The Ins And Outs Of Pool Plaster

A finished pool surface is a thing of beauty. It’s smooth and lustrous, inviting you to run your hand over it. What is it though?

The Ins And Outs Of Pool Plaster

The Components And Purpose 

In a concrete in-ground pool, the surface is made of pool plaster. This is a mixture of Portland cement and additives such as marble dust, quartz sand, or limestone. Sometimes people add liquid acrylic fortifier, too, for additional strength. Pool installers apply a quarter-inch to half-inch thick layer over the rough concrete frame to make the structure water-tight and the surface smooth. There have been many types of plaster made, and it is mixed by hand at the site.

Originally, the pool installers painted the surface. There are an array of paints created for the pool, and good pool owners used to paint the pool every summer. The paint would last 2 to 7 years before it would start to peel or lose its luster. Many decades back plaster was introduced, and people took to it immediately. It lasts 15 to 20 years and the finish is smooth. You can still paint your pool for a nice finish, but most people have professionals apply plaster.


Pool plaster is affected by water chemistry. Keeping the pH balanced is important for prolonging the plaster’s lifespan. It will also help to brush the pool for a couple weeks after the plaster is installed.

The plaster will age and might start showing strain. It can get cracks, chunks can come up off the concrete, and it can develop stains. Some types of plaster can react with chemicals in the water and cause discoloration. When these things happen, you may have to get your pool re-plastered. It’s a quick process, fortunately, and will only take a few hours to fix. You can swim in it the next day, too.

At Aquanomics Pools, we have lots of experience maintaining pools, including keeping the water chemistry safe for plaster. If you want expert help with your pool and all its components, contact us.