The sun is shining and the weather is warm. There’s no better time to take a dip in the pool. The only problem is, the deck is an unsightly mess you want to hide from guests.
Luckily, it’s easy to spruce up a worn-out pool deck. You don’t have to tear out planks or break up slabs of concrete. Instead, use what you have to create a deck that looks brand new.
Find the Right Tools
If you want to refinish your pool deck the right way, you’ll need primer, paint and sealant. You’ll also need to buy or rent a variety of tools, including:
- A broom
- Paint rollers
- A pump sprayer
- A pressure washer
You’ll have to sweep away debris like leaves and dirt before starting your project. Use a pressure washer to remove stains and let the surface dry completely. Dip long-handled rollers in paint and evenly distribute across the pool deck. After it has dried, use a pump sprayer to seal the surface with two-part epoxy.
Mix Paint With Sand
A pool deck is something that should be safe to walk on, even when wet. Some paint and sealers leave the surface slick, causing a slip-and-slide effect when coupled with water. When you decide to refinish your deck, you have the opportunity to add slip-resistant materials to increase safety.
For a wood deck, you’ll want to strip it down to the raw material and sand away impurities. Mix your chosen paint with a fine-textured material like sand and apply to the deck evenly. The result is a textured, nonslip surface.
Use Acid Etching
Add traction to the surface of a concrete pool deck with acid etching. Go to your local hardware store and look for muriatic acid. Purchase enough to complete the whole project at once.
Use a plastic bucket — not metal, as acid can corrode it — to dilute it in water. Use a pump sprayer to evenly distribute the mixture. Once the acid has reacted to the concrete, you will need to neutralize the surface with a combination of water and baking soda.
Check Water Chemistry
Your pool’s water chemistry — as well as the amount of sunlight it’s exposed to — can damage your deck. Look for a test kit that measures the chemical levels in your pool. The pH should range from 7.2 to 7.6, with an alkalinity between 80 and 150. If you need to make adjustments, keep a written log of each water test.
Use a pool test kit two to three times a week. Water chemistry, especially when outside and exposed to the elements, can change quickly. When high in certain chemicals, it can erode the finish on your pool deck faster, ruining the shiny and unblemished appearance.
Reduce Future Repairs
Think of your refinished concrete or wood deck as an investment — something you want to protect. Regular maintenance and repairs can significantly increase the lifespan of your project. With a small amount of effort, you can save both time and money.
If you have a concrete deck, repair small cracks as soon as you notice them. Sweep regularly — a dirty deck can lead to algae, fungus and weeds growing between boards and concrete sections. These plants can cause a lot of damage to your deck and, when wet, create a slippery surface conducive to poolside accidents.
How to Refinish a Pool Deck
If you want a pool deck that looks brand new, you don’t have to start from scratch. Instead, use your existing structure to create a spot where you and family will love to hang out. With the refinishing tips above, you can clear your deck of built-up grime and add traction to increase safety. Once complete, the reward will be worth the effort.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington