Pool Project Complete!


Well, its been almost eight months and we finally finished repainting our pool.You can’t image how long this project took us! Draining the pool was a bucket of fun, and we almost gave up on the entire project, but the temptation of a fresh, new swimming pool was too much to resist. The hard work began in late March. We had to hire someone to sandblast the old paint off and only two people sandblast locally.Naturally, we picked the scary sixty year old alcoholic with rickety equipment and a bad leg simply because we didn’t want to wait two months for the other company to get around to us. For $200 he pulled his wheezing machine up to the side of the fence and tottered over to Egor, who had to help him inside the pool. E said he smelled about 40 proof.

Pool guy was too infirm to clean up the buckets of sand and old paint liberated by the procedure, so we were stuck with the chore. E spent the balance of the weekend sweeping and vacuuming the fine, chalky dust, which seemed to have spread everywhere. I was grateful that we had the foresight to cover the koi pond. What a mess.

oldpool While we tried to figure out how what to do next, the pool project remained in limbo. Thirty years ago, when our pool was poured by overly ambitious homeowners, it came out not quite right; they messed up the concrete forms. The pool’s distinctly lopsided appearance has been marred even more by deteriorating concrete painted over repeatedly in lieu of sensible repairs.

Quality restoration would involve an endless succession of patching, cleaning, solvents, washing, more patching, more solvents, multiple coats of primer and epoxy paint. We chose a simpler (and cheaper) route, consisting of lots of patching and minimal solvent use. Weekend after weekend Tennisfiend mixed and mashed epoxy patch and hydraulic cement into the numerous craters, fissures, cracks, chinks and crevices populating the pool.

In the 100 degree plus weather, epoxy oozed down the sides of the pool requiring plastic sheeting and duct tape forms to keep it in place. Hydraulic cement needed to be applied at the crack of dawn to prevent it from setting up in the mixing container. Well, you get the idea, it was lots of work.

When Tennisfiend wasn’t smearing noxious pastes on the pool, he was sanding and shaping the previous patch job. The whole process took about six weeks. After he finished patching and we ordered the paint, New Mexico’s monsoon season began. It rained and rained.

We spent three weeks either pumping rank water out of the pool or hosing off the accumulating dirt and plant particles. Finally, three days of clear weather were forecast and Tennisfiend began to paint. Unsurprisingly, the weather changed and it rained midway through the project. Sheesh. Anyway, it was poolpaint, so he finished. Here is our new pool:

Of course our desire for insane home improvement projects remains unquenched, so take a peek at our pool area:

To polish off our project, Tennisfiend will install a ladder (my pregnant self can’t get in the pool without one!). We will replace uneven concrete pieces (by the table and chairs)next spring, and paint the entire deck tan. We also plan to remove the unsightly chain link fence and erect an attractive wood fence. It would be great to build a porch over the sitting area, but that might be way too expensive and/or time consuming. Most likely, we will buy one of those shaded enclosures you see at Lowes and Sam’s Club– has a nifty set up in his back yard that I’d love to imitate!

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