Can You Paint A Gunite Pool? Yes And Why Not To Explained

pool in backyard with fence, patio and grass nearby

This Article Was Last Updated on January 2, 2023

When you have a pool and it’s starting to show its age, you may be considering renovating.  This can mean a full re-plaster of the pool, or maybe just a pressure wash of the interior finish. There are many ways to change the color of your pool or give it a face lift. Maybe you can get away with just an acid wash to bring your interior finish color back to life.  When you start to price out your options, it’s tempting to consider the easy route to making your pool look refreshed.  You may find yourself asking, can you paint a gunite pool?

Can You Paint A Gunite Pool?

Theoretically you can paint just about anything solid.  So the simple answer is yes, you can paint a gunite pool. Do you want to paint a gunite pool is the next question. Once you start painting a pool, you will need to paint it either every year or every other year.  If you choose to paint a pool, make sure to use paint that is intended for use on gunite pools, and follow the instructions religiously.

If you live in a northern climate where you drain the pool down 18-24” for winter, you will notice your painted pool above the winter water line gets chalky and discolored.  This leads to most people with a painted pool repainting the pool every spring.  And with repainting comes draining the pool down completely, prepping the surface, painting the pool and then refilling the pool.  Refilling the pool can cost thousands of dollars every time you do it, depending on where you live.  

can you paint a gunite pool shown in backyard how to do it

Hidden Costs Of Painting A Gunite Pool

There are some hidden costs to painting your pool.  First there’s the predictable costs, like water every time you need to repaint the pool, and the cost of the paint and painting supplies.  Then there’s the aesthetic cost of looking at a painted pool.  At first you might think it’s the best thing you’ve ever done to your pool, but once it starts to peel or get chalky, you will realize the mistake you’ve made when the pool looks like it really needs help.  

Can You Paint A Gunite Pool For Cheaper Than Replastering?

The major long term cost to painting your pool is the cost of renovating a painted pool if the time comes you decide to stop painting and put in a new interior finish.  You will either have to do one of two items. First, pay for a full chip out of your existing painted plaster. Second, you will need to pay for the messy process of sandblasting to remove the paint, or slurry blasting.  These are added costs to the standard price of re-plastering a pool.  

Can You Paint A Gunite Pool Summary

It’s a good idea to weigh the long term costs of painting a gunite pool. Make sure it’s the right fit for you before you choose to do it. When you paint a pool you are choosing to keep painting the pool regularly for as long as you own the pool. If you paint the pool, you will have increased renovation costs down the road

Painting the pool will cost you more to remove the pool since it’s more expensive to dispose of painted concrete than unpainted concrete. Painting a pool is a quick easy fix that’ll leave you redoing that quick easy fix on an annual or biennial basis. So can you paint a gunite pool?  Yes, but make sure you know what you’re getting into. We recommend having an interior finish renovation instead.