Pool Project Complete!

Well, it’s been almost eight months, and we finally finished repainting our pool. You can’t imagine 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 local people sandblast. Naturally, we picked the scary sixty-year-old alcoholic with rickety equipment and a bad leg 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 we had the foresight to cover the koi pond. What a mess.

While we tried to figure out how what to do next, the pool project remained in limbo. Thirty years ago, when ambitious homeowners poured our pool, they bungled the concrete forms. The pool’s distinct lopsided appearance has been marred even more by deteriorating concrete painted over repeatedly in place 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, Egor 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 Egor 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. When three days of clear weather were forecast, Egor painted. Then the weather changed, and it poured rain mid-project. Sheesh. Anyway, it was pool paint, so he finished. Here is our new pool:

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

 To polish off our project, Egor 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. Building a porch over the sitting area would be amazing, but too expensive and time-consuming. Most likely, we will buy a shaded enclosure like you see at Lowes and Sam’s Club has a nifty set up in his back yard I’d love to imitate!

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