Pool Plaster Everything You Need to Know

They say your swimming pool is an extension of your living room; a place to stay and hang out with friends and families after a long, busy day. Having a private pool offers you an escape the moment you step out into your own backyard.

That’s why many pool owners take the time to invest in their swimming pools. While pool cleaning plays a major role in pool maintenance, those who want to keep their aquatic oasis in pristine condition hire pool professionals who offer pool services like pool remodeling, pool resurfacing, and plaster pool service.

Amongst these services, pool plastering is often the most overlooked maintenance solution applied to your private pool. Pool plaster is the skin that separates the water and the concrete pool. It offers various advantages including its aesthetic appeal and a smooth surface but what it’s better known for is its ability to create a watertight seal between the pool water and the rough underlying surface.

Pool Plastering: The Basics

Plastering a pool isn’t exactly rocket science. There are tons of blogs and videos online that will tell you how to do it.

What’s too hard when all you need to do is to apply a thin layer of mortar inside your pool?
While the process sounds a bit too rudimentary, doing it yourself can cause unnecessary expenses. That’s to cover all the costs of having to try things out the first time and believe us when we say there are a ton of ways you can mess this up. So, unless you plaster pools for a living, it’s best to leave this arduous task to the pros.

When done by professionals, plaster pool service can be finished in a day. A seven-hour job for an average-sized private piscina, although the duration of the project depends heavily on the expanse of your pool. We, at Stanton Pools, are proud to have been consistently providing fast and efficient pool plastering services in the cities in Ventura County and the Conejo, Simi and San Fernando Valleys. That said, we’re best known for our Winnetka pool plastering, Chatsworth pool resurfacing, and Canoga Park pool maintenance services having been provided by the best professionals in the said area.

Here’s a quick run-down of what we do.

We begin by draining your pools. This is the first and is one of the most crucial parts of the process as draining your pool gives us an idea of how much work is to be done.

Next, after we’ve done our assessment of the plaster infrastructure, we begin chipping out the old plaster to make way for the new one. Your thoughts on how you want your pool designed will play a vital part in how the plaster is applied. Chipping out the old plaster is completed immediately the day after draining the water.

After which, tile and coping are applied to give your pool the visual and aesthetic face-lift it deserves. We will then apply the new surface right after the tile and coping are applied. Depending on the material you’ve chosen, the application process may take a day or two.

Lastly, we refill the pool with water. We will also balance the chemical composition of the water as this is crucial to the process of pool plastering. Having been sitting in the pool the longest, how well the water is maintained will significantly affect the longevity of your pool plaster.

Here’s why.

Water and Pool Plaster

At Stanton Pools, we take pool water seriously.

Our Agoura Hills pool resurfacing, West Hills pool resurfacing, and Moorpark pool resurfacing all include the process of taking good care of the water to maximize the lifespan of the plaster in the pools we service.

The water’s pH level is indicative of the condition of the plaster.

Water below 7.0 pH can cause the plaster to erode, removing the sleek patina on the plaster’s surface. When the smooth surface begins to corrode, it will cause the layer to become coarse. Rough surfaces can cause anything from torn swimsuits to damaged skin.

pool water - stanton pools

Should the water’s pH level go beyond 8.0, the plaster may begin to develop stains and scaling. These stains may be hard to remove and can contribute to the contamination of the water in the pool.

Apart from the pool water’s pH level, the concentration of calcium in the water will also affect the quality of the plaster. While the same mineral is found in every type of pool plaster, inconsistent and improper calcium concentration can ruin the plaster. Deposits will develop in the plaster when there is too much calcium in the water, while insufficient amounts of calcium may weaken the plaster.

These factors are heavily considered in our Northridge pool plastering services as well as when finishing our Hidden Hills pool remodeling, Northridge pool remodeling, and our Simi Valley pool remodeling.


There is a slew of other issues relating to bad pool water and how it affects your pool plaster.

Stains are some of the most common concerns we encounter.

pool plaster stains

1. Organic Stains

Probably the easiest to deal with. Organic stains are caused by plant matter that is situated near your pool. They will stain your plaster with a brown or green hue depending on the component of the plant that’s exposed to the water.

Leaves will leave green stains due to chlorophyll, while twigs and stems will leave a brown hue probably due to the acids in the plant matter.

These stains will not stay in the plaster for long as chlorine in the water will bleach the plaster.
These stains are common in pools located in places like Tarzana where vegetation is common. That said, our Tarzana pool service and our West Hills pool service take organic stains into account.

2. Pool Plaster Mottling

It’s not uncommon for pools to experience pool plaster mottling. Mottling is when the pool plaster shows a variation of color due to several other reasons including the actual troweling process and hydration.

Mottling is more obvious on darker plasters but can sometimes manifest on pool plasters of lighter shades. While there are many techniques to decrease the effects of mottling on your plaster, such as calcium and pH reduction, very little can be done to remedy the effect of heavy pool plaster mottling on your plasters because of how muriatic acids affect the pool plaster.

3. Dissolved Metals

Metal stains refer to the discoloration caused when metals saturate the water. Metals such as iron and copper can trigger the formation of metal stains.

They will be generally hard to remove and will be easy to spot. Stains of copper metal will appear as streaks and splotches of blue-green hues on the plaster of your pool while stains from iron will generally be in black or brown.

These stains are hard to deal with, that’s why we take extra care on our Simi Valley pool service as the area is known for its local metal industry.

Water often causes aesthetic issues on the plaster of your pool. But the fact that it damages the surface of the plaster does not mean that it’s nothing. When left unattended, these simple stains can cause cracks and fissures that can ultimately call for an immediate pool plastering.

How to Clean Pool Plaster

One of the most common pool finishes is plaster. Plaster is cheaper compared to other pool interiors and offers a few features that exceed its notoriety in affordability. As we have briefly covered above, pool plaster is the thin layer that separates the pool water and the concrete below creating a watertight seal. And although it can be had in a variety of colors, plaster often comes in white. On that note, without proper care and maintenance, pool plaster easily succumbs to a wide variety of problems both structurally and aesthetically.

Here are a few things you can do to clean your pool plaster.

1. Skim the Surface

Arguably the easiest way to clean your pool plaster is skimming the surface. In fact, it works not only on pool plasters, but also on pools finished with other interior materials including pool tile and pool pebble. That’s because the problem in the pool interior’s surface often starts with the dirt and debris blown by the wind into the pool. Things like leaves, bugs, and twigs, can cause stains on the plaster. On that same note, some objects blown into the pool water may carry spores of microorganisms like algae that can easily attach to the porous surface of the plaster.

Start by using a telescopic pole with a skimmer net attached to it. Then, lightly scoop up floating dirt and debris out of the pool. These debris can sink onto the bottom where they can decompose and start problems you could have dealt with in the first place. Take the trash you’ve collected and put it in a bag, so it doesn’t get blown into the pool water again.

Doing this can save you a lot of time and money from expensive pool resurfacing and pool replastering projects in the future. Do it at least once a week or if you see a lot of debris floating on the pool water.

2. Brush the Plaster

One of the most common solutions to most pool plaster problems is brushing. It’s recommended that you brush the plastered part of your pool once a week because brushing not only helps remove stains, but is also effective in making sure that any dirt, debris, or microorganisms that might have made its way into the porous surface of the plaster will be removed and dislodged. That said, a simple routinary brushing can prevent the development of most organic stains as well as algae.

Here’s how you go about it.

First, get a telescopic pole and attach a pool brush to it. Next, start by brushing the walls of the pool as well as the steps, if you have a Baja shelf or a beach entry make sure to give it a quick brush too. Then, follow it up by brushing the floor of your pool.

Make sure that you brush it thoroughly, but do it in a way that you won’t disrupt the pool water because it can cause the dislodged debris to float in the water and it can take hours for it to settle. Also, use a pool brush with nylon bristles as steel wires can damage the plaster over time.

3. Watch the Water

Water chemistry plays an important role in pool water maintenance. With bad water balance, your pool can suffer from pool plaster erosion to stain and scale development. Not only that, but it can potentially damage the ladders, handrails, liners, and even the equipment you use on your pool. That’s why many professionals pay close attention to water chemistry, especially in pools that use plaster, because it can spell the difference between doing regular maintenance to a major repair.

On that note, it’s imperative that you pay close attention to the chemistry of your pool water. Should you plan to measure and adjust the pool water yourself, you’ll need either a test kit or a test strip. Either way, you need to get a sample of the pool water and refer to the instructions on the kit or the strip to check the level of the chemicals in your pool’s water. Adjust the water accordingly and check the water again to make sure you had it right. Nevertheless, if you’re unsure of what to do, you can always hire pool professionals like us, at Stanton Pools. We provide expert quality pool water checking and adjustment to make sure that your pool water is at its best.

Like brushing, checking the pool water should be done at least once a week to monitor the balance of the water and to make necessary adjustments nipping problems right in the bud.

4. Use Sequestering Agents

If you’re faced with a pool that has metal stains, using sequestering agents might help. Your pool will have various metallic components that can affect and influence the development of metallic stains in the plaster. These components might include anything from brass valves, heat exchangers, as well as galvanized or copper plumbing. Furthermore, the water from your local pipes will have trace amounts of minerals used for sanitation and other purposes. The same can be said when you’re using well water, which will have significant amounts of metal including magnesium, manganese, iron, and traces of silver and copper.

Sequestering agents can help you eliminate these problems as they will bind up minerals and metals in the water. Pool water sequestering agents will make it difficult for the metals to precipitate out of solution, which can help prevent stains and cloudy pool water. Different sequestering agents will have different ways of application, so it’s best to refer to the packaging or contact the manufacturer for information about usage and application. Nevertheless, using these sequestering agents can help keep your pool water and pool plaster clean.

5. Acid Washing

You can resort to acid washing if none of the aforementioned solutions helped you in cleaning the pool plaster. As the name of the process implies, acid washing involves the use of acid to remove a thin layer of plaster. This makes for a thorough clean and exposes the unstained bright white plaster underneath. That said, acid washing is the common solution for those hard to remove stains that brushing and sequestering agents can’t take out.

Acid washing is often carried out by trained professionals as this process involves the use of harmful chemicals strong enough that they peel through plaster and expose what’s underneath. The reason why many pool owners hire professionals to carry out this task is because using too much acid can damage the pool plaster and using too little may prove to be ineffective. Acid washing your pool plaster also means that you have to drain the pool to pour in acid to clean the plaster. While draining the pool looks like an easy job, it requires a little know how. Draining the pool water close to your in-ground pool can cause the concrete to pop out resulting in more work.

However, should you choose to do it on your own, make sure you’re backed with the right equipment and that you’ve done enough research to feel confident to carry out this undertaking on your own. Proper haz-mat gloves, masks, and boots are in order to make sure you’re protected when you apply the acid. You’d also want to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect yourself. And lastly, have a buddy or a family member nearby to help you out.

For obvious reasons, avoid acid washing the pool on a windy day.

Pool Plaster Cracks

Like the stains we’ve mentioned above, cracks on the plaster are not uncommon in swimming pools.

Your swimming pool is just like your home, your vehicle, or even your body. Time wears it down and it will eventually show signs of wear and tear. Your swimming pool plaster may develop several crevices from a slew of other reasons.

Plastering your pool on a hot day can be one. That’s why pools located in areas with a hot climate like the Simi Valley may encounter cracks on the plaster of their pools. Our Simi Valley pool service, Simi Valley pool remodeling as well as our Northridge pool remodeling can address these issues.

pool plaster cracks

Plaster cracks are not a defect in the process of plastering but rather a natural phenomenon as plaster will tend to shrink after its application. With this in mind, we ensure that we take the necessary measures to prevent the plaster we applied in your pool from easily rupturing. The products of our Agoura Hills pool resurfacing, Moorpark pool resurfacing, West Hills pool resurfacing, Chatsworth pool resurfacing, and Winnetka pool plastering will show the superior craftsmanship of Stanton Pools.

Also, checking the overall integrity of the pool will reveal the flexibility of the concrete structure. Settling of the supporting soil on the pool may likely put the pool under some stress and cause these cracks to appear.

Pool Plastering Alternatives

All right, pool plastering or pool resurfacing may sound like a big project. So, here are a few other alternatives to covering up your pool plaster.

  1. Patching – More of a temporary solution. Patching up plasters will not last las long and will often not match the actual pool plaster.
  2. Acid Wash – While acid wash can be effective in removing stains, it can wear the plaster down faster.
  3. Paint – Not just any paint, but paint designed to last underwater and chemical exposure.
  4. Tile – Definitely the most economical. Tiles will last forever but will cost you.

Stanton Pools Pool Plastering

If you’ve decided that it’s time you give your pool the proper treatment, make sure to call the best in the business.

The projects we worked on in our Hidden Hills pool remodeling and West Hills pool service prove our commitment to a superior quality pool plastering. When beginning a pool plaster project by carefully chipping out the old plaster, we set your pool up for success. This is done by using precision tools like pneumatic tools and jackhammers. Don’t worry, we’ll protect your backyard the same way we do the concrete below the plaster. Rest assured that your property is safe when you do business with Stanton Pools.

pool plaster - stanton pools

When applying the plaster, we may try a different approach depending on the structure of the pool. Otherwise, we will generally start at the deep end of the pool carefully working our way up until we reach the deck of your pool. When conducting our Canoga Park pool maintenance, we see to it that we apply the proper amount of plastering to ensure longevity and the overall structural quality of the pool. Likewise, when we conduct our Tarzana pool service, we ensure that the materials we use to maintain the pools in this area are of the best quality and the procedure taken to apply them is taken with utmost care.

We at Stanton Pools know how crucial pool plastering contributes to the aesthetic and structural quality of your slice of paradise. We know there’s more to just brushing and wiping the surfaces of the plaster and ridding it of stains. That’s why in our Northridge pool plastering services, we provide a thorough cleaning of the plasters to ensure they’ll look good and will last longer.

Once the pool plaster has settled, we can now start the final process – the start-up. Pretty much like starting up a vehicle or booting up a new computer, the start-up process will let us know and assess the final product. The start-up process involves several other finishing touches beginning with brushing the finished surface to remove any remaining plaster dust. This ensures that when we fill the pool with water, dust particles won’t float or sink into the bottom – something that your filters will have to deal with. We also clean the said filters and finish off by vacuuming the pools.

After this, we begin testing and checking the water chemistry once the pool is filled with water. Stanton Pools checks for the pool water’s pH level, its alkalinity, the presence and level of chlorine, as well as calcium hardness, and various acid levels.

We’re confident in our dedication to plaster pool service and our passion for pool resurfacing. No one does pool resurfacing as we do. That’s why we’re rated number one in the Los Angeles and Ventura County for the best pool remodeling and best pool maintenance and pool cleaning service. Our services simply can’t be beaten.