Pool Plaster Color Choices: What Are Your Options?

Written by Michael Dean
August 16, 2023

swimming pool and plaster color wheel

So you’ve decided to replaster your pool, but you’re overwhelmed with the number of color choices. How do you even begin to decide what color to go for? In this article, I will provide a breakdown of each color, how to select your plaster color, the different plaster finishes, and why the color you choose matters.

Main Takeaways

  • Pool plaster colors matter as they can affect the pool and surrounding area’s appearance as well as water temperature.
  • Consider your desired overall look, water color, pool size, and budget when choosing pool plaster color.
  • Pool plaster tinted with organic dyes will fade, whereas plaster tinted with inorganic dyes won’t.

Why Does Pool Plaster Color Matter?

The plaster color you choose can change how your swimming pool and pool area look. The colored pool plaster tints the water, so this is a great way to get your pool water to look better and more to your liking. Are you looking for a sparkling blue, or maybe you’re looking to make your pool look more tropical?

The color of the pool plaster can even change how light reflects from the pool. For example, white plaster will create a bright reflection, whereas darker plaster colors do not.

Pool plaster can also affect the water temperature. Darker colors absorb the sunlight and keep the water warm. White or bright plaster does not absorb sunlight, resulting in colder water. The temperature difference will be very slight, and the color of your plaster does not substitute the need for a pool heater.

And finally, many people don’t realize that the color of your pool plaster can change the shape of your pool. Not physically, of course, but darker shades of pool plaster can make small pools look even smaller and deeper.

9 Pool Plaster Color Ideas

I’ve got you covered if you aren’t sure where to start when choosing a plaster color. Here are the nine most popular plaster colors. These are the base colors I use most often in my swimming pool designs. That being said, most swimming pool builders can make custom colors, so get creative!


White pool plaster is the most basic color for plaster. Pool plaster is typically made of white cement, so no dye pigments are added. White plaster is the cheaper option, making it the best choice for pool owners looking for a budget-friendly color.

Choosing white plaster is an excellent idea if you want pool water that always looks pleasantly turquoise—picture Greek villas with sparkling pools. White plaster became popular in the late 60s and is still a common choice today.

Light Gray

Currently, light gray pool plaster is one of the most popular choices. The light gray plaster is still light enough to achieve bright blue waters, but the gray creates darker blue hues in the water compared to the simple white plaster.

Gray plaster also gives the pool some water and color depth as the color creates shadows in the deeper parts of the pool. Alternatively, you can look at medium gray and dark gray plaster colors.

freeform pool with wood deck

Here’s a photo of what gray plaster typically looks like in a full swimming pool. I call this color Oyster Bay, which I manufactured and installed.

Light Green

Light green plaster is a perfect choice for pool owners looking for a light color with a green hue instead of your average blue. This color pool plaster is typically found in resort pools as the green makes the water stark and inviting. This color gives your pool a beautiful tropical aesthetic.


If you like the idea of a green pool but you’re looking for a slightly darker color, go for the green plaster. The darker the green, the deeper the pool looks, making it seem bottomless. This color will also tie the look of your backyard together if you have a lot of trees and greenery in your pool landscaping.

Light Blue

Light blue pool plaster is an alternative to light gray and provides a rich blue water color. Light blue plaster also creates color depth. Light blue is a popular choice for swimming pool owners not looking to drastically change the color of their pool like a darker color would.

fish mosaic and tile in a swimming pool

Here’s a light blue quartz plaster finish with some tile work. I enjoyed building this pool for one of my customers several years ago.


Blue is always a classic if you’re unsure what color to get. Standard blue is a safe choice of pool plaster as it can enhance the pool water’s natural blue color and create a great reflective surface.

pool with waterfall and basketball goal

As you can see from the example above, blue plaster provides a traditional aesthetic. This photo is from a pool I built a few years ago.

Dark Blue

Dark blue pool plaster is a good way of creating extra depth in your pool. This color is a good choice if you’re looking to make your pool have an overall mysterious and luxurious look that still sparkles under the sun. Dark blue works even better with lighter-colored decking to create a more stark contrast.

freeform pool with fountain in spa

Here’s an example of a dark blue plaster called Maui Midnight – one of the custom colors I made at my previous company.


Turquoise can be a good color choice for pool plaster if you have a kidney-shaped pool. This is because turquoise gives the pool a teal-like color that resembles a lagoon. With a uniquely-shaped pool, you can enhance the natural feeling of the turquoise color.

unique freeform pool

This pool I installed has a turquoise color called Marblehead, which I also manufactured.

Dark Gray/Black

Dark gray and black pool plaster are the most drastic color choices that have gained popularity over the last few years. These darker colors can completely transform a pool and change the look of your yard. Using black or dark gray plaster can make the pool appear as if it is bottomless. Choose this color if you’re looking for something drastically different from your usual blue or green-colored pool.

quartz pool finish

Here’s a darker color called Morning Mist I manufactured and installed over the years.

How to Choose the Right Color For You

With so many color choices, how do you choose the right color for your pool? There are a few things to consider to choose the right color, including the overall look you’re going for, the pool size, and the water color you want.

Overall Look

The first thing you should consider is what overall look are you wanting? For example, do you want a pool that is bright and clear? If so, the lighter plaster shades like white, blue, gray, and green are the right colors for you. Or perhaps you want your pool to look more mysterious. Try dark gray, black, or even dark blue in that case.

As I mentioned in my article on pool plaster finishes, the type of plaster also affects your overall pool environment. For example, I recommend earthier colors if you go with a pebble finish.

Pool Size

You should also consider your pool size. Larger pools can get away with dark-colored plaster and not look smaller, but smaller pools with dark-colored plaster can look even smaller. Being clever with your pool plaster color choice can help you make your pool look bigger or smaller, depending on what you want.

Water Color

What color do you want your water to be? Do you want a classic clean blue or dark midnight blue or turquoise? The color of your plaster will change the appearance of the pool water.

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What Pool Plaster Finish Is Best?

Once you have decided on your pool plaster color, you should also decide on your plaster finish. You can choose from anything from basic to pebble to quartz and more. There is no straight answer to what pool plaster finish is best, as the answer depends on what you are looking for and your priorities.

For example, a quartz finish might be a good choice if you want the most durable option. Alternatively, basic plaster is the best choice for pool owners looking for the most budget-friendly option. And if you are looking for a luxurious look for your pool, try a marble finish.

Does Pool Plaster Color Fade?

Pool plaster color fades when exposed to UV rays and chlorine all day long. Plasters tinted with organic dyes tend to fade faster than plaster tinted with inorganic dyes. Inorganic dyes don’t wash out, run or fade. The best way to prevent color fading is by using inorganic dyes. Plain white plaster does not fade, making it the best option for pool owners that do not want to deal with fading pool plaster. Head over to my article on the swimming pool replastering process for tips on refinishing your pool if you’re experiencing severe fading.

And that’s about it. Questions? Let me know.

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