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When property owners research solutions for updating their concrete pool decks, pool deck paint often comes up as an option. Because a pool deck is typically a surface that gets a lot of foot traffic and experiences wear from things such as chlorine, lounge chairs, and other furniture, it’s important to consider the pros and cons to determine whether concrete paint is right for your project.

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Pros of concrete pool deck paint:

  • Provides lots of color options. Because there are a range or pool deck paint colors to choose from, there are many possibilities when it comes to adding color to a pool deck surface. You can create a simple monochromatic surface or get detailed with stencils, making the deck your art canvas.
  • Covers up minor blemishes. Minor stains from dirt, leaf litter, and the like can be covered up with deck paint since it is opaque.
  • Provides a nonporous surface. When a pool deck is painted properly, the layers of primer, paint, and sealer create a nonporous surface that makes it easy to spray off dirt and grime.
  • Can be applied using common tools. One of the appeals of painting a pool deck is that the paint can be applied with a roller, so this is a more accessible project for people who aren’t contractors.
  • Is very affordable. Painting your concrete pool deck won’t cost a ton of money, especially if you do it yourself. For a pool deck that’s around 600 square feet you’ll probably spend under $500 on materials and supplies.

Cons of concrete pool deck paint:

  • Preparation is difficult. Before applying the paint, a concrete surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned with a degreaser and the pores of the concrete need to be opened through etching. The preparation step is crucial and if it’s not done properly, the paint will not adhere well to the surface.
  • Chips and scratches over time. Even when pool deck paint is applied properly, it doesn’t permeate the surface like concrete stain. Due to the wear and tear pool decks experience, peeling and scratching is inevitable.
  • Slippery. A layer of paint can create a slick surface, which is not ideal for a pool deck. Look for a non-skid deck paint or include anti-skid additives during the application process to create some slip resistance.
  • Cannot be painted over. When a painted pool deck is ready for a refresh, the old layer of paint needs to be completely removed from the surface to successfully apply a new layer of paint. Stripping paint from a concrete surface is time consuming and incredibly difficult to achieve.

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How to paint a concrete pool deck

Now that you know the pros and cons of painting a pool deck, you might be wondering how do you paint a concrete deck around a pool? Here’s a general overview. Always be sure to consult the manufacturer’s label on the paint you purchase for detailed instructions.

  1. Fill cracks
    This will help your pool deck look better and ensure the paint lasts longer.
  2. Clean the pool deck
    Use a concrete cleaner, scrub brush and power washer to thoroughly clean your pool deck. Etching may also be required.
  3. Let the concrete dry
    If any moisture is left on the surface, the paint won’t adhere properly to the concrete.
  4. Apply the paint
    Roll the paint onto the surface evenly. Two coats may be necessary for full coverage.
  5. Seal if needed
    Some pool deck paints also double as a sealer. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Pool deck painting tips:

  • You need to rid the surface of all dirt and debris and address stains as much as possible. (The paint will cover up light stains, but dark stains may show through.)
  • Cover your swimming pool to prevent paint from getting into the water.
  • As you paint, make sure to spread it out evenly along the surface so you don’t get puddles of paint in areas of the deck.
  • Check the label on your paint container to see how long you need to give the paint to dry (typically at least 24 hours) and how many coats you should apply.

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Design ideas for painted concrete pool decks

After a surface has been properly prepared, paint is relatively easy to apply, creating an opportunity for people to get creative with their pool area designs. Here are just a few concrete pool deck paint ideas.

  • Use painter’s tape to achieve color blocking, make wide stripes, or create patterns.
  • Apply one pool deck paint color for a subtle look (keep in mind that lighter colors stay cooler when it’s hot out).
  • Use stencils for a detailed design.

Related: Painted Concrete Patios

Can I paint my concrete pool deck myself?

Painting a pool deck is a manageable DIY job as long as you keep a few things in mind:

  • Preparation is critical. The surface must be properly prepared by giving it a very thorough clean and etching it. If it’s not prepared well, the paint will not adhere to the surface.
  • Precise painting is a must. A concrete pool deck won’t be as forgiving as a bedroom wall when it comes to painting mistakes. If the paint isn’t spread out evenly throughout the surface and you end up with spots where paint puddles, those spots will become prone to chipping. You’ll also end up with color splotches on the deck.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. The paint and sealer you use will have a specific amount of time they need to dry, so make sure rain isn’t in the forecast.
  • You need quality roller brushes. Pick a quality brush that won’t leave unsightly marks or residue on your surface. Check the manufacturer guidelines to see if your paint needs to be applied with a roller made with a particular material.
  • Strictly follow manufacturer guidelines. After deciding on which pool deck paint to purchase, read application instructions carefully. Drying times and application techniques should be adhered to for best results.

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What is the best paint for a pool deck?

The best pool deck paint is one that’s specifically formulated for the material of your pool deck surface and is meant to be used on a pool deck. Anything else will not last long, so be sure to do your research before making your purchase.

Here are some considerations to make:

  • Anti-slip properties. A slippery surface around a pool deck is a disaster waiting to happen. Look for paint with slip-resistant properties or be sure to include anti-slip additives.
  • Chemical resistance. Before painting your deck, make sure that the paint is resistant to damage from chlorine and other chemicals you use in your pool.
  • Color. Lighter colors will stay cooler on hot summer days. Stay away from dark colors that retain heat.
  • Longevity and durability. Check online reviews to see what other customers have to say about the quality of the concrete paint.
  • Mold and mildew resistance. Since your pool deck will be seeing lots of water, this quality is a must.
  • UV resistant. If your pool is exposed to the sun, choose a paint that won’t fade after just one summer.

After you find the paint that suits you needs, measure your pool deck to determine how many square feet you need to cover. Check the label to see how many square feet the container of paint will cover, keeping in mind how many layers you need to apply.

Featured Products
ColorTec AcrylicWB™ Concrete paint and sealer designed to eliminate peeling and fading
Solid Color Concrete Sealer Completely covers old marks and stains, plus resists salts and chemicals
Brickfrom Cem-Coat A richly pigmented, paint-like product that's opaque, UV- and mildew-resistant
Proline Pro-Stain Won't peel like paint or other roll-on products

Other ways to add color to concrete

If you want to add color to your concrete pool area but painting your pool deck isn’t what you have in mind, there are other ways to get the job done.

  • Concrete resurfacing. With pool deck resurfacing, a contractor can apply a concrete coating directly on top of your existing surface so you don’t have to tear it out and start from scratch. That coating can be customized with colors, patterns, and textures of your choice.
  • Concrete staining. Concrete stain permeates the surface of your concrete so it never peels or chips off like paint does. Stains come in a wide array of colors ranging from neutral to vibrant. See Concrete Stain vs. Paint on the SUNDEK blog.

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