PebbleSheen Acid Startup


Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2020
Los Angeles
My Blue Granite Pebblesheen was applied on Tuesday, "lightly" acid washed on Wednesday, and then the pool filled very slowly over a 36 hour period from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday night (I think my pool is around 16,000 gallons, but probably less b/c of the integrated spa). The PB's startup guys came this morning (Saturday). I read the various startup methods on TFP and saw that with the Acid Startup was one (less recommended) way that it is done, which apparently is what my PB's guys do, as they were out here today pouring in acid and doing some light brushing. The head guy came this afternoon to introduce himself, and told me that I don't have to do any brushing, and that they'd be back Monday most likely to brush again after the acid does what it needs to. He said I could then decide on Monday or Tuesday if I am happy with the color/exposure of pebbles (as there were less pebbles visible than I expected) and if I'm not, that they'd do a 2nd acid treatment. If I am happy, they would start balancing the water. So my questions are:
1) On the TFP startup info re: acid wash, it says not to brush the plaster much if it is a darker plaster finish. Does Blue Granite fall into that category? My sample looked dark blue-gray, but the plaster in my pool looks much lighter and a tad bluer, like a gray-blue (like cool tone purple-blue, unlike my sample which was a more neutral or even greener blue gray). So I don't know what to think.
2) Do I follow the start-up crew's directions and not brush at all, or do I brush 2x/day as it says on the Pebbletec site?
3) Will brushing help expose more of the pebble?
4) Would a 2nd acid treatment hurt the plaster, and is it bad to delay the balancing of the water?

I don't need the plaster to be darker necessarily, but I would like it to be less purplish/cool toned. I feel like the pebble exposure might be helpful in bringing out a little more warmth, if the plaster is going to remain the same.

Sorry if this is a repeat question! And I will post a whole build thread soon as I would like to share my experience and what I would do differently for those just getting into the build process. Thx!

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
1- I don't recall that particular color, but product preparation and application processes can influence the final results.
2 - Since you were given specific directions to wait, I'd wait. Your warranty depends on following their instructions. However I would discuss the Pebble site instructions to what the builder told you to do to go over your concerns.
3 - It might, depends on how much extra product was applied, how often you brush, and the duration of brushing until everything begins to cure harder.
4 - Each additional acid treatment removes x-amount of plaster, that's the concern. Sometimes it's a reasonable trade-off, but sometimes builders use it as a fail-safe remedy. That's another item you should probably have a good discussion with the builder about. It's tough because you don't want to come off arrogant like you're telling a builder how to do his job, but you are armed with just enough info to make him reconsider some of his actions for your project.
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