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Pool Resurfacing Guide: Steps, Costs, and Tips

Pool Resurfacing

Pool resurfacing is crucial to keeping it strong and lasting. All pools, whether they’re vinyl or fiberglass, will need resurfacing eventually. Knowing when to do this can save you from costly fixes and keep your swimming experience safe and fun.

Common Signs of Pool Degradation

You can spot if your pool needs resurfacing by looking at some common signs. These signs include:

  • Peeling, flaking, or cracking on the pool surface
  • Rough or uneven texture
  • Discoloration or fading
  • Cracks in the structural structure
  • Excessive or bad rust stains
  • Paint peeling away

If you see any of these signs, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage to the pool and ensure the safety of the users.


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Different Types of Pool Surfaces

You’ll need to know about different pool surfaces if you’re thinking of resurfacing. There are several types, each with its own traits, upkeep needs, and costs.

Vinyl Liners

These pools are popular because they’re affordable and easy to install. However, they need resurfacing every 5 to 10 years. This involves replacing the old liner with a new one for a clean surface.

Fiberglass Pools

These are known for being durable and low-maintenance, but they still need resurfacing about every 15 years. This process involves using special materials to remove old coatings, fix any damage, and apply a new layer to improve appearance and water resistance.

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools are durable and flexible in design but require regular resurfacing every 10 to 20 years. The choice of material for resurfacing is crucial to ensure durability and comfort for swimmers.

Knowing about these surfaces will help you make the right choice for your pool’s longevity and appearance.

Pool Resurfacing Options

When it comes to giving your pool a fresh look, there are several options available, each with its own pros and cons. Your decision will depend on your budget, the type of pool you have, and the style you want.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a water-based option that can be directly applied to concrete pools, typically costing $1 to $2 per square foot. While it’s a budget-friendly choice, it only lasts around 2-3 years.

Epoxy Paint

Epoxy paint forms a strong barrier against chemicals and stains, especially suitable for fiberglass pools. It lasts longer, about 7-10 years, but can cost between $2 to $5 per square foot.


Plaster is a traditional option for concrete pools, made from a mix of cement, water, and sand. With proper care, it’s durable and smooth, with costs ranging from $5 to $100 per square foot, depending on the type and color.

Pebble Tec

Pebble Tec offers a premium solution, blending smooth pebbles with cement for a natural, non-slip finish. It’s known for its durability and resistance to stains and chemicals, lasting 15 to 20 years. Expect costs between $10 to $15 per square foot.


Quartz surfaces are popular for their stain resistance and durability, particularly Diamond Brie. They come in various colors, giving a luxurious appearance compared to plaster. Costs range from $7 to $12 per square foot.

Glass Tile

Glass tiles provide a beautiful and easy-to-clean surface, requiring the removal of the old surface and installation of new tiles on the walls, floor, and waterline. They’re durable and can last 25 years or more, offering a variety of design options. Perfect for concrete or fiberglass pools.

By considering these options and their respective costs and lifespans, you can choose the best resurfacing solution for your pool, ensuring it stays beautiful and functional for years to come.

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The Pool Resurfacing Process

To achieve a durable and attractive finish for your pool, several steps are involved in the resurfacing process. While the exact procedure may vary based on the pool type and materials used, the following steps provide a general overview:

Step 1: Draining the Pool and Cleaning It

The first step in resurfacing your pool is to drain all the water and clear out any debris. This is crucial to make sure we can reach the entire surface and prepare it properly before adding new materials. We clean the pool using an acid wash or a similar method, then disinfect it thoroughly.

It’s important to remove the plug or drill holes in the floor to prevent any hydrostatic pressure, which could cause the pool to lift. If you suspect a leak, we need to conduct a full leak detection before resurfacing. Remember, a new surface won’t fix leaks.

Our quotes at Clear Tech Pools are clear and detailed, explaining each step so you know exactly what to expect.

Step 2: Surface preparation

Never skip chipping out the old finish before draining your pool. Those who suggest this may be inexperienced or cutting corners by layering new material over the old.

Once the pool is empty, inspect the finish for any cracks or signs that chipping out the old paint or plaster is necessary. Chipping out creates a rough texture on the walls, which helps the new material bond properly. We may also use sandblasting or hydroblasting for this.

If your pool has many layers, is too thick, or tends to crack, it likely needs a chipout. Often, you can’t tell if a chipout is necessary just by looking.

During this step, we also check the finish for hollow spots. This is the time to fix any structural damage, cracks, or leaks.

We provide detailed quotes for each phase of the project, keeping you fully informed throughout the process.

Step 3: Mixing and Applying New Material

After applying the bond coat, it’s time to mix and apply your new resurfacing material. This could involve mixing plaster, quartz, or pebble with water, depending on what material you choose. It’s crucial to get the right mix ratio and consistency for the best adhesion. Pool professionals often use special techniques to ensure this.

Some companies use mixers attached to trucks, allowing them to mix near the vehicle and then transport the mix in wheelbarrows. Others prefer to mix the material inside or near the pool. It is important that an experienced plasterer handles the mixing to ensure it’s done correctly.

Once the material is mixed, it is applied to the pool’s surface with special tools and techniques. This helps cover the entire surface evenly and ensures the layer is thick enough for durability.

Step 4: Troweling and Smoothing

To achieve the desired finish, the new material is troweled. This step is crucial for creating a smooth texture that looks good and feels comfortable to touch. At this stage, additional materials like pebbles or glass beads can be added to get a specific look.

Every finished area will be unique because it’s impossible to have two identical surfaces; each one is hand-troweled. It’s important that the finish is smooth and appropriately thick, between 3/8 and 1/2 inches.

Step 5: Refilling and Balancing the Chemicals

After the new surface is applied and smoothed, the pool can be filled with water. It’s important to keep an eye on the water level during this process to avoid damaging the new surface.

Once the pool is full, the water chemistry needs to be adjusted for comfort and safety. You should test and adjust the pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels as necessary. Regular maintenance, including weekly chemical tests and adjustments, will help extend the life of your new pool surface.

Costs of Pool Resurfacing

Costs for pool resurfacing vary depending on the size and type of pool, as well as the materials used. Here’s an overview of costs for different resurfacing materials:

Vinyl Liners Replacement

Replacing vinyl liners can cost between $1 to $5 per square foot. This price includes the new liner and the labor to remove the old one and install the new one.

Concrete Pool Resurfacing

Resurfacing a concrete swimming pool can start at $5 per square foot using plain plaster. The cost can double if you choose exposed aggregate plaster, covering both labor and materials.

Tile Resurfacing

Tile resurfacing tends to be more expensive than other methods. Ceramic tiles cost about $10 per square foot, with prices rising for premium materials like glass or stone. Tiles are favored for their stain resistance, durability, and the attractive, low-maintenance surface they provide.

Contact Clear Tech Pools for More Info!

Clear Tech Pools is a pool service company with the expertise and precision needed to handle your pool resurfacing. Our experienced team will guide you through the entire process. They’ll help you choose the right materials for your pool and ensure the job is done properly and efficiently.

With over 30 years of experience in pool repair, renovation, and service in Hillsborough County, you can trust Clear Tech Pools to deliver the best results for your pool resurfacing.

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