Swimming pools, like anything in life, suffer from wear and tear. This can result in discoloration, cracks, dents, and chipping. When this happens, it’s time for pool owners to replaster their pools, and custom pool builders can get the job done seamlessly. 

As a rule of thumb, you should replaster your pool every 10 years to avoid issues like major leaks and structural cracks.

It’s possible to replaster your pool yourself, but discussing the process with custom pool builders in Orange County is still a good idea. You’ll get all the information and advice you need to do to give your pool an excellent plaster finish.

Custom Pool Builders Advise You on Plaster Color, Strength, Durability, and Cost

First things first, you need to choose a color. In the beginning, when people first started installing private swimming pools, the only plaster color you could get was white.

White plaster is traditional and elegant, which is why it’s still very popular. However, new colors have been developed, and now you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the pool plaster finish that best suits you and the overall aesthetic of your home.

Pool Plastering Step-By-Step

After you’ve got your color, you can begin the physical process of plastering your pool.

Step 1: Drain the Pool

You need to drain your swimming pool completely. It’s unlikely you have your own submersible pump or any other tools and equipment you need to start plastering, so you’ll have to rent one. The nice bit of this process is that once you set up the pump in the shallow end, you don’t need to do a thing—you can let it run while you do something else.

The time it takes to drain a swimming pool varies according to its size. If you have a freeform or irregularly shaped pool, you may need to move the pump to properly drain all the water.

Step 2: Relieve Hydrostatic Pressure

When your pool is full or half full, the weight of the water keeps the shell in place. When you drain it, all the weight is removed, and the pool pops up.

Popping up is bad, especially when it isn’t restricted to an area and the whole shell rises. You can prevent your pool from popping up by relieving the hydrostatic pressure. You can do this by opening the hydrostatic relief valves on your pool’s floor.

If you’re not sure where the valves are or that you’ll allow water through the valves, which will then also lift the pool, consult a pool service company that specializes in custom pool design in Orange County. Without expert advice, it’s possible you could damage the pool finish.

Step 3: Prep the Pool

Next, you’ll have to remove the finish. This means using a chipping hammer or a small jackhammer to lift the tiles, glass beads, pebbles, marble, or quartz from your pool’s surface, and you’ll have to do this very carefully.

Don’t forget about the plaster around the fittings, including jets, plumbing, and underwater lights.

Step 4: Inspect the Surface

Go around the pool and inspect the pool walls and floor for any imperfections, including cracks, hollow spots, and chipping. These need to be repaired before you can replaster the surface. Take your time and be as thorough as possible. 

Step 5: Wash the Pool with Muriatic Acid

The muriatic acid removes a thin layer of the old plaster and is necessary to take care of surface-level problems, including stains and calcium deposits. The acid wash also gives the surface a rough texture, enabling bonding materials to bond the old finish to the new finish. 

Remember that you are working with acid, so you must take all necessary safety precautions, including the use of gloves, boots, and goggles. You might also want to wear a face mask to be extra careful. If you’re not comfortable with this step in the plastering process, hire pool professionals to do it for you.

Step 6: Add a Bonding Agent

A bonding agent ensures the old and new plaster properly adhere to one another. Bond Kote is commonly used as a bonding agent. Bond Kote is an acrylic-modified mixture of cement and sand that is made of one-part resin and one-part bonding cement.

The agent is rolled or sprayed onto the entire pool surface. Leave the agent for eight hours to 10 hours to set.

Step 7: Apply the Plaster

The industry standard is adding two coats of plaster, but some professionals advise adding three. Each layer should be ½ an inch or ¾ of an inch. After you apply the first coat, you must go over it with a trowel to ensure the finish is smooth. Add the second layer after the first layer sets.

Once the second layer has been set, you can paint the pool or add your finish of choice, including tile and pebble finishes.

Step 8: Wash the Plaster Surface

Hand wash every inch of the pool’s surface, this evens out roughness and bubbles and smooths the whole thing out.

Step 9: Inspect the Surface

This is your opportunity to ensure the surface is perfect, and if it’s not, you have the time to address the problems.

Step 10: Fill the Pool

Fill your pool. Test the pool water to get a baseline for the chemical levels. The alkalinity, pH, and calcium levels will rise over the first few days. Your first goal is to get the alkalinity level and pH level right—therefore, you shouldn’t add chlorine or other harsh chemicals for three days. Ideally, you should wait until the pH and alkalinity levels are where they should be before adding the chlorine. 

You should get into a maintenance routine right from the start by gently brushing the new surface during the first few days. It is essential to refrain from swimming in your beautifully replastered pool until the chemistry is correct. This could take anything from four days to seven days.

DIY Plaster Installation or Luxury Custom Pool Builder?

It’s possible to tackle the plastering job yourself or to take a partial DIY approach and leave the rest of the procedures to professional pool companies. This will save you a decent amount in costs.

However, if you don’t have time to go through all the steps, or you prefer to let luxury custom pool builder experts manage the process from start to finish, contact us at 714-235-3294 at Calimingo Pools today!