How do I Convert Vinyl to a Fiberglass Pool?

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Fiberglass pools have been in use for more than 50 years and provide a strong, durable finish. In-ground vinyl-lined pools can be converted into fiberglass pools by using fiberglass gel coating to re-cover them. A multipurpose spray gun is used to apply the fiberglass. The fiberglass is applied in two coats and unlike most vinyl lining, its color can be customized to anyone's personal tastes.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Multipurpose spray gun with three ports
  • Fiberglass pool coating kit
  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Work coveralls
  • Knee-pads (optional)
  • Paint roller with long pole
  • Coarse sand paper

Cut off and remove the pool's old vinyl liner.

Remove the return flanges and skimmer face plates. Collect the screws for each plate or frame and tape the screws to the part to keep them together. Put them aside in a safe place.

Place duct tape over the coping, drains and water returns. Set plastic sheeting down over the deck and tape it in place to protect the deck from accidental over-spray of the fiberglass.

Select a color. Follow the packaging instructions to add the color pigments to the resin. Add the catalyst, resin and fiberglass strands to the hopper of the spray gun.

Put on goggles, a face mask, coveralls and gloves. Apply the fiberglass mixture to the pool in 6-foot squares. Lay down a layer that is 1-inch thick. Clean out the sprayer's hoppers with water when you are finished to prevent the mixture from drying and clogging it.

Run the paint roller across the fiberglass mixture while it is still wet. Smooth out the surface of the fiberglass and press down any strands of fiberglass that are sticking up. Push the fiberglass mixture into the corners and any grooves on the pool's surface with a paint brush. Let the first coat dry for 24 hours. It will look rough when dry because it doesn't have its final coating on it.

Sand the first coat. Smooth it down and remove any fiberglass that may be sticking up.

Cut off any over-spray that may have gotten onto the tile or the returns and drains with a razor knife. Cut as close to the skimmer returns and drains as possible.

Mix the gel coat finish by adding the catalyst and resin to the spray gun hopper. Follow the packaging instructions to get the proper amount. Spray the gel coat finish in 6-foot by 6-foot areas that are 1-inch thick. Let the gel coat finish sit for 48 hours.

Remove all of the tape. Re-install the skimmer frames and return flanges. Use a knife to make holes for the frame screws where necessary and re-mount them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear protective clothing when spraying and sanding fiberglass. The fiberglass particulates are extremely abrasive and can cause irritation to skin, eyes and lungs.

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