How to Paint a Pool with Water-based Acrylic Paint


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Water-based acrylic pool paint has several advantages over solvent-based paints. It can and should be applied to a damp surface and will work on almost any painted surface. With a shorter drying time (cure rate), water-based acrylic allows you to fill your pool sooner. Acrylic paint is colorfast and UV resistant but will not last as long as solvent-based pool paints.

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Step by Step


Step 1

Inyo Pools carries Ramuc Type DS Water-based Acrylic pool paint so this guide will be based on the instructions for that brand.

Step 2

If your pool is already painted, the existing paint type should be determined for compatibility before applying any new paint. This can be determined by sending a sample to Ramuc (or other paint manufcturer) if the paint type is unknown. There are also a few tests you can try. Take a 1 inch paint chip, immerse it in denatured alcohol. If the chip dissolves, it is a water-based acrylic. If it doesn't dissolve, immerse a new chip in 75% mineral spirits and 25% Xylol, wait 30 seconds and rub the chip between your thumb and forefinger. If it dissolves, the paint is a synthetic rubber-base coating. If not, try immersing one last chip in 100% Xylol. If it dissolves, the paint type is chlorinated rubber; if it does not, it is an epoxy. You can see our paint compatibility chart at

Step 3

If you do not already know how many gallons of pool paint you will need, follow the link below.

Click here to view the Ramuc paint calculator.

Step 4

You will need the following cleaning supplies: Ramuc Clean and Prep Solution or Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and muriatic or sulfamic acid solution; high pressure power washer (3000 p.s.i.)

Step 5

You will need the following painting supplies: Roller with maximum 3/8" nap; paint brush; 5 gallon bucket to intermix paint; mechanical mixer (paddle attachment on a power drill can be used); soap and water.

Step 6

For joint and crack filler, you will need hydraulic cement or Durathane® polyurethane sealant or any other submersible polyurethane sealant (do not use silicone-based products). Durathane must be top-coated before submersing with chemically treated water.

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Step 7

If your pool surface is plaster, concrete or gunite, it should be tested for integrity and repaired before you begin. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the hydraulic cement patch or crack joint filling.

Step 8

Use the power washer to remove any dirt and loose paint from the pool surface. Follow this by using Ramuc Clean & Prep solution according to the manufacturer's instructions. Clean & Prep is an all-in-one product that is used to wash and etch the pool.

Step 9

You can use a TSP solution and muriatic or sulfamic acid instead of Clean & Prep. Power wash and then scrub all pool surfaces with TSP solution to remove all dirt, oils, chalk and loose paint. Wash (etch) the surface with a 15 - 20% solution of muriatic or sulfamic acid (follow manufacturer's instructions on label). Following the acid treatment, neutralize acid-treated surfaces with TSP and water.

Step 10

Ramuc Type DS acrylic pool paint requires no primer. The primer should not be used. Use a mechanical mixer to mix the paint. If you are using more than one gallon, pour all paint into your 5-gallon bucket to intermix (box) for uniform color.

Click here to view the Ramuc paint calculator. 

Step 11

To apply, use a roller with maximum 3/8" nap. Apply paint at the recommended coverage rate during ideal air temperatures of 50 - 90 degrees F. Surface temperature should be a minimum of 50 degrees F. Never paint when rain is expected.

Step 12

When done, wait 3 accumulative dry days before filling an outdoor pool, meaning you add an additional day of drying time for each day of rain. You would wait 6 days for an indoor pool with proper ventilation.


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 Posted: 5/29/2018 

Good information and helpful. Thank you. Thomas