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Painting pools and saunas

From the Resene Paint Experts Q&A

Do you have a question about how to paint pools and saunas? Browse through this painting Q&A for help with your own projects.

Always make sure you read the product label and data sheet prior to application. If in doubt about any aspect of your project, please ask our Paint Expert for help or come in and see our staff at your local Resene ColorShop or Reseller.



Q. What should I use to coat a new mild steel pool fence in a C4 zone?

A. Surface prep: AS 1627.4 (Sa 2½). First coat use Resene ArmourZinc, then one coat of Resene Armourcote 510 then two coats of Resene Uracryl 403. Where a semi-gloss finish is required, you can replace Resene Uracryl 403 with Resene Uracryl 402, or for a low sheen finish replace it with Resene Uracryl 404.

September 2023

Q. I'd like to paint the interior of a room for an indoor spa pool, the lining is existing 70s pine tongue-and-groove plus new fibre cement board. What paint system would you recommend for the fibre cement board plus what would you recommend for the tongue-and-groove to keep its wood look?

A. I am assuming this room will be well ventilated.

For the fibre cement, prime with Resene Sureseal followed by two full coats of Resene Room Velvet low sheen or Resene Lusta-Glo semi-gloss.

For the tongue-and-groove you can use 2-3 coats of Resene Aquaclear. Ensure the existing coating is thoroughly cleaned down, sand using 180 grit sandpaper. Wipe with a wet cloth after to remove any dust. Ensure the surface is dry as Resene Aquaclear will stay milky if it is applied to a wet surface.

September 2023

Q. Do you have a paint that I can use inside a sauna?

A. The only product we would recommend for this application is four coats of Resene Polythane. The product is solventborne but cures via a reaction with atmospheric moisture and once cured will not release any solvents or materials that will impact upon the interior air quality.

July 2023

Q. Can you please provide sealer coat options for marine ply in a swimming pool environment? This will never be in contact with the water and is being used to seal plywood behind an acoustic panel three metres from the ground to give a solid fixing for a fire detector/reflector only.

A. We recommend the following – apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry waterbased primer undercoat, followed by two topcoats of either Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen or Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss. If using a dark colour, we recommend using Resene CoolColour technology. Coating all faces of the Marine ply is best where possible.

Please note, a paint system will not stop the plywood from one day ‘checking' as it may move. Plywood is known for cracking and subsequently cracking any coating placed on the surface.

May 2023

Q. I have just completed (yesterday) a second coating of Resene Swimming Pool Paint on my family swimming pool (10.3m x 4m x 1.5m). These two coats were over the top of previous painting. As rain is expected in the next few hours e.g. approximately 24 hours after the second coating was done will this do harm.

A. The pool paint cures by solvent evaporation, if the pool paint has not fully cured, and water contact occurs the paint will blanch (go white).

The sooner the new paint meets water the greater the chance for this to occur. If blanching does occur allow to thoroughly dry out, then using a brush and Resene Thinner No 6, repeatably brush over the blanched areas to re-dissolve the pool paint. This should restore the original colour.

March 2022

Q. How do I seal concrete pavers in the proximity of a swimming pool?

A. I'd apply a saturation coat of Resene Solventborne Aquapel following label instructions and leave it uncoated for easier maintenance later. However, if you want a film-forming finish then I'd go for Resene Walk-on Wet Look applied over the Resene Solventborne Aquapel treated pavers.

August 2021

Q. I need a paint system, suitable for H3.2 (CCA) interior plywood soffits and facings (like fascia for the interior of an existing public (chlorinated) swimming pool please. The areas concerned are 2.4m above floor level and are out of reach of the public.

A. Apply a coat of Resene Wood Primer to the bare ply then two coats of a waterborne topcoat.

May 2021

Q. We are designing a completely new sauna room. We need a product specification to finish new concrete bleacher seating inside the sauna, onto which removable timber slat seating on rubber pads will be placed. The idea is that the timber slat seats can be removed to hose out and clean the bleacher seats below. The sauna room operates at 80° C temperature and 40% humidity.

This room returns to the ambient leisure centre temperature and humidity at night when the equipment is turned off, the door is left open and the rooms are cleaned.

A. The following preparation and paint system would be our best recommendation for the sauna room solid concrete bleachers. This recommendation is based on the sauna operating at a maximum humidity of 40% and maximum temperature of 80 degrees C.

Diamond grind to achieve a surface profile similar to 180 grit sandpaper. Ensure the ground surface is completely free of grinding dust residues.

Apply a seal coat of Resene Armourcote 510 thinned 15% with Resene Thinner No.6, followed by a full coat of Resene Armourcote 510 to achieve a dry film thickness of 125 microns (if this coat is thinned application of the wet paint thickness must take thinning into account).

Finish with two coats of Resene Imperite 413 topcoat colour.

During application, ventilation to exhaust solvents to exterior must occur to facilitate paint curing.

Allow the completed paint system to cure for a minimum of seven days with ventilation before placing into use. When the sauna conditions are first introduced a slow rise to the anticipated room conditions to avoid initial thermal shocking of the paint system. Thermal shock may be an ongoing issue but is certainly most likely to occur at initial start-up.

January 2021

Q. I am having trouble finding someone who is a recognised pool painter in my area so I may need to resort to doing the job myself. The data sheet for your pool paint has two preparations – one if repainting a pool that has previously been painted with Resene Swimming Pool Paint. Is there any way that I can tell if the current paint is Resene?

Since it is concrete and in-ground I will only be able to paint when the water table is low – that would probably be March and I would be lucky to get away with days as cool as 18 degrees. How hot can I stretch the temperature to?

Finally, if I am lucky enough to be able to identify that it is currently painted in Resene Swimming Pool Paint how much Resene Roof and Metal Wash would I need to buy?

A. There are two types of pool paint available in NZ. Ours is a based on a pure chlorinated rubber resin system, there are other pool paints that may state that they are the same but most are based on a modified chlorinated rubber resin system. The Resene paint cannot be applied to the modified paints.

This is where life can become interesting. Resene pool paint will soften and dissolve in Resene Thinner No.6, this is a test that should be carried out before progressing to any repaint decision. The thinner is available from your local Resene ColorShop. Wipe an area of the pool paint down to remove any surface chalking then wet a light-coloured cloth with the thinner and place on the cleaned area and rub. If the paint immediately softens and dissolves then it is a chlorinated rubber and is more than likely the Resene pool paint as the modified chlorinated rubber paint should not be easily dissolved with this thinner.

December 2020

Q. Is there a pool temperature limit for Resene Swimming Pool Paint?

A. Ideally less than 27 degrees C, salt water chlorination will accelerate degradation of the pool paint.

September 2020

Q. Can you please advise if the Resene Swimming Pool Paint Blue Magic is a chlorinated rubber paint? If not, what is it please?

A. Resene Swimming Pool Paint is formulated using an unmodified chlorinated rubber resin system. The paint can only be applied cover the same paint type. There are other products for pool paint that state the paint is chlorinated rubber but the resin system used is a modified chlorinated rubber resin and our pool paint is not suitable for application over the modified resin type.

March 2020

Q. I have some steel flat bar surrounding my swimming pool. It has been newly galvanised and will frequently come in contact with salt waters chlorine pool water. I would like some advice on what product to paint this steel with.

A. Wash down using Resene Roof and Metal Wash diluted and used to label instructions. Glossy areas on new HD galvanising are an indication of chromate quenching post galvanising and this surface must be removed prior to painting. Sand areas of glossy galvanising using a mechanical sanding with 100 grit abrasive paper to achieve a dull finish. Care must be taken to ensure no excess removal of the zinc layer in this process. Then apply two coats of Resene Armourcote 221 and finish with two coats of Resene Uracryl 403.

February 2020

Q. Will the Resene pool paint behave well going over an old two part epoxy?

A. Sorry, but a definite no to applying the Resene pool paint over an old epoxy pool paint.

November 2019

Q. I need to know the process of how to paint a concrete pool using your pool paint. Previously painted but now almost back to concrete. The pool was built in the 1980s and I don't think it has been touched since. Do I need a sealer? If so what? What Resene cleaners and paints should I use?

A. Resene Swimming Pool Paint can only be applied over the same paint in sound condition. Soda blasting is a good way to remove pool paint without the issues associated with sand blasting.

Salt water chlorination systems are particularly aggressive to the coating and a quick onset of surface chalking may result with this water treatment system compared to traditional hypochlorite tablets.

November 2019

Q. Just a question on Resene Swimming Pool Paint, on the tin it says that the paint must be left for 1-2 weeks after application.  What would be the minimum number of days we could leave it before we start to fill our school swimming pool?

A. The delay in refilling after completion of painting is to ensure that all solvent has been released from the applied coating and then removed from the pool. The solvents we use in the product are heavier than air so they will sit on the lowest point in the pool.

When this happens the coating's cure is not only compromised if the pool is filled the solvents can become dissolved in the pool water, something to be avoided at all costs as this will pose a potential health issue to users.

November 2019

Q. Which stain is best for restaining spa pool cladding, oil or waterborne?  The old stain almost faded away in parts so can't see what the original was.

A. There is no difference in the maintenance requirements for either the solvent or waterborne versions of Resene Woodsman stains, so either could be used.

February 2019

Q. Do you have a paint that can be used in swimming pools? I have a concrete pool that needs refurbishing.

A. Yes, Resene Swimming Pool Paint.

October 2017

Q. I need a clear finish for a concrete block wall beside a swimming pool. What system should I use? It needs to be weathertight.

A. We recommend Resene XC-700.

August 2017

Q. Do you have a paint for glazed tiles that it is not shiny, for around the outside of a pool (not in the pool)?

A. Clean the tiles with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash diluted and used to label directions. Apply a coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, leave for 48 hours with no contact with moisture. Apply a coat of Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat. Follow with two 2 coats of Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path (if rolling use a #15 High Solids Sleeve).

January 2017

Q. I have a saltwater swimming pool that is bordered by limestone. Would Resene Aquapel be suitable to seal the limestone and resist the effects of salt water? Some of the limestone has deteriorated, so I'm looking to encapsulate the stone and prevent further decay.

A. Resene Solventborne Aquapel will only give water repellence and no surface consolidation.

You could however try Resene Stone Strengthener.

June 2016

Q. What would be the best surface I could paint a mural on that will be mounted on a wall around a swimming pool?

A. Fibre cement. Envelope prime with Resene Concrete Primer then use Resene waterborne paints (this includes Resene testpots) for painting the mural.

June 2016

Q. Which is the best paint to use for Clarke pool framework, lightly rusted? I have used a Resene product before – semi-gloss white - may be a flat white. It will have regular contact with chlorine.

A. Wash down with Resene Roof and Metal Wash diluted and used following label directions. Remove the corrosion using a 3M Rust and Paint Removal Disc then prime with Resene GP Metal Primer then topcoat with Resene Summit Roof (two coats).

October 2015

Q. We are finding bumblebees are drowning in our pool, which is coated with Resene Swimming Pool Paint. How do we stop this?

A. This normally means that the bumblebees are looking for a water source. You could try providing a bird bath with gravel or stones in it so the bees don't drown. However it is recommended you need to cover the pool first so that the bees look and find the new water source. Otherwise they will stick with the pool.

There are also many things that people have tried – including adding lemon grass to the new water source to encourage the bees to it.

The chlorine or the salts (in natural salted pools) can attract the bees to the pool also. The safest way to prevent the bees drowning is to cover the pool – this also helps keep out leaves etc also.

February 2015

Q. A painter cleaned mould from a pergola over a swimming pool with a strong chlorine solution and then waterblasted the white painted timbers (acrylic paint). Several litres of milky white residues were spilled into the pool water. Do I have a problem with toxicity to adults or children?

A. Traditional chlorine tablets used for treating pool water are based on the similar active that is in bleach solutions. The byproduct of the bleaching process is sodium chloride so no issues there. I assume that the white material is chalking from the white paint, again the white chalk will mostly be titanium dioxide and this should pose no risk. In my experience this should be removed by the pool filtration system.

January 2015

Q. We have a very large swimming pool. It has been painted with a solventborne product. How long do you recommend that we leave it until we fill it up with water?

A. You will need to ensure that all solvents are removed from the pool. Most solvents are heavier than air and therefore settle at the deepest point. This may require use of fans or blowers.

December 2014

Q. Can you use elastomeric Resene X-200 paint in a swimming pool?

A. We do not recommend Resene X-200 for painting swimming pools.

September 2014

Q. We are about to paint our new swimming pool. We want a finished (when pool if filled) colour that is between an aquamarine and turquoise. What is the base colour we should use?

A. Resene Swimming Pool paint only is available in the standard factory colour, other colours can made in Resene Armourchlor HBF but are subject to a disclaimer re performance.

October 2013

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