In-ground pools combine household luxury with a sleek aesthetic unmatched by above-ground pools. A major downside, however, is that pool components are not as easily accessible for maintenance. Above-ground pools feature easily removable and replaceable metallic or plastic edging, whereas in-ground models contain concrete or stone coping around the edges. While coping is admittedly very durable, it can discolor over time, diminishing the look of your pool. You don't have to go through a time-consuming or expensive coping removal and re-install to brighten up your pool's look. With the right knowhow, you can paint pool coping, renewing its vibrancy.
Clean off any visible dirt or debris with soap, water and a scrub brush. Allow 24 hours for the recently cleaned areas to dry before proceeding. While you do not need to drain the pool, you must make sure the pool is completely dry before painting. Do not use the pool, since swimming in the pool can cause water to splash onto the coping, creating an unsuitable painting area.
Apply 2-inch wide painter's tape along the edge of the coping, effectively protecting nearby surfaces from accidental over painting.
Choose the best paint for your needs. Two primary types of paint are used for pool coping: epoxy and acrylic. (See Resources.) Epoxy paint adheres well to virtually all surfaces; it is the ideal choice for unpainted concrete or stone coping. It holds up well even in the face of sun damage and chlorine discoloration. According to PoolCenter.com, an epoxy finish will last around 7 to 10 years. Unfortunately, this type of paint is rather expensive. A cheaper alternative is acrylic paint. Acrylic paint will only last about 2 to 3 years, and it only works well on coping that has already been professionally painted in the past. With either type of paint, purchase paints designed specifically for pools; these paints are intended for moisture-rich, outdoor environments.
Use a regular, bristled paintbrush to apply a coat of paint to the coping. Epoxy or acrylic pool paints typically provide good coverage in just one coat. However, it is always a good idea to check for bare spots after the paint has dried for at least 1 hour, applying additional coats of paint as needed.
Let the paint dry for 24 hours, and then remove the painter's tape. While most painter's tapes can be removed cleanly up to a week later, it is always a good idea to remove it within the first day or two. After the tape is removed, wait another 24 hours before using the pool.