How to pick a plaster color for your pool
It helps to know the characteristics of colored plaster so you can decide if it's right for you. Plaster is applied to the surface of your pool and is then troweled by hand to create a nice, smooth finish. With all plaster, and especially with colored plaster, you will see lighter and darker areas throughout the pool. It is a very natural look, and it is not suited for everyone. Areas such as benches and steps are more even in color because they are troweled more extensively than the floors, and walls of your pool. The national plaster's council states that colored plaster may exhibit pigment stains, streaks, unevenness of color and more noticeable checking and crazing. It's important that you know that this is a natural occurrence and that none of these conditions are considered a deficiency of the product.
There is no way to determine the exact color that your pool water will appear once it is filled. There are many factors such as pool size, shape, depth, surrounding landscape, sun exposure, and even time of day that will play a role in the appearance of your pool water.
The above pictures are of the same pool, on the same day, from the same angle. This pool has been plastered in a medium shade of gray. The only difference between the two pictures is the time of day they were taken. The left picture was taken in the morning; the picture to the right was taken in the afternoon. The feel and look of the pool water changes throughout the day. This is true of any plaster color or finish; however, the difference is more dramatic with a colored plaster.
We cannot stress enough that you are picking a water color; not a plaster color, when you go with a colored plaster finish. For example, the most desired look is a slightly deeper, but more natural shade of blue water. This look is created by using shades of light to medium gray plaster, not blue plaster. If you aren't comfortable with a natural look, or with the idea of shade variations, colored plaster might not be right for your pool. If you have any hesitation at all after seeing pictures of colored pools, we strongly suggest you see one in person before you make your final decision.
It is important to speak directly with a knowledgeable plaster applicator about colored plaster finishes before you decide to go with one. Every pool finished with a colored plaster will be different and there are many factors involved in the resulting look. By speaking with an applicator directly you will know what your expectations should be from a colored plaster. They should be able to suggest colors that will sway the tone of your pool's water color in your desired direction. They can also make sure you avoid colors that will result in a water color that is undesirable to you. An experienced applicator will take in the variables listed above: pool size, shape, depth, surrounding landscaping, and sun exposure. The applicator will consider these elements when determining the amount of dye or color to use. A knowledgeable plasterer will use his expertise to create an aesthetically pleasing water tone for your pool.