Pool Resurfacing Process

Oftentimes we get the question, what type of pool surface do I currently have? Sometimes this is not so easy to answer. If you aren’t sure, please feel free to email us some pictures and we can help you decipher.

Pools are typically constructed one of the following 3 ways:

  • in ground concrete pools
  • fiberglass drop in pools
  • vinyl liner pools

We specialize in dealing with in-ground concrete pools. We have referrals for companies that deal with all fiberglass drop in pools and vinyl liners as well. An in ground concrete refers to the way the pool was built. Concrete pools are formed with shotcrete also referred to as gunite. After the shotcrete cures and hardens, a cementitious coating is coated over the pool shell.

Cementitious pool finishes fall into the following categories:

  • White plaster or colored plaster
  • White quartz or colored quartz
  • Exposed pebble aggregate pool finishes (Wet Edge, NPT, Gemstone, Pebble Tec, Diamond Brite)
  • All glass bead pool finishes
  • Polished Pool Finish(Hydrazzo and Wet Edge Primera Stone)

Other pool finishes you might encounter in concrete pools:

  • All tile pools
  • Painted pool over pool plaster
  • Fiberglass gel coating over existing pool plaster
  • Thermal Plastic Coatings

Pool resurfacing is our specialty at Alan Smith Pools in Orange, CA.

So what exactly is pool resurfacing and what is the pool replastering process like? Well, if your current pool is an in ground concrete pool that is coated with plaster, pebble, fiberglass or even all tile, the new surface cannot just go over the existing surface. The existing surface needs to be prepared for a new coat of plaster or pebble by first either chipping out the existing plaster, sand blasting and bond coating the surface or hydro blasting the existing surface. Per the National Plasterers Council, these are all acceptable methods, but each comes with certain advantages or disadvantages. After the surface has been properly prepared, you are now ready to apply the finish coat of either plaster, quartz, exposed pebble, glass beads, or polished pool finish.

We will answer this with a big “it depends”. Properly cared for and maintained pool water chemistry can prolong the life of your pool finish. Also, homeowners and commercial property owners often keep their pool surfaces well beyond when they should resurface. Signs that it is time to resurface are when your plaster is peeling, flaking, check cracking, becomes rough, discolors, develops structural cracks, rust stains appear, paint peels off or the fiberglass fibers start to wear off.

Assuming your contractor used quality materials, proper installation methods and proper chemical levels were maintained by the pool service technician then you can expect pool surface lifespans like the following.

  • White plaster: 5-15 years
  • White Quartz: 10+ years
  • Exposed pebble: 15 + years
  • Polished pool finishes: 5-15 years

Pool resurfacing usually takes about 5-7 days to complete. The pool resurfacing process can be hindered by weather, however, and may take up to 14 days in certain cases.


Plaster is a mixture of water, marble sand or limestone, and white cement. It’s applied to your pool using a flat, rounded-edge trowel. However, it’s not always white and can be dyed to fix a different color scheme.

It’s extremely affordable compared to other resurfacing options, plus it’s classic, simple, and elegant. However, it’s rough to the touch. Algae loves plaster, so you’ll need to do weekly maintenance and acid wash every 3-5 years.


Aggregate finishes are made from a mixture of materials, like pebbles, glass beads, quartz, and cement.

Once applied to your pool, contractors will wipe off the top layer of plaster to unveil the pebbles.

There are two types: exposed and polished. Exposed is when the pebbles are entirely revealed, leaving a bumpy finish or texture. On the other hand, polished produces a smooth texture, so the surface is polished flat.


Usually made of porcelain, stone, or glass, tile is also a popular choice. You can even mix the types of tile within your pool.

Either glazed, hand painted, or textured, this surface gives your pool a more upscale look. You’ll generally see tile most often on the waterline of a swimming pool.

If you’re looking for a more natural effect, tile is a great way to incorporate that look.

Best of all, it’s easier to clean than aggregate.

If you’re considering pool resurfacing but aren’t sure if your pool needs it, take a moment to evaluate your pool for common signs.

Your pool may need resurfacing if you notice:

  • Stains that are growing or difficult to remove
  • Rough texture
  • Leaks

If you notice any of these signs, call a pool resurfacing professional to revamp your pool.

Contact Us


The first step of the swimming pool resurfacing process is draining the pool. We will send an employee to prepare the site and drain your swimming pool and/or spa.

We will confirm that all lights are working and tag them with a yellow tag that reads “do not turn on while your pool is empty.

We will then turn off all your equipment, and drop a submersible pump into your swimming pool to begin draining it.

The second step of the pool resurfacing process involves our expert sandblast, multi-coat, and strip crews for the preparation process. These crews thoroughly prepare your pool surface by removing old damaged surface material and preparing it to receive the new surface material of your choice.

This stage is the loudest and dustiest stage of the project. We will cover and protect your backyard area as much as possible.

Whenever possible, we urge the removal of any patio furniture, pots and plants surrounding the pool area to another location.

Our crews will take special care to ensure that your backyard is restored to the same clean environment as when they began the process.

Now that your swimming pool has been prepped, you are ready for Step 3, where our highly skilled tile and masonry craftsman install your selected pool tile, coping, and other decorative features such as ledger stone. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 working days.

All details regarding your swimming pool and outdoor living space should be completed and documented before this step begins. All grout color or tile must be selected, and should you have any special design ideas or requests, these decisions must be finalized at this point.

blue pool tile underwater
pool cleaning and plumbing tools

The fourth step is to seal the plumbing to ensure that your pool is water tight and ready for your selected pool surface finish. We will also wash your pool shell at this time.

The fifth step involves the installation of the pool surface finish material you selected. Now your remodeled swimming pool really starts to take shape. This can be a 1-2 day process, depending on your material selection.

If you have selected a Pebble, Hydrazzo, Beadcrete, or darker Quartz finish, it will be necessary to add the optional sixth step of an Acid Wash, a standard part of the process. Our crews are highly trained and skilled, and are able to perform this step in an efficient and safe manner.

Once the specified material has been installed and acid washed (if needed), we will complete our general clean-up, and start to fill your pool. We request all homeowners to keep an eye on the water level as it fills, and turn the water off once the water level hits the middle of your waterline tile.

The final step in the pool resurfacing process, referred to as the Initial Water Treatment step, is one of the most important steps to be completed for the extended look and life of your new pool surface material.

Please see the next section of our website labeled “Initial Water Treatment” for more details on this process.

swimming pool surrounded by trees and 2 lounge chairs

Once your pool is full of water again, several procedures need to be performed to allow the surface to cure as evenly as possible.

This process requires regular monitoring and service during the first seven days of the curing process. Please contact your pool service professional to see if they are available to perform this very important step.

If your pool service professional is not available or would prefer not to perform these procedures, our team of trained professionals at Alan Smith Pools will be happy to perform the initial water treatment process.

Our crews, throughout the process of remodeling your swimming pool, take great pride in cleaning and removing all construction materials from your property each day of the project. A thorough and final clean up is performed at completion. If you have any questions about our process, please don’t hesitate to call or contact Alan Smith Pools. Our team is here to help and support you in any way we can.


Schedule Your Pool Evaluation Today