Pool Cage Painting: The Challenges

Challenges Of Painting A Pool Cage

It’s recommended that you repaint your house every 5-10 years depending on environmental conditions to keep the curb appeal top notch.  A pool enclosure is no different.  As we know, the type of paint used plays a large part in how long the finish will last.  Unfortunately the industry standard finishing on pool enclosure members is a low grade epoxy paint.  We’ve all seen the fading color, and common color change to green in certain areas after as they get into the 5+ year mark (our GCA Standard enclosure now come with a 2604 powder coat).

Frequently many homeowners consider a pool cage painting project as they are having their house repainted.  It makes sense to get it all done at one time, and possibly the same team.  What most homeowners find however is that the company hired to paint the house, can’t do the screen enclosure.  This causes a pickle a need to hire a third party to address the pool cage.   

Experienced Pool Cage Painting

Pool enclosure painting preparation in progress.

We’ve painted hundreds of pool cages, and admittedly it’s not easy work.  Don’t take this the wrong way — we would certainly love to paint your pool enclosure, and we’ve got the process down ‘pat’!  While the work is difficult we are specialists in painting these structures.  

Let’s take a look at why it is so difficult and many experienced painters decline the work.     

It is exposed from all sides.  Wind from North?  Every member of the pool enclosure is going to catch catch it.  Unlike a wall of the house, pool cage members are exposed to wind, sun, and the elements from all directions.  On top of that, they are usually taller thant many of the surrounding structures.  This means there is no break from the elements.  Things need to be done, fast within a small window of time.  

Pool Cages are 3-Dimensional.  House walls are flat, while pool enclosure members have 4 sides.  Special care has to be taken to achieve a full and even coverage on all sides.  ‘Running’ of the paint occurs easier these 3 dimensional members as the paint in a liquid state makes its way to the edges, and then rounds to the other side.

Paint doesn’t easily bond to aluminum.  Metal is one of the trickiest surfaces to paint as the metal doesn’t quickly bond to it.  The delayed bonding makes it difficult to get a smooth finish without runs.  In areas of peeling paint, or corrosion, which are commonly found near connection joints involving dissimilar metals, proper steps must be taking to get these areas into suitable condition for re-finishing.

It can’t be rolled on.  If you want a high quality finish, free from visible streaks the paint applied to the screen enclosure can’t go on with a roller.  The best application method is spray.  With a roller, the painting can be done easily from the ground, or a distance.  Using a spray applicator requires the painter to get up close to the pool enclosure using ladders, scaffolding and walkboards.  It also requires a significant investment in spray application equipment can cost several thousands of dollars.  For most painters who do concrete block structures, and interiors an investment into this equipment  which they wouldn’t use frequently, just is not practical.

Open air can easily result in over spray. Since the paint molecules must travel through the air, over spray can become a problem.  More attention than usual must be given to masking and covering the surrounding area’s to prevent making a mess and getting paint on other surfaces.

Screen Needs To Be Removed.  To paint the pool cage, the screen mesh between each members, and the spline holding it place needs to be removed.  Companies that exclusively do painting don’t have the experience do to the re-screening at the end and as trade contractors don’t operate their business model around outsourcing screen work.

Pool Cage Painting Is No Problem For Us

Despite the challenges, of painting pool cages here in our area, we paint many of them (about 200 per year), and we love doing them.  We’ve perfected the entire process of making them look like new, for about 1/2 the cost of replacing the entire pool cage structure.   Ready to check out some good before & after pictures?  I suggest checking out this blog post: Screen Enclosure Restoration: A First hand look

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Corey Philip

Corey began working on screen enclosures as a teenager in 2004 after hurricane Charley devastated his home town of Punta Gorda. 7 years later, after holding positions from foreman, to sales, to project manager, while attending college at Florida Gulf Coast University, Corey and childhood friend Thomas Davis founded Gulf Coast Aluminum in 2011. With a focus on delivering an unparrelled level of service, the company has grown by leaps and bounds under their leadership. Today you’ll find Corey answering the phones In his free time Corey likes training for triathlons, running the trails at Ding Darling park on Sanibel Island, and of course, working on growing Gulf Coast Aluminum.