How-To Video
Nelsonite Pool
Pool Application
Deck Application


This page explains how to protect swimming pools with a Nelsonite Pool Coating. Nelsonite has manufactured pool and deck coatings offering the utmost in beauty and protection since 1945.

Q: What alternatives do I have for refinishing my pool?
A: Two common alternatives are re-plastering and coating. One common procedure for plaster-finished pools is to replace the old plaster with a fresh coat of plaster. (In many parts of the country, plaster is called marcite. Both are the same thing-white pool cement and aggregate). However, because plaster is a porous surface, the longevity of the surface depends in large part upon how carefully the water chemistry in the pool is maintained. Improper water balance can drastically shorten the life of a plaster-finished pool. Over time, all plaster-finished pools develop stains and tiny cracks, and can become rough to the touch. The deterioration of the surface is accelerated by the practice of acid washing the pool to remove stains. A pool coating is the most cost-effective way to refinish your pool if your plaster is sound but has become stained and rough to the touch.

Q: Why coat my pool?
A: The main reasons are: Economy. Coating eliminates the need for costly re-plastering. Coating the pool periodically protects the plaster and eliminates the need for replacing it.
Beauty. A coated pool looks clean and inviting. Ease of Maintenance. The smooth finish of a coated pool allows it to be kept clean easily. The pores and cracks are sealed. Stains and dirt clean off easily. Also, because the surface is sealed, fewer chemicals are used.

Q: How long will a pool coating last?
A: The service life of the pool coating depends upon:
(a) Which pool coating is selected. (See Nelsonite Products list)
(b) The care with which the pool water chemistry is maintained.
(c) Geographical area. Pool coatings applied to pools in a moderate climate have a longer service life than those applied to pools, which experience a severe winter.

Q: Does the coating chalk?
A: Some pool dealers and service technicians believe that the coating "breaks down" after a few years and begins to chalk, turning the pool water cloudy. This simply is not true. Study after study finds that these so-called "chalking" problems are a result of improper pool water chemistry. Typically, the " chalking" is scaling, a result of minerals in the water. The scale is like a fine dust, most often white, and has a greasy or oily feel. All pool water chemical informational booklets talk about scaling and how to prevent it. See Nelsonite Technical Bulletin 100 for care of a coated pool.

Q: Can I coat my spa with a Nelsonite coating?
A: Spas require the durability and toughness of a solvent base epoxy coating. Only Poolpoxy II or Poolpoxy Hi-Bild is recommended for spas. Also, only plaster or fiberglass spas can be coated-acrylic spas cannot be coated with a Nelsonite coating.


Each pool coating has its own chemical composition, and some are not compatible with others. Once a pool is coated with a particular kind of pool coating, it must be re-coated with a pool coating compatible with what' is already on the surface. Otherwise, the newly applied coating may blister and peel.

The following guidelines are helpful:
( 1 ) Only an epoxy coating can be applied over an epoxy coating. Chlorinated rubber, synthetic rubber and acrylic coatings cannot be applied over epoxy coatings; they will blister and peel.
(2) Solventbase epoxy coatings cannot be applied over chlorinated rubber, synthetic rubber or acrylic coatings unless they are first primed with Hi-Bild Epoxy Primer 49-150. This primer will act as a barrier coat that can be topcoated with solventbase epoxies.

The "Compatible Nelsonite Coating" chart on page 8 of Nelsonite's "How to Nelsonite your pool" is helpful in selecting the correct Nelsonite coating for a previously coated pool.

A frequent question is, "How can I tell what kind of coating is on my pool?" A simple test can determine whether it is a rubber base coating or an epoxy coating (the most-used pool coatings). Pour a small amount of Nelsonite's Solvent 150 (or a solvent such as xylene) on a flat portion of the coated pool surface. Let the solvent sit for 30 seconds, and then rub the area with a rag. If the coating comes off, it is a rubber base coating. The solvent will not affect epoxy coatings in any way. Just as certain pool coatings are incompatible with one another, some uncoated surfaces require a certain type of pool coating. While plaster and concrete pools can be coated with several types of pool coatings, aluminum, steel and fiberglass pools require specific coatings. See the chart below for recommended Nelsonite coatings on uncoated surfaces:

Please see the "How to Nelsonite your pool" booklet for detailed instructions.

Nelsonite Pool and Deck.
3150 East Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, California, 90023, Phone: (323) 261-8114
Copyright 2003-2010 Nelsonite Pool and Deck Coating.

How To Nelsonite Your Pool Booklet