Staining your own concrete pool deck can be a good weekend project that will change and enhance the look of your pool area. It isn't a difficult job but takes a bit of work and the proper tools and preparation.
Step 1: Choosing the Stain
Concrete pool decks can be stained any color that you can imagine in this day of custom mix stains. Gone are the days of boring gray cement surrounding the pool. You can match or complement your house siding, your deck furniture, or make a statement with a bold color. If you are coating an area that has been stained before, you will want to choose a color that is darker so the old color will be covered. Also, take into consideration that when the two colors blend, you may not like the new color the mix creates, so test in an inconspicuous area.
Most people choose to use latex or water-based concrete deck stain, as these dry more quickly and clean up more easily. However, an oil-based product is more durable, so consider these factors when you choose your stain. Be sure to consult with a salesperson at the store where you purchase your stain to make the correct choice for your home.
Step 2: Prepare the Area
Remove all deck furniture from the area, and if possible, cover the pool. Sweep the area with a broom and check for any cracks or stains as you do this. If the cement has cracks, repair them with ready-made concrete that comes in tubes like caulking. This is recommended, as it is easy to handle, and the tip can be cut to a size that is easy to spread. Allow the cement to dry.
If there are stains, now is the time to scrub them away with detergent and water. Do not apply deck stain over any stains, as most likely it won't conceal them and only enhance them.
Step 3: Apply Stain
Applying the stain to a pool deck is like mopping a floor. You can pour a bit of the stain onto the surface and then use the roller or brush to smooth it out into an even layer. Don't leave the stain in puddles, as these areas will be darker than the rest of the deck. It is wise to measure the area you are staining and then read the recommendations of how much square footage a gallon of the stain will cover. This will give you an idea if you are applying it at a proper rate.
Step 4: Second Coat
Chances are your pool deck won't require a second coat unless the area is very porous or you are using a dark stain that may require two coats to achieve the desired color. If you are doing a second coat, be sure you have waited until the first coat is completely dry.