Painting a fiberglass slide is an intermediate job. It requires great attention to detail and basic skills will be needed to complete the job efficiently. Patience and time are needed, otherwise a rough and ugly finish will develop on your pool slide. The perfect job can bring with it a great sense of self-satisfaction.
Step 1: Protection
Change your clothes and then take a large sheet and unfold it to cover the floor. This is important because it will stop any dirt or dust lying around from getting onto the slide. If there is nothing for the slide to be placed on, it may pick up large pieces of dirt that are impossible to remove. These provide snagging points that can scratch or tear skin, and they also look unsightly on a finished job.
Step 2: Sand the Surface and Prime
Use the sander to gently sand over the entire side of the slide that will be painted. This will create a slightly rough and grainy texture that will allow the paint to stick onto the slide. Do this until the entire side of the slide feels like the sandpaper when rubbed between fingers. Make sure all traces of dust are removed prior to painting. A damp sponge can help in achieving this.
Apply a generous, even coat of primer and allow to dry.
Step 3: First Coat
Take your paintbrushes and oil paints and apply a thin first coat of paint. Allow the first coat to dry completely. Leave the slide out in the sun if possible to help speed up drying. Do not let the first coat dry to the point where it becomes flakey. The paint will fall off and a bare slide is all that will be left. If this happens, start the process over again.
Step 4: Apply Second and Third Coats
Once the first coat has dried, immediately apply the second. Allow this to dry and then use the sandpaper to gently go over the second layer. Use a cloth or rag to wipe away any sand and then add a third coat. It's important to sand between coats because it will help the next layer of paint stick more efficiently. Repeat the sanding and wiping process. Don't be afraid to repeat coats if there are big pieces of dirt or sand caught in the paint.
Step 5: Final Coat
Once the third coat has been sanded and dried, apply a final layer. Make sure the finish of the slide is shiny and very smooth. If it's not, use the sandpaper to smooth out any big lumps, or use the cloth to wipe away any dirt. Once this has been done simply leave the slide where desired.
Repeat the whole process for other slides around your swimming pool.