Pool Resurfacing Process


What is Pool Resurfacing?

Pool resurfacing is our specialty at Alan Smith Pools in Orange, CA. We have resurfaced pools all over California, with rave reviews.

So what exactly is pool resurfacing and what is the pool resurfacing process like? Well, when your pool is installed, your pool shell is finished with a top coat, usually tile, pebble, or plaster. This top coat generally lasts up to 15 years.

Resurfacing is the process of replacing that topcoat.

How often should I resurface my pool?

At Alan Smith Pools, we believe in preventive maintenance as the best strategy to saving time and money. As such, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to resurface your pool.

Don’t wait until the surface of your pool is cracking and leaking.

In general, you should get your cement/plaster pool resurfaced every 3-7 years. If you have a fiberglass pool, you should get it resurfaced every 15-30 years.

What is the average cost of pool resurfacing?

The cost of pool resurfacing really depends on the condition of your pool and the materials used.

In general, you can expect to spend about $5 to $7 per square foot, plus labor costs, which typically range from $400 to $565 for six hours of labor.

If you’re resurfacing a 120-foot square, you can expect to pay anywhere from $175 to $200 for materials such as fittings and plaster.

Factors that affect cost include:

  • Age and condition of your pool
  • Your pool’s shape
  • The size of your pool
  • The area you live in

How long does it take to resurface a pool?

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.

Types of Pool Finishes


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.

Signs Your Pool Needs Resurfacing

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.

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The Pool Resurfacing Process: Step by Step

A drained swimming pool

Step 1 – Drain

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.

Step 2 – Prep

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.

blue pool tile underwaterStep 3 – Tile and Masonry

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.

pool cleaning and plumbing tools

Step 4 – Plumbing and Seal

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.

Step 5 – Pool Finish Material Installation

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.

Step 6 – Acid Wash (optional depending on finish material)

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.

swimming pool surrounded by trees and 2 lounge chairsStep 7 – Cleanup and Pool Fill

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.

Step 8 – Initial Water Treatment/Surface Curing

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.

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.

Get Pool Resurfacing Done by the Pros at Alan Smith Pools

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.

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Pool Resurfacing Process – Contact us for a free estimate (714) 628-9494 | Alan Smith Pools