Pool Finish and Color Viewing Room...TFP Member Sound Off

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,607
Central California
I like a dark pool. Mine is. A deep aqua color. I went with a small pebble. I could post a picture, if you like, but that would contradict my advice for you. You can use pic's to get in the ballpark, I suppose, but you gotta go look at a real pool, in different light, at different times of the day, to make a real decision. Morning, noon, afternoon, night, cloudy, bright, etc. My pebble guy had some pools in his outdoor showroom that helped me pick my color. I made the mistake of getting there too late in the day, though. Color really changes throughout the day. Maybe more so for a darker pool. So see if you can find a showroom, or if your finisher can get you in to see some of his customers' pools. It's really the only way to go. Like pictures, you can use swatches to get a general sense, but don't pick your pool color from a swatch!! (But if you do use swatches to narrow it down, be sure to put them in water, or at least spray water on them.)

Also, times of year matter. So picking a color now, depending on where your pool is located, and what's around it, might be an issue. The angle of the sun. Shadows and reflections from nearby buildings and trees. Come summer, it might look differently, with the sun directly overhead. So there's that.

Reflections and perceptions! What's around your pool water will affect the color. Not only the actual color, but how your brain sees it, too. (Huh?) There's two things going on in that regard. (1) If you go look at a pool, say a neighbor's pool, and their house is painted blue and they have a redwood fence, and then you put that plaster in your pool, but your house is green and your pool is surrounded by shrubs and trees, your pool color is not going to look like your neighbors! And (2) if you surrounded two identical pools with the exact same buildings and plants, etc, one with a grey colored deck, the other with a tan colored deck, those two pools will look different. It's not the reflections this time, but rather the way your brain works. Those two identical plasters, with the exact same reflections in it, will look slightly different because of the decks. The deck is not reflecting in the pool, but rather fooling with your eyes and "tweaking" the color perception in your brain. It's hard to explain, but you can see this for yourself: hold any swatch of color up to something white, then up to something grey (or green or blue or whatever). The swatch will look different against each.

Depth is also an issue. Plaster/pebble color will look different at different depths. So your bottom step will look bluer than your top step. And your deep end will not match your sun deck! Just keep that in mind when looking at others' pools.

Sorry, I know that's all kind'a intimidating, because there's soooo many factors that can affect this decision. But at least armed with some of these concepts can maybe help you eliminate some surprises...

I rolled the dice, picking a color at 3:00PM in October, but (so far) my pool turned out as I wanted. I haven't been in it yet, though, so I can't comment on the pebble finish. I hope it's going to feel OK. It got too cold by the time they were done installing the new pebble finish, so I have to wait until spring to know for sure I got the right stuff!! A bit nerve racking... But I had a leg up. I loved the color of my old plaster. So I was just trying to match it. I knew exactly what it looked like in my yard, all times of day, all days of the year. The plaster guy came to my house and saw the old plaster, and I had him help me match the color. I relied heavily on his advice. Point is: you're not going to have that advantage, but if you do find a pool you like, have your plaster person look at it, and have him help you match it (don't try to do it on your own). If they have the expertise, then they can help you with the issues I describe above (and if they don't, maybe find someone that does). I was struggling on my own at the showroom, but he knew my existing pool and basically made up my mind for me.

Other things to think about: there's the color of the deck to consider (as I mentioned above), but also the edge tile. So that's another couple things to choose. Dark can make for a slightly warmer pool (dark absorbs heat, which goes back into the water). Dark shows less dirt. But dark tends to mottle over time. I'm seeing it even now in my two-month-old pebble. I actually like that, but others don't. Light colors might show stains and algae more, over time. You want to know right away about algae, so that's a good thing, but stains... not so good. Dark will show calcium deposits more, and can hide algae. (Of course, if you use TFPC, you likely won't have any algae, staining or calcium issues!) What else... oh... a light-colored pool will reflect your pool light better, so if you go with a multi-color LED, you'll get more striking results with a lighter pool. My dark finish kinda sucks the colors out of my LED light. Personally, I would go easy on sparkly additives or crazy tile accents or inlayed designs on the bottom. These things can be used to make your pool your own, and unique, but (IMHO), they can cheapen and date a pool. Dolphins or turtles or giant initials might seem like a fun idea, but there's no going back if you tire of such things. And you'll have a challenge selling your house someday to someone that shares your initials!! ;)
 

3asyB

Silver Supporter
Jan 7, 2019
115
CSTX
This will be our attempt at having one place that we can view the finished product of various Plaster/Pebble/Quartz/Vinyl/FG/etc. pool finishes. Simply attach a good pic looking down at the steps and another one looking at the deep end to share how it looks at different depths. Make sure to share the Brand and type of your pool finish along with color and any extras you had added.

This will help all of our new users with potentially the hardest decision of the process. As well as show off our TFP pools.

We will be the best source online for this if we all contribute. Can’t wait to see this develop! :lovetfp:
 
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Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
2,947
Chandler Arizona
Great idea. :goodjob:

I want to make it clear. Please keep in mind when viewing colors online, that they will look different on every screen. Always view your preferred choice in person, before making any final decisions.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,446
Central MD
We have tinted plain plaster (tinted with Diamond Brite). The mixture is: 1 bag DB Onyx, 4 bags white cement, 7 bags marble dust per batch. They used 3 1/2 batches for our 27K gal. pool for reference.

Note: Tinted plaster is a cheap way to get color but is subject to mottling, which we have and really enjoy for it's character. I call our pool color Poor Man's French Grey.

Cloudy, dark background:



Bright, sunny:



Bright, sunny:

 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
143
Claremont, CA
NPT Stonescapes in Mini "Aqua-cool." It has a white base plaster with black gray and blue speckles. We did add some Abalone for sparkle and wish we added the full bag our builder had suggested, especially since he didn't upcharge for it!
 

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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
157
Katy, Texas
Great idea. :goodjob:
I want to make it clear. Please keep in mind when viewing colors online, that they will look different on every screen. Always view your preferred choice in person, before making any final decisions.
Just to muddy the water...besides monitor differences (pro and serious amateur photographers use a device--Datacolor Spyder or X-Rite ColorMunki to name two--to create computer profiles for their monitors for accurate colors), daylight varies in color temperature with conditions and time of day. Sunny day at noon is typically 5500 degrees Kelvin. However, the daylight on an overcast day is closer to 7000 degrees K and sunrise/sunset can be as warm as 3000 degrees (higher numbers are more blue; lower more red). Incandescent light is usually in the range of 2700 to 3200 degrees. Fluorescent other than full spectrum fluorescent is useless. LED not designed for photography are usually 3200 or 5000 degrees. So to reiterate Arizonarob, see the stuff in person.
 
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jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,510
NE/Pa
Hi everyone. Figured I would show a few different things since I never owned a pool and was clueless about color water change and such so maybe this will also help someone else when they do their build out.

Diamond Brite: Super Blue. White base plaster with colored quartz pieces.

Finished plaster. You can see the quartz isn't through yet. So it's looking pretty white still.
Untitled by Jim, on Flickr

Fill color. Just to show how it will change.
IMG_8632 by Jim, on Flickr

Few days later. See how it changed already.
IMG_8660_HDR by Jim, on Flickr

Shade/Sunny Day Pic:
IMG_8848_HDR by Jim, on Flickr

And just to show how clear your water will be after winter opening using the TFP method!
IMG_8894 by Jim, on Flickr
 
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engrav

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
504
Whidbey Island, WA
As per kimkats at
new plaster streaked - is this how it is with plaster
for pool pics

Pics pools is tough. Depth is only one parameter. Sun no sun, angle of sun, clouds no clouds, position of camera, pump no pump, etc.

Our aim was to match Saratoga Passage.
Plaster is white plaster with marble Pacific dye from Quality Pools Group.
First pic of Saratoga Passage
Then pool at various times throughout the day.
Surely is true there is no such a thing as “thee” picture of a pool.
1 IMG_3134 SP.jpeg

7 am.jpg10-30.jpg14 pm.jpg19 pm.jpg
 

KeoniL

Member
Feb 10, 2019
5
La Quinta, ca
This will be our attempt at having one place that we can view the finished product of various Plaster/Pebble/Quartz/Vinyl/FG/etc. pool finishes. Simply attach a good pic looking down at the steps and another one looking at the deep end to share how it looks at different depths. Make sure to share the Brand and type of your pool finish along with color and any extras you had added.

This will help all of our new users with potentially the hardest decision of the process. As well as show off our TFP pools.

We will be the best source online for this if we all contribute. Can’t wait to see this develop! :lovetfp:
Stonescapes Tahoe Blue mini pebble with tossed abalone.
 

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