Skip to main content

Pond Paint Did You Just Say Pond Paint?

By January 24, 2008January 22nd, 2020General Tips

I am covering my ears right now.  La la la, I cannot hear you!  You can’t possibly be considering putting paint in your new pond could you?  If so, let me let you in on a few things first.

Paint is defined as a substance composed of solid color matter suspended in a liquid medium and applied as a decorative coating to various surfaces.  A decorative coating.  It might look good but what is it doing for your pond?  Does it serve a purpose for anything other than looking pretty?

Those are some pretty important questions to ask because if the coating you apply is just a decorative color and will not at least waterproof you pond, then it becomes useless.  If you want to seal and waterproof your pond or water feature, you need to coat it with a product that is designed for that purpose.

Paint will not do in that scenario.  Most paints, because they are designed for basically colorizing the item that it’s applied to are applied pretty thin.  Usually paints are applied at a thickness of 2 mils or so because that’s all that they need.

Even if you applied the paint any thicker, it would not necessarily mean that the paint would be any stronger.  The coating you choose to water proof your pond or water feature needs to have additives built in that make it strong.

These additives should be designed to produce very specific strength properties as well as specific elongation properties.  Without them, the coating would not be able to stand up to the punishment it might have to endure.

Now sure some paints are designed to protect things like woods, plastic and other materials, but the protection is usually only in a UV deterrent form because the item being protected may deteriorate if UV is allowed to continuously attack it.

In regards to pond paints, you should also not get your materials confused.  For instance, a chemical used to seal an item may only provide protection enough to repel water or moisture, not waterproof against it.  In a lot of cases sealers need to be reapplied regularly in order to keep moisture penetration at a minimum.

But do you see what happens?  “…keep moisture penetration …”  Moisture and water still penetrate to a certain degree.  A waterproofing coating would not allow penetration of any sort.  When it comes to waterproofing a pond or water feature, your goal is to stop this penetration of water which can eventually form a leak.

Paints and coatings are made up of a variety of raw materials.  A lot of them will contain chemicals that are designed to evaporate in order to cause curing to take place.  I bet you didn’t know that when a chemical evaporates out of a coating, that coating shrinks.

It sure does and when it shrinks, the coating becomes susceptible to cracking all by itself.  How waterproof could the coating be then?  Pond Shield epoxy, for instance, is made without the use of chemicals like that.  The curing process is more of a mechanical method in nature and will not shrink after it is applied.

The other thing you need to consider with pond paint or any other paint would be how toxic the material is.  This means knowing what the toxicity is even after the paint has cured.  If the coating you apply is toxic, it may harm your fish.  I have heard horror stories of the wrong coating being used and the death of all stock being the result.

The problem with fish is that they can’t tell you that their environment is making them sick.  Your water may look perfectly fine but you never know what may actually be happening to it.

Finally, you have to consider the lifespan of pond paint.  A typical paint might last 20 years doing the job it was designed to do on the side of your home, but it may not be able to perform properly or for very long in the wrong conditions.

A good example might be corrosive effects of the salt content in a salt water holding tank.  Yes, salt is corrosive.  A paint product might not even be designed for use in that manner, but the correct coating will be.

So save yourself the trouble and purchase a quality material that is designed for the purpose of waterproofing as well as housing aquatic and plant life.  In the end, you’ll find that the money you spent was indeed a quality investment for both you and your stock.