Yes, you can. However, the cost of converting to gunite is about the same as a completely new gunite pool, minus excavation costs. However, anything can be achieved. I believe the most cost-effective method would be a new liner that’s more appealing to you, new coping, and maybe jets and skimmer fittings that blend in a little better.
How to Convert a Liner Pool to Gunite
Simply remove your existing decking. Next, pour cantilever coping or do a bluestone cantilever then have a trutile liner put in that gives you the gunite appearance of your choosing without the extreme cost of removing an existing pool and building from scratch.
It will cost you as much to replace the liner with gunite as to build a new gunite pool. There are alot of advancements in vinyl so look at renovating with a knowledgable vinyl builder. You might be surprised.
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The second option would be to replace decking, change the coping on the vinyl pool to one with cantilever stone, perhaps add the tile top style liner as mentioned above. Then spend the $30-40,000 more you would have to spend on gunite with some other improvement, add a sunroom, or an aquashield style slide off pool enclosure. However if you just want a gunite pool and don’t mind spending the money then just do it.
Remove the vinyl liner and leave the existing steel walls in place, then set the new rebar cage and shot the gunite inside the existing walls.
The only con to this method is that new pool will be smaller and more shallow than the existing one because the gunite shell is about 8″ thick.