Underwater view of kids' legs dangling over community pool resurfaceWith a pool resurface job, you get what you pay for. A community swimming pool is undoubtedly an investment in your residents' well-being and fun – but a dirty or chipped surface can make your residents unhappy and reduce their willingness use this space for fun activities like games with friends outside on sunny days. Additionally, residents’ enjoyment of using it could be significantly reduced if they get scrapes or cuts from rough surfaces (Interested in Pool Safety Tips? – Click Here). HOA board members have to face the truth: It may be time to resurface.

So, how do you know when your pool needs to be resurfaced?

When you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to do a pool resurface: peeling or flaking on panels; stains from rust (including browning) that won't come out no matter how hard you try); and surface damage such as roughness and cracks. Not only does physical damage deter residents from an unsightly amenity, but it can also compromise the safety of the swimming pool and cause leaks.

What Are the Different Pool Resurfacing Options?

The different types of pool resurfacing options that are popular are plastering and painting. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both plastering or painting your pool, the right material will depend on a lot of different factors. Whether or not you have access to certain materials may be a factor to consider. Additionally, the climate should also play into which option works best since it can affect how fast things dry out after rain while some areas experience much more sun than others throughout their yearlong cycle. Finally, cost comes into play if the board plans a larger scale pool resurface rather than just doing some touch ups here and there. (Hopefully, your reserve study has helped you plan for this expense.)

Knowing the facts can make it easier to choose the best resurfacing option for your community’s unique needs. To help you understand the pros and cons of plaster versus paint, we checked in with local commercial swimming pool specialists. A great HOA management company can also offer guidance and refer you to a dependable pool professional in your part of California.


The real trick with plaster is preparation. And that’s one reason you must ensure you’re working with a skilled plasterer who doesn’t cut corners.
  • It lasts. When done right, a plaster pool resurface can last up to 15 years. Adding glass beads, quartz, or pebbles can help it last even longer.
  • It looks nice. Though there are a number of attractive options available with plaster, such as polished finishes and colored or exposed aggregate. These added elements can also create striking looks that will make your community pool one-of-a kind.
  • It doesn’t require waiting. With plaster, you don’t need a perfectly dry surface to get started – a real plus in damp or rainy areas.
  • It’s time-consuming to apply. There are several preparation steps that you simply cannot bypass if you want plaster to last, including water blasting and applying a special bonding coat.
  • It breaks down over time. Because plaster is porous, water will eventually start seeping in slowly. As a result, plaster pool surfaces require regular maintenance.
  • It is affected by water chemistry. You must be diligent about keeping the water chemistry of your pool just right. Otherwise, the plaster can become mottled or turn white.


If you haven’t waited too long to resurface, you might consider painting. Paint bases for resurfacing include epoxy, rubber, and acrylic.
  • It comes in a variety of colors. Whether you want a traditional look or not, you have more choices with paint than you do with plaster.
  • It has a nice finish. With paint, the finish is usually smooth and seamless.
  • It can last. The most dependable paint for pools is epoxy, which can last up to 10 years.
  • It is less expensive. In general, painting costs less than plaster.
  • It can be short-lived.  Unless you use epoxy-based paint, you won’t get the longevity you might like.
  • It can involve a lot of preparation. If your pool was previously painted, you’ll have to water blast to remove the old paint. Epoxy paints also need catalysts and hardeners, which need to be precisely mixed.
  • It requires wait time. Not only do you need to wait until the surface has been dry for five days before you begin painting, but you also need to wait an additional three days after painting to be sure the new coat has dried sufficiently.
  • It can peel and blister. Several factors can cause your paint to peel or blister. Poor paint application, debris or contaminants, and improper pH balance are just some of the culprits.

How Often Does a Pool Need to be Resurfaced?

Depending on the material you use to resurface your pool, the board may have to resurface it every 10 to 15 years. Boards, along with management, should review the expected useful life in their reserve study to determine when they should start the renovation process. The work should be scheduled before or after the pool season so to cause little interruption to the residents’ use of the amenity.

To start the process, management will work on the scope of work and details for the board to review and approve prior to sending out to pool contractors. Once the Request for Proposal (RFP) is finalized and good to go, management will identify at least 3 to 5 qualified pool contractors to send the RFP to. The RFP should include the scope of work, any information on start and end dates, due date for bids, working hours, etc. Management may organize a bid work for the contractors to come out, view the worksite, and ask any questions.

It is important to keep residents informed throughout the pool resurfacing process.

To ensure residents are kept apprised of the project, the board and management should send out communications to the community letting them know a contractor has been selected as well as providing the estimated start and completion dates for the project, and how this will affect their use of the amenity. It is important to communicate each step of the project, especially if there are any delays. Photos of the project can be helpful as well so that residents feel that they are a part of it and can visually see the progress that has been made. Transparency is key in helping to decrease homeowner questions and concerns. 

Keeping residents informed throughout the pool resurfacing process is important. The board and management should send out communications to community letting them know a contractor has been selected as well as providing estimated start/completion dates for project and how this will affect their use of amenity while it's being renovated. It ensures transparency in communication which helps homeowners decrease questions and concerns about renovations happening around them!


As you can see, there is no single choice that’s right for every community. Consult with your property manager to find a pool professional who can offer the best option for you.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today

Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. Speak with a qualified engineer or contractor.
Wednesday November 30, 2022