The Best Pool Deck Paint

To get the most out of your outdoor pool, you need concrete paint that’s (1) heat resistant, (2) easy to apply, (3) non-slip, and (4) free of any cracks or peels. But how do you get started? Applying a pool deck coating comes with lots of questions, like:

  • How do you paint a pool deck?
  • What is the best paint for a pool deck?
  • How much does it cost to paint a pool deck?
  • Is paint the best option?
  • Do I need to use any other treatments or materials?
  • What tools do I need to paint my pool deck?

In this Pool Deck Paint Guide, our team of industry professionals provides expert advice about the techniques and products you can use to refinish your pool deck. Our line of patent-pending and award-winning pool deck supplies can help you get the job done quickly and at a great price.

2024 Pool Deck Paint Guide

How Do You Refinish a Concrete Pool Deck?

Refinishing a concrete pool deck involves a number of different jobs, like crack repair, patching, and acid washing, all to prepare the surface for refinishing. Depending on the desired outcome, your preparation method will vary. First and most importantly, you must have a clean and prepared surface before painting. The cleanliness of your concrete will affect the durability and performance of your pool deck paint.

The quality of your concrete matters. Some concrete slabs are compromised by imperfect conditions during the pouring and drying processes. Concrete stretches, expands, and hardens in drastically different ways depending on external conditions like temperature and humidity. In other cases, your pool deck may simply be made of out low-quality, crack-prone concrete. If you’re using freshly poured virgin concrete, it’s always important to inspect the surface for free-flowing minerals like calcium, potassium, or Portland cement residue. These mineral residues form a thin layer of chalky white powder on the surface of the concrete, which can persist even after pressure washing. These mineral deposits will interfere with the bonding of any pool deck paint, so it’s important to make sure that your concrete is prepared appropriately.

  • Expert Note: This issue can only be remediated by applying a densifying product. If you think you may need a concrete densifier and want to learn more, we have had the best results with products manufactured by Aquron. Products like the AQURON® 2000 Concrete Preservation Treatment™ will significantly increase the density and bonding strength of concrete. Because this product acts as a penetrating concrete densifier, free-flowing minerals are converted back to a stable, non-migrating silica, which increases the strength of your slab.

Pool decks should usually be cleaned using muriatic acid or other acid alternatives. This will clean and etch bare concrete. However, if you currently have a clear sealer installed over the concrete, an acid wash will not remove this layer. Instead, you must remove it with a chemical sealer stripper before beginning the acid wash process.

Application of pool deck paint or pool deck coating should only begin after the pool deck has had time to dry after pressure washing. By rushing too quickly into painting or recoating your pool deck, you could cause outgassing—a process in which water vapor escapes the concrete during or after the coating process, causing problems with the durability and adhesion of the deck coating. In most cases, simply waiting 24 hours after pressure washing is sufficient for a complete dry.

For a full video tutorial on how to apply concrete pool deck coating, our team has developed a comprehensive webinar for showing both homeowners and contractors the best techniques for pool deck paint application.

Can You Paint Over an Existing Pool Deck Coating?

The “painting” process for outdoor concrete is very different from the painting process for the interior of your home. Traditional house paint should never be used by itself around a pool, though it can often be mixed with pool deck coatings as a color additive. More importantly, applying a new pool deck coating is almost never as easy as simply lathering it over an existing layer of deck coating. Several products on the market claim that they can be installed over pre-existing pool deck toppings by simply painting over the treated concrete. Based on our independent evaluation of these products, they almost never work as intended. Even though they may be marketed as DIY products, optimal results usually require a labor-intensive process of refinishing the entire concrete slab.

One of the biggest issues with painting over a pre-existing pool deck topping (such as “cool deck” or “kooldeck”) is that the re-painting process will reduce (or even eliminate) the heat-resistant properties of the existing topping. Suddenly, the surface that was once a “cool deck” is now hot and unbearable to walk on! Bare concrete pool decks are the most versatile for applying a fresh layer of concrete deck coating. To select the best product, both homeowners and contractors should evaluate several factors in their concrete pool deck coating. Some of the most important factors for choosing a concrete deck paint include:

  • Available colors
  • Safety and non-slip features
  • Ease of application
  • Cooling properties
  • Longevity and durability
  • Chemical resistance
  • Product warranty
  • Breathability

Overall, you can paint a concrete pool deck, but you must make sure that the products you choose are specially engineered for the pool deck environment. Ordinary house paint should never be used on horizontal walking surfaces! For homeowners that do not have experience with concrete treatment, the concrete deck painting process can sometimes be more technical and complicated than expected. If you’re still unsure about a DIY resurfacing project after reading the instructions and watching video tutorials, we recommend selecting a contractor that can professionally apply the product for you.

  • Expert Note: Our top product recommendation is Cool! Cool Pool Deck Coating by Encore Coatings. This product resurfaces aged or cracked “kool deck” concrete toppings and restores them with an ultra-durable, heat-resistant finish. COOL! has been shown to reduce the surface temperature of concrete by up to 38%. For total pool deck renovation projects, the COOL! Pool Deck Project Bundle contains additional items like concrete deck cleaner and sealer.

How Do You Paint a Concrete Pool Deck?

To get started, you will need a few tools for your deck coating project. We recommend having several brushes, paint rollers with an extension pole, a spiral or grout mixing paddle, painters tape, a pump up sprayer (for preparation cleaners and clear sealer), and some damp rags for accidental drips or spills. Next, you will need to select the type of pool deck paint for your concrete. Depending on the product you choose, the application process will vary. Most products require at least two coats for best results.

COOL! Pool Deck Coating makes the application process easy. Trusted by some of the largest home improvement retail chains in the country, COOL! has transformed the outdoor deck paint market. It has even been selected as the preferred pool deck coating of hotels, amusement parks, and recreation centers around the world. Here are a few reasons that customers prefer COOL!

COOL! Pool Deck Coating FAQs

Traditional pool deck paints can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years. COOL! by Encore Coatings has a lifetime residential warranty and 10-year commercial warranty. To keep your pool deck looking and feeling great, COOL! can also be re-coated for fresh results. For normal residential use, most homeowners will do a simple resurface every 5 years. With the long-lasting power of COOL!, you can save time and money with fewer deck-related headaches.

A single container of COOL! refinishes up to 200 square feet of concrete with two layers of heat-resistant coating. At just $1.40 per square foot, this product is one of the most cost-efficient deck coatings on the market. You can also save big by bundling your purchase with the entire three-step concrete deck coating system: (1) Triple Crown Cleaner to prepare the surface, (2) a double-coat of COOL! Pool Deck Coating, and (3) SealBack Clear Sealer for long-term durability.

Prior to the application of any concrete coating, you must carefully clean and wash the surface of the concrete. Triple Crown Concrete Cleaner is an easy and effective way to remove contaminates from concrete before applying COOL! Pool Deck Coating. Simply spray it on, allow to dry, then pressure wash it away. Before application of COOL!, you should also fill in any concrete cracks with a paintable crack filler and patch any divots/holes with a polymer-modified cement patch. Allow each repair product the appropriate amount of cure time before top-coating with COOL!.

On a hot summer day, outdoor concrete can get extremely hot. To stay comfortable, modern pool deck coatings have temperature-resistant technology that allows the surface of the concrete to remain cool. COOL! Pool Deck Coating can reduce concrete temperatures by up to 38%. In other words, if it’s 100°F outside, your outdoor concrete will feel nice and comfortable around 70°F. For best results, be sure to mix COOL! with a light paint color. If heat reduction is a top priority, avoid mixing COOL! with dark colors.

With COOL!, you can choose any color you want for your pool deck. Though most homeowners and businesses choose a white, gray, or beige color, you can mix any can of paint to best match the style of your pool. Simply add a gallon of paint from your local paint store and mix it into the deck coating substrate. Our team has compiled a guide of recommended paint brands and types for your concrete pool deck projects.

COOL! Pool Deck Paint Reviews

Easier Than Expected!

Francisco (August 9, 2020)

“Much easier than expected after reading all reviews for application. You can definitely premix all mixture at paint store with color of choice in the 5 gallon bucket the day prior and let it sit overnight without hardening. I purchased 3 buckets and had over 450sq ft to apply. I actually bought 4 gallons of the acrylic paint for which I used a 3rd on the extra gallon just in case it did dry and get hard during application. I put 3 generous coats which does dry up by the time I get back around (about an hour for me) with first coat and sealed it afterwards 2 hours later. I live in Texas and started at 7am (78*) and finished painting at 1230pm (92*). The Cool Deck definitely gets thicker in the bucket around the 90* temperature but it was still manageable. I definitely recommend this product. Follow all instructions and you should be fine.”

Lowers the Temperature

Customer (May 12, 2020)

“Did exactly what we wanted. If you choose to add paint, go darker than you would want because the white resin lightens the color a little bit.”

Even Application, Looks Great

Craig (June 25, 2019)

“This is a well engineered, flexible product that made our client very happy. You do need to color it yourself, and it requires two coats, so bear that in mind as you read. First, you need to make sure you have enough of the product to do the entire deck, because you are adding a gallon of colored paint to it and you don’t want to come up short. We bought too much, but HD was happy to accept the returned last container. We power washed, let it dry for a few days, and started mixing. It goes on smoothly and dries very quickly. Again, two coats are necessary. But the finish, flawless. The client, beyond thrilled…”

Amazing product

Customer (August 19, 2020)

“Now our kids can walk by the pool without burning their little feet. The best product ever!.”

Great cooling process! It works!

O. Hickory (August 4, 2020)

“We really liked the product, as it cooled our stamped concrete considerably. That said, when we added some paint from Sherwin-Williams, the exact brand and type noted in the sellers video, the product came out to be much whiter than we had hoped. In a nutshell, the color paint you choose to mix in, will be very close to the color that ends up on your concrete. It is not Watered down much at all.”

Dries Quickly, Easy Instructions, Easy to Apply

Hamrdul (July 23, 2019)

“This concrete surface seal and repair provides a cool surface when finished and will fill cracks up to 1/4 inch. It also provides a non-slip surface even when wet. With the addition of one gallon of acrylic latex paint tinted to the desired color and mixing with the wet resin and dry organic material provided within the five gallon bucket the mixture becomes somewhat like heavy paint and is easily applied with a one half or three quarter inch roller. Two coats are required to finish the job and a sealer is recommended after. The material is quick drying and takes very little time for both coats. Detailed instructions accompany the product.”

This stuff is amazing! And works like they said…

Darak (April 16, 2020)

“This stuff is amazing! And works like they said it would! I had painted my cool deck prior, could not walk on it in barefeet on summer afternoon. However, we reached 100 degrees lately, and I stood on it for 5 minutes in barefeet…perfect! For the color, I would suggest picking a lighter color, that seems to help the heat on the kooldeck. Also, please note that whatever color of paint you use, when you paint the deck, it will come out a little lighter when paint your decking. this is because the COOL! mixture is completely white, so it lightens the color quite a bit.”

This product was very easy to apply and the color matched perfectly…

Claudia P. (February 26, 2019)

“This product was very easy to apply and the color matched perfectly with our designer’s vision for the pool. The texture is very comfortable. It even repaired a few small spots on the concrete that were ugly. Best of all is the product’s ability to cool the concrete. What once was impossible and painful to walk on is now comfortable – even on the hottest days! Our community is also impressed with the durability. We sometimes drag the metal table and chairs around and they haven’t affected the coating one bit. Overall, Cool was a great investment, saved us thousands over other options, and is enhancing the pool experience!”

COOL! is America’s #1 Pool Deck Paint for 2023

With a proprietary formula that’s trusted by engineers, contractors, landscapers, and builders, COOL! is the best pool deck paint for 2022. With unlimited color options, an easy-to-apply system, and non-slip safety texture, COOL! is unmatched in product features and durability. Shop now and learn more about the home improvement products at Encore Coatings!