Looking to transform your standard concrete pad into a real sports court? Here’s how we went about surfacing ours to give it the professional epoxy sanded surface that you’d find at a park to make a regulation size pickleball court and a half court basketball court in our very own backyard.
How much did the pickleball court cost
We had our concrete pad poured back in 2019, and had the idea to surface it back then (before pickle ball was as crazy popular as it is now in 2023). Our neighbors had their courts done for around $2000 and so I figured I could surface my own for cheaper. My initial bid was $900, but we weren’t ready to pull the trigger so temporarily I painted lines using frog tape and concrete paint, full tutorial on how I measured and did that here.
With inflation and demand, the cost for supplies have drastically gone up, but so has the cost of having it professionally done. Most professional epoxy companies are charging between $5000-10,000 to surface your court (prices fluctuate depending on # of colors, square footage, and location).
So spending $2000 in product to do my pickleball court myself feels like a steal so here’s the breakdown of what we did, what we used, and tips if you plan to do this yourself as well.
We ordered our Pickleball products from our local Sports Master. The process was pretty easy. We just gave them our dimensions as well as what colors we wanted where and they gave us the product list based on our 30’x40′ court.
2 – Muriatic Acid – Gallon Jug
1 – Acrylic Adhesion Promoter -Pail
2 – Acrylic Crack Patch Neutral-Gal Acrylic
6 – Resurfacer W/Sand-Pail
4 – Neutral Conc. w/sand – Pail
1 – ColorPlus – Blue
1 – ColorPlus – Gray
1 – Stripe Rite – Gallon
1 – T/C W hite Line Paint – Textured
1 – 30″ squeegee
2 – rolls of construction paper
12 – rolls of 2″ construction tape *I’d opt for 1/2 of that tape being frog tape for when you go to do the actual lines
The whole process
I watched this video probably 50 times to get a hang of the whole process.
Prepping your Pickleball surface
Acid wash the concrete with Muraic acid. You have to be extremely careful with this product and I recommend having a watering can to pour it evenly across the concrete. It bubbles and fizzes and then you use a scrub broom to really clean off the surface. Wear gloves, mask, goggles, boots, the works when using this product. It is 100% Acid and you don’t want this on your skin.
I used the acrylic crack patch to cover all of the concrete cut lines. This is a spongey sandy material. The key to this was to really make sure that I got the product in DEEP and fully filled in the cracks and that they were flush before the next step. Any unevenness showed after all of the coats so make sure you prep really well.
The next step is the black stuff, also known as the acrylic resurfacer. This looks and feels like your elementary school’s blacktop surface. It’s a little spongey and has some grit to it. The black creates an even colored surface to accept the color that will be applied on top. This was a 2 coat process and on a hot summer day. The product dried in just a few hours and was ready for a re-coat. We started this process in the morning and after the 2nd coat called it for the day.
After the black stuff was dry, next was time to mix up the color and pickle master. The more color concentrate you put in the more pigmented the pickle master is. We followed packaging which was basically 2 cups of color to 1/2 a 5 gallon bucket of pickle master. The first coat looks BRIGHT, but once the 2nd coat is applied the color dulls down to its sample chip. We applied both coats in the morning, took a lunch break, then re-masked everything off to apply the 2nd color. We were able to do all coats of the pickle master in one day, but I will say this was very taxing towards the end.
One thing the SportsMaster Video shows is how they glided the squeegee around without picking it up and had a smooth coat. Since I was doing this in a backyard along 2 walls of my home’s foundation, and around downspouts it was next to impossible to not pick up my squeegee or backtrack. I will note that the color SHOWS lines where you pick up the squeegee. So at all costs try and keep a forward moving motion without any backtracking or picking up.
Lining the pickleball court
I have an entire blog post here with step by step instructions on how you line a pickleball court. We attempted to use this fancy $500-1100 taping gun to make the process faster, but our taping gun wasn’t working properly so we snapped chalk lines, and taped each line by hand. The lines you’ll paint are 2″ in thickness so you will need to snap a chalk line on each side of 2 inches. Remember in pickle ball lines are considered “in.”
Adding the basketball lines
We followed these steps to line the basketball court.
Sports Master did provide a line primer to help seal the tape lines. Even with rubbing the tape firmly onto the surface, and applying the primer I still saw some bleeding. I would contribute this to the quality of the tape and the quickness of pulling the tape after painting. The primer dries within minutes. We were able to prime all of the lines and immediately go back to the first section and start painting. We applied one thick coat of primer and 2 coats of paint. Then pulled the tape while the paint was wet. *NOTE – We were doing our court in the middle of the day at 95 degrees outside so we quickly learned that we needed to paint on coat one, then go back with coat two once that was dry and the second each line was done, we pulled the tape on it. We first tried doing 1/2 of the court and then peeling the tape, but in that 20 minute time window it was too long and the tape was peeling up some of the paint.
Tips I wish I would have known
1- The website doesn’t give very descriptive drying times and re-coat times for each product for the pickleball court. I even contacted them asking for support and the only answer I got was its variable based on how hot it is outside. So, know that I did this whole project in 5 days (not consecutive due to weather, but could be done consecutive)-
1- prep and clean then wait 24 hours
2- fill the cracks and let those dry
3- chalk, tape and apply the black stuff
5- tape and paint lines
2- Swap out construction tape for frog tape for the actual lines.
3- Push the acrylic crack patch as low as it would go into the cracks and make sure they are fully filled to prevent cracking
4- Allow ample time for the concrete to be completely dry before beginning any of this project. If there’s been rain in the last week or sprinklers getting the surface wet, concrete is so porous that it’ll hold onto that water and eventually try and come up causing cracks in your surface.
5- Go over the whole court in grey, and then add the two blue sections. I followed the recommendation from the supplier to do the blue sections first, then backtrack the gray and it saved me money on product, but it made the application of the grey much more difficult as I had to go around the blue sections. In the SportsMaster video they show layering and this technique seems to equal an easier application with a more beautiful finish.
Hopefully this information was helpful as you go about tackling your own pickleball/ basketball sports court! Leave any questions as a comment below!