Can You Replaster a Pool Over Existing Plaster?

Written by Michael Dean
June 28, 2023

replastering pool on existing plaster

Replastering a pool is a big, messy job. In fact, the entire pool plaster process can be overwhelming for most pool owners. However huge of an undertaking it may be, replastering a pool is a necessary task roughly every ten years or when the plaster starts breaking down. To lessen the work needed to replaster a pool, you may wonder if you can simply replaster your pool over the existing plaster.

In this article, I will explain whether you can replaster over existing plaster, what happens if you do, and answer other common questions.

Main Takeaways

  • Although it is technically possible to plaster over existing plaster, it is not recommended.
  • If you plaster over existing plaster without prep, your new plaster will not last very long.
  • You should replaster your pool to maintain the integrity of the pool structure.
  • The alternatives to replastering are painting or getting a fiberglass pool.

Can You Replaster a Pool Over Existing Plaster? 

The short answer is yes, but the real answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes. Technically you can plaster over existing plaster; it physically can be done. But that does not mean that you should do this. I would not recommend replastering over your existing plaster. In fact, most professionals will advise against it.

To ensure that the new plaster lasts a long time, the old plaster needs to be removed first. The prepping process for new plaster is vital to maintain the integrity of the new plaster.

Why should you remove old plaster before replastering? And what happens if you plaster over the existing plaster? I will answer these questions below.

What Happens If You Replaster Over Existing Pool Plaster?

Generally, pool owners will replaster their pool because the existing plaster is damaged and needs to be replaced. Or it may simply be time to replaster after around ten years of good use. 

Replastering over existing pool plaster may save you time in the installation process, but in doing so, you’ll drastically lower the lifespan of your new plaster. Plastering on top of the old plaster will waste your time and money.

So, what happens if you do replaster over your existing pool plaster?

As pool plaster ages, it becomes susceptible to several issues that compromise the integrity of the plaster. One of the most common issues is delamination. Plastering over existing plaster will result in the new layer of plaster bubbling and lifting.

To prevent this, you can either have a professional remove the old layer or simply sand or chisel the holes so that the new plaster can fill the holes when you replaster.

Old plaster can also become a breeding ground for harmful and algae-breeding bacteria. Not sanding or removing this existing layer of plaster before replastering can result in bacteria growing between the layers, damaging not only your new plaster but also the structural integrity of the pool itself.

How Do You Prep a Pool For Plaster?

Prepping the pool for replastering is a necessary process to complete. Prepping the swimming pool will include the removal of the old and damaged pool plaster.

To start, drain all the pool water at a safe rate of 12 gallons per minute. After draining the pool, relieve the hydrostatic pressure to prevent the pool surface from popping up. To do this, unplug the hydrostatic valves or drain the pool during dry weather.

Then, remove the pool fittings and cover them with tape for protection. When that’s done, the old plaster will need to be smoothed, sanded, and chiseled away. When all the holes and cracks are exposed, acid wash and rinse the pool surface before applying the bond coat. 

Once the bond coat has dried, the pool will is ready for the new plaster.

Why Should You Replaster Your Pool?

You must replaster your pool to maintain the integrity of the pool structure and water. Replastering your pool is more than just keeping up the appearance of your swimming pool.

Injuries: Damaged pool plaster can be rough and uncomfortable on swimmers’ feet and even cause injuries.

Structural damage and leaks: Cracks in pool plaster can grow worse over time, resulting in structural damage and potential leaks in the pool.

Algae and bacteria: Algae and harmful bacteria can also grow between the cracks and, if left too late, cause further damage to the pool.

A pool is an expensive investment, so you want to do everything you can to ensure it stays in good condition. And this includes replastering your pool every ten years.

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Alternatives to Replastering 

If you really don’t want to replaster your pool, there are a couple of alternatives that you could consider: namely, fiberglass or paint.


If you don’t like the maintenance routine of a plaster pool, consider switching to fiberglass. Fiberglass is an excellent alternative as it requires less maintenance than plaster and costs much less in the long run. Also, unlike plaster which cannot be applied during bad weather, fiberglass installation is not dependent on weather.

As plaster ages, it becomes rough and uncomfortable on swimmers’ feet, but with fiberglass, you will not have this problem.

Another advantage of choosing fiberglass over plaster is that it is much easier to clean. Algae and other stubborn bacteria have more difficulty holding onto the fiberglass surface.

Pool Paint

Painting a pool is a popular alternative to replastering. Paint is much easier to apply and incredibly versatile as well, as there are a number of colors to choose from. However, you may need to apply several coats of paint to get that shiny finish.

Pool painting is a much more cost-effective option than plaster if you want to lower the upfront costs. But it is worth keeping in mind that because you will need to repaint more often than you would replaster, plastering does cost less in the long run.

Questions? Let me know.

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