Plaster color - Light vs Dark?


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 31, 2014
Hello! I am in the last phase of my new build. The plaster contractor took almost the entire month of December off, so I have had a lot of time to research and think about which plaster color to use. Pool is getting plastered the first weekend of January.

My preference is a plaster with blue base. Meaning that even you look at bottom/stairs from up close, you will still see the pool blue - not white. Three pools I've seen in person recently have had a white plaster base with aggregate Quartz (diamond brite cool blue), and when the sun is not up the pool looks pale/colorless.

Due to budget and availability, I am eyeing two manufacturers: SGM (Diamond Brite) and Premix Marbletite (Marquis Series). From diamond brite my favorite (from pictures) is the Tahoe Blue. From Marbletite is like the azure.

Problem is I've been reading that those blue colors are prone to showing streaks/smudges/uneven spots. For that reason I am considering "settling" for Diamond Brite Super Blue, and adding a couple more bags of blue Quartz. I am afraid though that the super blue would still looks too white/pale for my taste. (Yes, I am one of those who wouldn't' mind a windex blue style pool)

Anyone here with experience with any of the above colors, please chime in.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
I am in the black bottom pool club. We were nervous about it when building but have no regrets now after a few years. You can see some streaks here and there if you look hard and the water is very still. But, I don't think it looks bad and it is really hard to notice it anyway. Dark bottomed pools are much more reflective than light bottomed pools. So, mostly when you look at them you see more reflections of trees, clouds, skies anyway. Even on cloudy days. I think you are right that white bottomed pools are just clear water and white bottom when the sun isn't out and a darker bottom will have more color more of the time. I guess the moral of my story is don't be too scared of the darker bottom.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
We have an aqua blue pebble sheen re-plaster. In our area the Diamond Brite quote was $500 less than the Pebble Sheen so we went with the longevity of the Pebble Sheen. We had white plaster prior in which we liked the blue color. We really like the Windex blue color of the aqua blue pebble sheen.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2014
Sanger, TX
I am with pooldv - we have black mini pebble stonescapes and I LOVE IT. That's even without having my pool chemistry completely balanced yet and still brushing since plaster was only applied 2 weeks ago. There might be a few smudges, but like pooldv says, the mini pebble and the abalone shell I added catch the light and I don't even notice any smudging. I just like looking at it and seeing all of the variation between dark, light pebbles, shells etc. -Karen


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Plain plaster that has been colored a dark color is almost invariably uneven, but plaster that is colored with quartz, or pebble, doesn't normally have that problem. Quartz of any color will always be a just slightly uneven, but nothing like what you see with dark colored plaster.