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    How to Paint Your InGround Pool

    Before you begin

    Always read and follow manufacturer's instructions before beginning any paint project. The guidelines below will help make the process easy, and the end result beautiful & long-lasting!

    For compatibility purposes, the type of existing paint on any previously painted surfaces of your pool or spa should be determined before painting. If the existing surface is unknown, a sample should be submitted for testing to your local pool store.

    Aged plaster should be checked for integrity. Check for hollow or weak/crumbling plaster by using a ball-peen hammer or any other comparable method. Perform repairs to the plaster before painting.

    Supplies needed

    For Cleaning:

    • Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP), Muriatic or Sulfamic acid solution
    • High-pressure power washer (optional)

    For Condensation Test:

    • Several two-foot square pieces of transparent plastic, & duct tape to secure it
    • Abrasion material used to create a medium grade sandpaper profile for fiberglass surfaces or previously painted epoxy surfaces
    • Sandpaper (#80 grit), power sander or wire brush

    For Painting:

    • No larger than 3/8" nap mohair, metal, lambskin, or phenolic core roller
    • Paint brush for detailing
    • 5-gallon bucket for intermixing paint components
    • Mechanical mixer (this can be as simple as a paddle attachment to a power drill)
    • Ramuc Thinner or Xylene for thinning paint, cleaning-up tools & spills

    For Filling Joints & Cracks:

    • Hydraulic cement, Durathane polyurethane sealant or any other submersible polyurethane sealant
    • Do not use silicone-based products, as paint adhesion will be adversely affected

    Surface prep & painting guidelines

    The keys to a successful pool or deck paint job are proper surface preparation and correct application of paint. By following the simple steps below, you're ensuring virtually maintenance-free paint service on your pool. Immediately after the pool is emptied, begin the 3-step process below:

    STEP 1 - Surface review & preparation

    • Plaster, concrete, or Gunite surfaces should be tested for integrity and soundness. Water-blast the surface to remove loose paint and dirt.
    • Care needs to be taken when recoating epoxy surfaces to first remove all tightly adhering residual chalk.
    • Previously painted epoxy or bare fiberglass surfaces need to be abraded to a #80 grit profile.
    • Then, scrub the entire pool with a soap/tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) solution to remove all dirt, oils, loose or peeling paint, and chalk.
    • Should any minor repairs need to be made, such as hydraulic cement patch or crack joint filling, do them at this time. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

    STEP 2 - Testing & etching

    • All surfaces should be acid etched with a 15-20% solution of muriatic or Sulfamic acid to achieve a medium grade sandpaper finish on bare concrete / plaster, and to remove mineral deposits on previously painted epoxy surfaces. Neutralize / rinse with TSP & water.
    • After all cleaning is completed, allow the pool surface to dry. Average dry times vary regionally and are dependent upon the porosity of the surface. It is recommended to wait five dry days and then perform a condensation test to determine surface dryness.
    • To determine dryness, perform a condensation simple test. Secure 2' x 2' pieces of transparent plastic tape to both the deep end walls and floor with duct tape, as well as to several other areas of the pool. Wait three hours to determine if condensation has formed underneath the plastic. If condensation has formed underneath the plastic, then the surface is not dry enough to paint. Remove the plastic, wait 24 hours & perform the test again. Continue with the test until no condensation forms underneath the plastic after the three-hour wait period.

    STEP 3 - Mixing and applying the paint

    Mixing the Paint:

    EP Hi Build Epoxy is self-priming; no other type of primer is recommended or should be used. Ramuc Thinner can be used to thin paint by 10%.

    • Mechanically mix Part A for approximately 10 minutes.
    • Mechanically mix Part B for approximately 10 minutes.
    • Mechanically mix both Part A and Part B together for approximately 15 minutes.
    • Allow the mixed paint to set for 15-30 minutes prior to use (at 70 degrees F and 50% relative humidity). At 65 degrees the set time is 60 minutes. Lower temperatures and higher humidity will affect the final cure of the coating.
    • If mixing more than the one 2-gallon paint kit at a time, intermix the kits to ensure color uniformity.
    • EP Hi Build has a pot life (use life) of 3 hours.

    Applying the Paint:

    • Use no more than a 3/8" nap mohair metal lambskin, phenolic core roller. Apply at the recommended coverage rate. Ideal air temperatures for application are between 50-90 degrees F.
    • Surface temperature should be at least 50 degrees F.
    • Do not paint when rain is imminent. Use dark colors for accent painting only.

    Technical information

    Cure Rates:

    • Outdoor pool: 5-7 dry days; Indoor pool: 10-14 days
    • If rain occurs during the curing process, allow an extra day of dry time for each day of rain. Rain or moisture can cause blistering, color blushing, and the finish could be altered.
    • Dry time to touch: 6-8 hours
    • To recoat: 16-72 hours. If second coat is applied beyond 72 hours, the first coat must be abraded/sanded prior to applying second coat.

    Coverage:

    Actual coverage will vary, and is dependent upon the texture and profile of the surface:

    • 75-125 sq. ft. on bare, sandblasted, or rough surfaces
    • 125-200 sq. ft. on recoats
    • Minimum dry film per coat: 5 mils dry (7.5 mils wet)
    • Maximum dry film per coat: 8 mils dry (12.5 mils wet)
    • Pot life once mixed: 3 hours @ 70 degrees F. and 50% relative humidity
    • Clean-up: Ramuc Thinner

    Technical Data:

    • Weight/gallon: 12# mixed
    • Solids by weight: 80% - 2% mixed
    • Solids by volume: 66% - 2% mixed
    • V.O.C.: Does not exceed 340 g/l

    Spray Information:

    • Conventional air: 50 - 70 p.s.i.
    • Tip size: .055 - .070
    • Airless: 2200 - 2500 p.s.i.
    • Tip size: .019 - .023

    Special situations & problems


    Blushing, Fading, Chalking


    Possible Causes:

    • The pool was filled too soon (see cure rates above) before the paint is completely cured, causing a blush over the surface which looks like fading or chalking.
    • Super-chlorinated water may cause a "bleached-out" look.
    • The "shock" of calcium hypochlorite can cause a white, bleached look to the paint film, leaving a whitish deposit
    • A chalky substance can occur when water is over-treated with shock, bromine, ozone and ionization. It is not the paint breaking down. We suggest a natural polymer product or clarifier that can reduce the chalking problem.
    • Iron in the water from rust in the filter system may leave deposits and stain the film.
    • All epoxies will chalk to some degree due to exposure to UV rays of the sun.

    The Solution:

    • Scrub surface using a solution of soap and water. This will remove surface dirt and deposits.
    • Wet with a weak (2-3%) solution of muriatic acid. Acid will remove iron stains without damaging the paint film.
    • Solvent wipe affected areas with Ramuc Thinner.
    • Check your pool water chemistry daily or weekly for calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and balanced pH.
    • Extremely corrosive water can ultimately cause deterioration or breakdown of a paint film over a period of years.
    • Be sure the newly painted pool surface dries at least five dry days for an outdoor pool and/or 10 days for an indoor pool, before filling.

    Blistering


    Possible Causes:

    • Using a nap roller larger than 3/8", draws air into paint film
    • Over application of paint beyond its recommended coverage rate
    • Painting on a damp surface
    • Filling the pool before the paint is cured
    • Incompatible paints

    The Solution:

    • Apply at recommended coverage rates
    • All paintable surfaces must be dry prior to painting with epoxy
    • Epoxy paint must cure for 5 dry days for outdoor pools; 10 days for indoor pools

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