brush. It's much better for control. Remember to paint in several light layers, don't do just one thick coat.

And this little trick works very well.

Put down a layer of paint then sprinkle a light layer of sand over the wet painted part. Allow to fully dry then paint another light layer and sprinkle the sand on the 2nd layer. The 3rd paint layer should have not sand. This will seal everything in and give the swimmer's feet a little grip because the painted part may get a bit slick.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Repainting Concrete Pool

by Theresa

We have had our salt water concrete pool professionaly sandblasted and re-painted with epoxy paint. Two months after the pool was re-painted the paint started becoming sticky and rubbing off and flaking off. We then had the pool re-painted by another professional with another epoxy paint.

This time the paint cured for 2 months. Three months after adding water the pain started getting sticky again and coming off. Not sure if you have any ideas as to why the epoxy paint gets sticky/tacky after a couple of months? Is there a better brand of expoxy paint to use?

Thanks for the question Theresa

First thing we would look at are the chemical readings. If they're not balanced it could void the warranty. Without knowing the readings it's difficult to say what happened.

Next is using epoxy paint. Many brands such as Rust-Oleum use a 2 component process, the paint and activator. These must be mixed in exact amounts or the finished product will be lacking. Any deviation from the mixture can lead to blistering and flaking. Without knowing the ratio that was applied to your pool it's hard to say. Then there's the surface prep. This is by far the main reason why pool paint blisters and rubs off. Rust-Oleum has Pool Clean and Prep Solution that is good. I would ask if the surface was properly prepped. You need to get down to the gunite in order for it to be effective. Surface must be free of debris and oils.

As you can see there could be one or a combination of reasons why the paint is flaking off: wrong pool chemistry, bad mixture, poor surface prep.

I would start by asking whomever did the job to explain what they did and how. What products did they use? How did they mix them and how do they know it was right? What are there references? How did they prep the surface? Did they go down to the gunite? If not, why not?

Do you keep a log of your chemicals? When and what was added? How much? They may ask you for your records as well.

As you can see there's really no clear-cut reason why you're in this situation but hopefully this will get you pointed in the right direction.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations for a donation of your choice. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias.

Pool Consultation

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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