How To Plaster Swimming Pool

Importance of Properly Plastering a Swimming Pool

A properly plastered swimming pool is essential for maintaining its beauty and functionality. The finish of the pool not only adds aesthetic appeal but also provides a protective layer that ensures durability and longevity. In this article, we will delve into the importance of properly plastering a swimming pool, along with the step-by-step process to achieve a flawless finish.

Benefits of a well-plastered pool

A well-plastered pool offers several advantages to both homeowners and swimmers. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Smooth surface: A properly plastered pool creates a smooth surface that enhances swimmer comfort. Rough surfaces can cause skin irritation or scratches, making it unpleasant for swimmers.

  2. Durability: Proper plastering increases the lifespan of your swimming pool by providing protection against structural damage caused by water exposure, chemicals, and natural elements.

  3. Watertight seal: Plaster acts as a barrier between the porous concrete structure and water in the pool, preventing leakage issues that could lead to costly repairs down the line.

  4. Ease of maintenance: Smooth plaster finishes make cleaning easier by reducing algae growth and minimizing dirt accumulation on walls and floors.

Consequences of improper plastering

Improperly executed or neglected plaster work can have detrimental effects on your swimming experience as well as your wallet:

  1. Staining: Improper mixing ratios or inadequate curing time can result in unsightly stains on your pristine white finish.

  2. Cracks: Insufficient bonding layers or substandard application techniques may lead to cracks appearing on your finished surface over time.

  3. Rough texture: If not applied correctly, you may end up with an uneven or rough-textured surface which compromises swimmer comfort.

4 .Leakage problems: Failure to establish proper watertightness during installation allows water seepage through the plaster, causing potential structural damage and increased water bills.

Preparing the Pool for Plastering

Before beginning the plastering process, it is crucial to properly prepare your swimming pool. This preparation phase ensures that any underlying issues are addressed and that the surface is clean and ready for a flawless finish.

Draining the pool

The first step in preparing your pool for plastering is draining all of its water. Use a submersible pump or contact professional pool services if necessary to ensure complete drainage. This allows easy access to every corner of your swimming pool during inspection and repair stages.

Inspecting and repairing any structural issues

With the empty pool, carefully inspect its interior for any visible cracks, hollow spots, or other structural concerns. Fixing these problems before applying new plaster helps maintain a solid foundation for your finish coat. If you’re unsure about how to handle repairs on your own, it’s recommended to hire experienced professionals who specialize in pool remodeling services.

Cleaning the pool surface thoroughly

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Once any necessary repairs have been made, it’s time to clean the entire surface of your swimming pool meticulously. Begin by removing debris using a wire brush or air compressor to eliminate loose plaster dust particles as well as algae growth. Thoroughly scrubbing with muriatic acid solution (1 part acid diluted with 10 parts water) can effectively remove stubborn stains caused by organic matter or minerals like calcium nodules.

Gathering Necessary Tools and Materials

To successfully execute a proper plaster job on your swimming pool, you will need specific tools and materials readily available beforehand:

List of tools required

  • Wire brush
  • Air compressor
  • Trowel
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles

List of materials required

  • Muriatic acid
  • Bonding agent (specifically designed for use in pools)
  • Plaster mix (white portland cement combined with marble dust/quartz sand)
  • Water

Applying the Bonding Agent

The bonding agent serves as a crucial layer between the existing pool surface and the new plaster, ensuring proper adhesion. Follow these steps to apply the bonding agent effectively:

  1. Mixing the bonding agent: Read and follow manufacturer instructions for mixing ratios of your chosen bonding agent.

  2. Applying the bonding agent to the pool surface: Using a trowel, evenly spread a thin coat of bonding agent over every inch of your swimming pool’s interior walls and floor. Make sure there are no missed spots or areas with an excess amount of bond coat.

Mixing and Applying Plaster

Now that you’ve completed prepping your pool and applied a bond coat, it’s time to mix and apply plaster layers to achieve a smooth finish.

Preparing the plaster mix

Follow these steps to create an ideal plaster mix:

  1. Mix white portland cement with marble dust or quartz sand according to manufacturer instructions.

2 . Gradually add water while stirring continuously until you achieve a thick yet workable consistency.

Applying coats of plaster

To ensure long-lasting results, it is recommended to apply multiple coats (typically two) using specific techniques:

#### Applying first coat
– Start by dampening (but not saturating) each section of your swimming pool with clean water before applying any plaster.
– Using your trowel, apply an even layer (approximately 3/8 inch thick) known as “scratch coat” on all surfaces in one direction.
– Allow this first layer enough curing time before moving on (~24 hours).

Subsequent coats

  • Before applying subsequent layers, moisten previously cured scratch coat lightly with water using spray bottle or hose nozzle attachment.
  • Apply additional coats at approximately 3/8-inch thickness each following same procedure as previous step: smoothing out surface uniformly while keeping wetness consistent throughout the application.

Smoothing and leveling the plaster surface

To achieve a smooth finish, it’s essential to pay attention to details during this final stage of plastering:

  1. Smoothing: Use your trowel or pool brush in circular motions to gently flatten out any imperfections or uneven areas on each coat while it is still wet.

  2. Leveling: Check for consistency in thickness across all surfaces using a straightedge or level tool. Make adjustments as necessary to ensure an even layer throughout your swimming pool.

Curing and Finishing the Plaster

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After applying all necessary coats of plaster, allow sufficient time for curing before filling your pool with water:

Allowing the plaster to cure

  • Ensure proper ventilation by keeping windows open if possible while allowing fresh air circulation within space around your newly plastered swimming pool.

  • Maintain optimal temperature conditions (~60°F – 80°F) inside room where work took place during curing process (typically about one week).

Filling the pool with water

Once cured, you can begin filling your swimming pool with water gradually:

  • Start by slowly adding water until it reaches halfway up skimmer opening.

  • While filling, regularly brush walls and floor of your newly finished plastered surface using a soft-bristle brush. This helps remove any residual dust or debris from construction process as well as evenly distribute chemicals present in tap water.

Brushing and maintaining the plaster surface

Regular brushing is essential for maintaining cleanliness and extending lifespan of your freshly-plastered swimming pools’ interior:

  • Use a nylon-bristled brush suitable for use on painted surfaces when brushing weekly after initial fill-up period has passed (approximately two weeks).

  • Avoid aggressive scrubbing that could damage finish; instead focus on gentle but thorough cleaning action along walls/floors with overlapping strokes covering entire area systematically without skipping spots.

Troubleshooting and Common Issues

While proper plastering techniques can significantly reduce the chances of issues arising, it’s important to be aware of potential problems that may occur:

Identifying and addressing cracks or imperfections

  • If you notice any cracks or imperfections in your pool plaster finish, take immediate action to prevent further damage. Consult professionals who specialize in pool replastering process for expert advice on how best address these issues.

Dealing with discoloration or staining

Discoloration and staining are common concerns when it comes to maintaining a beautifully finished swimming pool:

  • Organic stains: Use citric acid diluted with water (1 part acid: 10 parts water) applied directly onto affected areas using a sponge or cloth.

  • Mineral stains: Muriatic acid solution (1 part acid: 10 parts water) can effectively remove mineral-based stains such as calcium nodules. Always follow safety precautions when handling acids.

Regular Maintenance and Care for Plastered Pools

To keep your newly plastered swimming pool looking pristine for years to come, regular maintenance is key:

Cleaning and maintaining the pool water chemistry

Properly balanced chemical levels play a vital role in preserving the integrity of your plaster finish:

  • Test chlorine level regularly using test strips or kits recommended by manufacturers.

  • Keep an eye on pH balance within acceptable range (7.4 – 7.6) by adding appropriate chemicals if necessary.

  • Monitor cyanuric acid, calcium hardness levels periodically ensuring they stay within specified limits defined based on type/size of pools as well as local regulations.

Regularly inspecting and repairing any damage

Perform routine inspections at least once every six months to identify potential issues early on:

  • Look out for signs of deterioration such as hollow spots, loose plaster patches/flecks peeling away from surface – addressing these promptly will help prevent more extensive damage requiring costly repairs later.


Properly plastering a swimming pool is an essential step in ensuring its longevity and maintaining its beauty. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can achieve a flawless finish that provides numerous benefits for both pool owners and swimmers. Remember to conduct regular maintenance and address any issues promptly to extend the lifespan of your plastered pool. With proper care, your swimming pool will continue to provide enjoyment for years to come.

For more information or assistance with your next plastering project, consider consulting professionals such as Swimming Pool Steve, Valley Pool Plaster, Classic Pool Plastering, or COMPLETE POOL BUYER. These experts offer services ranging from DIY pool plaster guides to complete pool replastering projects tailored to suit various needs and budgets.


Q: Can I use colored plaster instead of white?

A: Yes! Colored plasters are available on the market in a wide variety of colors allowing you to customize your swimming pools’ appearance according to personal preferences or desired color scheme.

Q: How often should I test my water chemistry?

A: It’s recommended that you test chlorine levels daily while monitoring pH balance once or twice per week depending on usage patterns and environmental factors specific to each location.

Q: Is it necessary to drain my entire inground pool before starting the replastering process?

A: Yes! Proper surface preparation requires emptying out all water from inside so work can be performed safely without risk damaging finishes by accident while working underwater.


Concrete pool: A swimming pool that is constructed using concrete as the primary material.

Acid wash: A process of cleaning the surface of a pool using an acid solution to remove stains, dirt, and discoloration.

Layer of plaster: A thin coating of plaster applied to the surface of a swimming pool to create a smooth and waterproof finish.

Acid washing: The act of performing an acid wash on a pool’s surface to clean and restore its appearance.

Water level: The height at which water is maintained in a swimming pool, usually measured from the top edge or coping.

Calcium levels: The concentration or amount of calcium present in the water. Proper calcium levels are important for maintaining balanced water chemistry in pools.

Applications: Refers to various methods or techniques used during different stages of plastering a swimming pool, including mixing and applying materials such as plaster mix or color pigments.

Water chemistry: The balance and quality control measures taken regarding chemicals present in swimming pool water. This includes pH levels, alkalinity, sanitizer (chlorine) levels, etc., necessary for safe and enjoyable use.

White plaster: A type of finishing coat made from white cement typically used on interior surfaces for aesthetic purposes. It provides durability but may require more maintenance due to its susceptibility to staining over time compared to colored plasters or aggregate finishes.

Rough surface: An uneven texture on the surface caused by imperfections during application or wear over time. Can affect aesthetics as well as swimmers’ comfort when walking on it barefooted.

Pool equipment: Refers collectively to all mechanical systems installed within or around the swimming pool area for circulation, filtration, heating/cooling (if applicable), lighting, etc., that help maintain proper functioning and cleanliness required by modern-day standards

Pool tile:The tiles specifically designed for use in pools – often placed along edges/waterlines – chosen both functionally & decoratively; ceramic/mosaic/glass, etc.

Chlorine level: The concentration of chlorine in pool water that ensures proper disinfection and maintenance of a healthy swimming environment. Chlorine is commonly used as a sanitizer to kill bacteria and control algae growth.

Aggregate finishes: Textured finishes created by incorporating various aggregates such as quartz, pebbles, or stones into the plaster mix. These provide enhanced durability and resistance to staining compared to traditional white plaster.

Stubborn stains: Difficult-to-remove marks or discoloration on the pool’s surface caused by factors like mineral deposits, organic matter, chemicals, or environmental conditions that require specialized cleaning techniques for removal.

White quartz: A type of aggregate material often added to pool plaster mixes for increased strength and visual appeal. It consists of small particles of crushed quartz stone mixed with white cement.

Application process: The step-by-step procedure followed when applying layers of plaster onto a swimming pool surface. This includes preparing the surface properly before applying each coat to ensure adhesion and longevity.

Proper water chemistry: The ideal balance between different chemical levels (pH, alkalinity) within a swimming pool required for safe use & optimal performance; crucial in maintaining clear water while avoiding potential damage to equipment & surfaces

Layers of plaster: Multiple coats applied during the application process designed to create a watertight seal and provide protection against leaks or cracks in the concrete shell beneath it. Each layer must be allowed sufficient time for curing before subsequent applications are made.

Watertight seal:A secure barrier created through layers/coats/plastering methods so no leakage occurs between pools structure/walls/surfaces allowing them function without risk related damages/maintenance efforts

Fresh plaster:The initial layer(s) or recently applied coat(s) after completion that need special care/curing duration depending upon specific requirements/guidelines given by professionals; usually avoided until fully cured due risks associated with damaging new finish/application

Entire pool surface:The complete area of a pool that is covered by plaster or other finishing materials.

Pool plasters: Various mixtures/compositions applied to the surface of swimming pools for aesthetic, durability & water resistance purposes; can include white cement, aggregates, color pigments, etc.

Pool plaster mix:A combination/mixture prepared using various ingredients like cement (white/grey), aggregates (quartz/pebbles/stones), and water; creates a paste-like material used during the application process

Pool plastering project: A construction or renovation undertaking involving applying layers/coats/plastering methods onto the surfaces/walls/floors of a swimming pool to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional finish.

Pool size:The overall dimensions/diameter/volume capacity/surface area measurements determining specific needs such as quantity of materials/equipment required for respective projects

Cyanuric acid: A chemical compound commonly added to outdoor pools as stabilizer or conditioner for chlorine. Helps reduce chlorine loss due to sunlight exposure but must be monitored closely since excessive levels can affect water balance negatively.

Coat of plaster:A layer(s) consisting of mixed ingredients including cement, aggregate particles creating desired texture/appearance applied in successive stages during pool-plastering projects

Color pigments:Dyes/tints/pigments often added into pool plaster mixes to achieve desired colors/themes/aesthetics rather than traditional white finishes. They allow customization options matching preferences/style choices made by owners/designers

Sump pumps:Devices used for draining excess water from low-lying areas around swimming pools where stagnant/dirty-water accumulation might pose risks/issues potentially leading serious problems if left unaddressed

Spot etching:The occurrence of small spots/marks on the surface resulting from localized damage caused by chemicals/incorrect maintenance practices/chlorine imbalance usually visible after application processes have completed

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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