Curb Appeal

What to Expect When You’re… Resurfacing the Pool

If you own an in-ground pool, you’ll likely face the dreaded “pool resurfacing” at some point. Don’t worry, when you hire a reputable company, it’s not as bad as one would think! This process is necessary to keep your pool healthy, and also provides an opportunity to sneak in a few design updates. With a new water tint and a few new pool tiles, your dated pool can feel like a brand new paradise, potentially with minimal increase to the budget. (We’ll explain.)

To start, we recommend asking your neighbors and friends with pools for a good local pool resurfacing company recommendation. Google reviews are another place to find current customer feedback. Make sure the company you hire is licensed, insured, and experienced. Visit local pool tile stores for inspiration and recommendations. We got our natural-stone-pool-artist recommendation by visiting our local pool tile store. (The pool tile store didn’t sell natural stones or do that service, but they knew who did.)

pool water

Q: What can I expect when I have my pool resurfaced?

Your pool will be drained. It’s gonna get weird.

The pool will look strange for a bit. It will be sanded down in stages and then built back up. You’ll likely be surprised at how DEEP and SCARY it looks when it’s empty. There’s a lot of dust and the work can get noisy at times. A good contractor will keep things as tidy, safe, and as efficient as possible.

pool resurfacing

The resurfacing process is an average of 5 to 7 days.

Our pool is small (12,000 gallons) and it took 7 days. HOWEVER, we had significant upgrades to change the pool from plain plaster and 4×4″ tiles to large natural stones, which required a special pool stone artist and a bit more time to fit them together like a giant mosaic. If we had stuck with plain tile and plaster, it probably would have been completed in about 4 days.

Filling the pool takes a while.

You’d think a full blast hose would fill it in no time, but pools are much larger than you think! This means don’t try and schedule your pool resurfacing and a pool party in the same week. Give it some breathing room.

filling a pool with garden hose


DYK? You can save money on the water used to refill the pool by contacting your water company.

Water companies typically have lower rates for filling a pool. You have to contact your provider before you pay the bill so your account can be adjusted; they basically charge you for the fresh water and take out the automatic sewage costs associated with the relevant gallon usage. The sewage waste cost is twice the price of the fresh water cost, so the savings is significant. Since this is a special rate, it can only be applied every so many months for special circumstances like this.

Pro-Tip: This special savings is usually applicable for the water usage caring for newly installed sod lawns too!

fill the pool with hose

Things can cost less if you plan ahead.

When you’re faced with a resurface, there’s a lot of opportunity to save money and time by getting things done now while the pool is stripped down instead of down the road. Save yourself the time and headache by getting pool problems addressed at the same time. Now is a great opportunity for:

  • Design updates like new tiles/ coloring

pool tile

Tired of the old, dated, or maybe clashing tile design? Now’s a great time to switch it out. Simple 4×4″ tile accent (edge) changes are usually the least expensive way to give the ol’ swimming hole a facelift above the water line.

  • Adding or changing railing, the tint of the pool water, etc.

Pro Tip: If you have an older pool, consider adding some design elements to the stairs, such as a tile accent edge, or even just a few 4×4″ tile diamonds to the step make stairs easier to see and judge for depth.

pool stairs

  • Fixes that need to be accomplished by emptying the pool; electrical, lighting issues, leaks, fixing pipes, etc.

Don’t wait to have a leak investigated or a light fixed. Seize the opportunity to get a specialist in there to fix things before it’s a beautifully renovated pool. At the very least, you’ll save the money it costs to refill the pool again should any of that work require a draining.

Pro Tip: Our resurfacing company offered a service to verify everything was in proper working condition. They checked for leaks, lighting issues, and mechanical function so that we could have any repairs done while the pool was stripped down.

pool fix

Don’t get stuck in the rutt of what-was.

We’ve seen many people treat a pool resurface like they treat house paint colors – they paint it whatever it originally was, never having considered if they could create something they like more. This is an opportunity to make an entirely new look! Just because the pool was plain and boring when you bought it, doesn’t mean you need to stick with that color palette. There are so many resurfacing color choices now days, you can really make any pool into a turquoise waters oasis. Create your own little paradise with new tile colors and colored aggregate plaster.

How do I get colored water, like the ocean?

ocean water colors

While this process costs a little more than a plain white plaster surface, it’s been worth the money in durability alone; it also achieved the exact ocean type color we wanted for our pool’s water. Tiny colored specks in the grit (“aggregate”) of the pool walls and floors, works just like the ocean floor; light passing through the water reflects the color of the pool (ocean) floor and walls. This grit is in the plaster that is the finishing coat of the resurfacing process. Our brand of aggregate plaster was called “Diamond Brite” and it gives the pool water its color, makes the pool less slick, and resists stains and deterioration from plant matter and pool chemicals.

Skilled technicians will know what specks of colors produce what color waters. Find an inspiration pool or water picture to communicate your desired color of water to the resurfacing company.

pool and deck

Be sure to check our social media posts about pool-resurfacing; we’re asking our community to share their best LOCAL recommendations for pool-related professionals including care and upkeep, resurfacing companies, maintenance specialists and more.

Share your LOCAL POOL SPECIALISTS recommendations in the comments on social too!

@DeAnnaAndCompany on Instagram and Facebook.