Can You Paint Pool Tiles? Pros And Cons

pool tiles in backyard pool

You may be looking at your pool and thinking of ways you can improve it.  Maybe you’ve even looked into renovating it the old fashioned way by replacing the old tile with new and maybe even a re-plaster of the interior finish.  There’s one question that comes up every now and again from people looking to renovate but who don’t want to spend a lot in the process.  Can you paint pool tiles?

How To Paint Pool Tiles Explained

What you’ll need to do in order to paint your pool tiles is to drain down the pool and clean the tile.  You’ll probably want to scrub with a wire brush to get all the calcium and scale off the tiles.  Then you’ll want to use a paint that’s intended for pools and follow the instructions religiously.  If you choose to paint your pool tiles, hopefully you enjoy the process.  You’ll be doing it regularly once you start.

Can You Paint Pool Tiles?

Paint can adhere to just about anything if you prepare the surface correctly.  However, there’s no way to prevent water from seeping behind the paint at the grout joints between your tiles. The paint will peel and become unsightly after a time, so be prepared to repaint regularly, either on an annual basis or biennial basis.  It’s much like painting a pool in that it is not a one and done process, but a process which will need to be repeated once you start it.

can you paint pool tiles explained in backyard with pool and spa

Alternatives To Painting Pool Tiles

You may want to consider some alternatives to painting your pool tile.  After all, they are a fleeting fix. Here are some additional ideas of how to restore your pool tiles to their original glory.

Tile Replacement Renovation

One is to replace the tile instead of painting it.  You can replace the tile in a pool without re-plastering.  The contractor will drain down the pool, then saw cut the plaster below the tile and then remove the tile.  Then the new tile can be installed, and the line of plaster below the tile can be patched.  Yes, there’ll be a small patch line running around the pool under the tile, but at least you’ll have the tile you want and won’t need to repaint the pool tile.

Remove Tile And Re-Plaster

Another option is to remove the tile altogether.  You can remove the tile and re-plaster the pool with an exposed aggregate finish like Pebbletec which goes all the way to the underside of the deck. However, this is not recommended since the waterline of the pool will start to look ugly once the scale starts to build up.  It’s virtually impossible to clean the scale off of Pebbletec, but you can clean it off the tile with some effort.

Can You Paint Pool Tiles Summary

So, can you paint pool tiles? Ultimately, if you choose to paint your pool tile, just be prepared for some ongoing maintenance.  Also, make sure you are being careful not to drip paint onto the pool surface.  It can be frustrating at times, but it may be the right thing to do at your pool.  We always recommend going the traditional route for renovations. That involves replacing the tile and re-plastering the pool as opposed to using paint.