How to paint a pool

Smart Seal pool paint and primers help make resurfacing easy!

Just follow these 4 simple steps to properly update and seal your concrete or fiberglass inground pool and the gathering areas that surround it.

Determining Surface Material & Current Pool Paint

  1. The type of pool surface material, i.e. bare concrete, plaster or fiberglass, or sandblasted, if uncoated, and
  2. The type of coating currently on your pool now.

On coated pools, Smart Seal recommends using the same type of coating to ensure compatibility.

To determine the type of coating now on your pool, test with the following:

  1. Immerse a small chip in 98% isopropyl alcohol. If the chip dissolves, your coating is an acrylic. If it DOES NOT DISSOLVE,
  2. Immerse a new chip in 100% rubber base solvent (Xylol). If it dissolves, it's a rubber base. If it DOES NOT DISSOLVE, it's an epoxy.

What Type of Pool Paint Do I Need?

If your pool is bare concrete or plaster, then you need... If your pool is fiberglass or sandblasted, then you need…
  • Dura Seal (1 coat) with Rough Prime
If your pool has been previously coated with a rubber base paint, then you need... See the Surface Preparation section in Step#3 before coating any surface.

How to Calculate the Square Footage of Your Pool

  1. Chose the shape that best resembles your pool.
  2. Use the formula below to find the approximate square feet.
  3. Check the coverage of the product you select to determine how many gallons you will need.

Length x Width x 1.6 = Total SF

Length x Width x 1.55 = Total SF

Length x Width x 1.65 = Total SF

Length x Width x 1.65 = Total SF

Length x Width x 1.6 = Total SF

Pool, Deck & Patio Surfaces Must be Cleaned Prior to Paint

PrepWise in One Easy Step!

Cleaning your pool is mandatory before applying any Smart Seal finish coating. This process also applies to patios and decks prior to the application of Patio Perfect.

The most important procedure before coating any surface is surface preparation. Coatings
will not adhere property to even the slightest amount of oil or easy residue.

PrepWise is a one-step clean and etch surface preparation solution. Simply mix PrepWise with water to clean, and then rinse.

  • 1 gallon of solution cleans approximately 400 sq ft.
  • Use PrepWise to clean pool filters too!
1 Step Clean & Etch Concrete Pool and Deck Paint Preparation and Cleaner
DO NOT use a solution weaker than described on the PrepWise label. DO clean every square inch, and be sure to wear safety shoes, gloves and goggles.


Your pool will be water-saturated after cleaning. If you’re using Aqua Seal or Prime It!, you can coat right away. If you're using Rough Prime, Dura Seal or SR Pro 7, you must wait until your pool dries completely before application.
NOTE: ALWAYS wear protective gloves, shoes and eyewear before starting.

Once you have followed the correct surface preparation procedures for your swimming pool, you will be ready to apply your new surface.

ALWAYS read and follow the instructions on ALL product labels.

Applying Dura Seal Epoxy Coating

how to paint a swimming pool
  • Use a 9" roller with a 1/2" nap and a solvent resistant core. See Step 1 on Dura Seal to determine the proper coating procedure for your present surface condition.
  • Sand glossy spots in order to assure good adhesion.
  • Then spot prime bare spots with the recommended primer listed in Step 2.
Allow primer to cure for the recommended time.

TIP: For steps, shallow areas and wading pools, sprinkle white sand or marble dust on the coating before it dries to make the area slip-resistant.

Applying SR Pro 7 Rubber Base Coating

  • Make sure the surface is 100% dry. Water trapped under the new film will result in blistering.
  • Spot prime any bare spots with rubber base coating.
SR Pro 7 requires two coats for best results.
  • For bare surface, thin the first coat 25% with Xylol.
  • Use a 9" roller with a 1/2" nap and a solvent resistant core.
  • Apply the first coat in a smooth even manner. Allow first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.
  • The second coat should be applied at full strength.
  • Consult the Curing Schedule on the label.

Applying Aqua Seal Acrylic Coating

Aqua Seal is a water-reducible acrylic enamel and can be applied directly to the damp surface. No drying out time after cleaning.
  • On bare surfaces, thin the first coat 10% with water.
  • After completely drying, apply the second coat full strength.
  • Consult the Curing Schedule on the label.
How to Paint a Pool: Surface Prep, Choosing and Applying Pool Paint
How to Paint a Pool in 4 Steps with Pictures from Smart Seal Pool Paint