Swimming Pool Plaster Repair: Best Tips on How to Fix Plaster (Empty or Full)

Are you looking for a pool plaster repair solution? Repair pool plaster when it is empty or full. Here are the best tips on how to fix pool plaster.

Is your pool’s bottom is beginning to feel more like grit than a smooth surface? Perhaps you’ve noticed an increase in spots or rust on the plaster of your pool? Even though plaster is a ubiquitous and durable material for inground pools, many pool owners may eventually need to repair their pool’s plaster.

Whether you’re trying to decide whether you should attempt pool plaster repair yourself or whether it’s best to hire a professional, we’ll go through some of the repair stages as well as your alternatives. Are you unsure whether or not the plaster in your swimming pool needs repair? Along with that, we’ll have a look at signs that suggest the need for repairs.

Signs That You Need To Fix Your Pool Plaster

Some pool owners don’t give a second thought to the plaster in their pool until they see deep cracks orbits of plaster that have fallen out. Don’t wait until there is significant damage. Any of these frequent indicators indicate that it’s time to consider fixing the plaster in your swimming pool.

Swimming pool with algae and pool plaster with stains

Pool Plaster Stains

Most popular inground pools are constructed using plaster. Plaster pools are incredibly durable and can last for decades if taken care of properly. However, plaster can sustain small cracks or even larger holes that may leak chemicals into the pool water.

The cracks will be filled with water which causes stains on the bottom of your swimming pool. This can be identified by a cloudy, brown layer of water over your tiles on the bottom of the pool. If you leave the water untreated, it can cause unsightly algae growth or other bacteria to form in your swimming pool.

If your swimming pool contains algae growth on its surface, it’s usually an indicator that there are gaps in your plaster on which algae can grow.

“Make sure your pool is clean and the water chemistry is balanced. Regular and consistent care goes a long way toward maintaining your plaster.”

Marcus, riverpoolsandspas.com

Too Much Roughness

Most swimming pools come with a layer of plaster, which is the topmost layer on the pool’s walls and floor. This layer of plaster is generally smooth; however, some owners notice that their pool’s bottom or sides feel rough to the touch. You will need to use your fingers to run over it and check if it feels bumpy. If this is the problem, it may be time for you to consider re-plastering.


If your pool’s pH or calcium level is too low, it destroys the plaster’s material, making repairing your pool plaster more difficult. Keep a close eye on your pool’s chemical levels to avoid this type of damage. As soon as you observe peeling, act immediately.

Cracks and Chipping

The cracks are another essential indicator that you need to repair the pool plaster. The best way to figure out whether or not the cracks are near the surface is to inspect where they are located. If these cracks are minor, they can be repaired quickly and easily.

When you notice paint chipping, it usually means there is damage beneath the surface of your swimming pool’s plaster. Again, if your swimming pool’s pH isn’t in balance, it can cause cracks, thinning, and chipping.

How to Repair the Pool Plaster When the Pool Is Empty

Toolbox and workers repairing pool plaster

Step 1: Safety First

Before beginning the pool plaster repair, equip yourself with safety goggles, ear protection, work gloves, and sturdy shoes. Safety is paramount in any pool repair task.

Step 2: Preparing for Repair

Start your pool plaster repair process by addressing the crack. Using grinders or a masonry saw, cut along either side of the crack to create a dovetail, cutting diagonally 12 inches deep towards the cut. Extend the crack by an inch on both ends and remove the cut-out plaster.

Step 3: Cleaning the Area

Rinse the crack thoroughly with water and let it dry. Use a soft-tipped brush to scrub away any remaining dust or debris, ensuring a clean surface for the pool plaster repair.

Step 4: Sealing Before Repairing

Apply underwater sealer along the crack’s edges to prevent further damage, leaving about 3/8 of an inch for the pool plaster repair material.

Step 5: Mixing The Plaster

Combine the pool plaster with a bonding agent until it reaches the consistency of peanut butter – ideal for pool plaster repair as it’s easy to spread but will hold in place.

Step 6: Applying the Plaster

Moisten the crack’s edges with a damp grouting sponge to prevent spreading. Apply the pool plaster mix into the crack with a trowel or putty knife, pressing gently to avoid air bubbles – a crucial step in pool plaster repair.

Step 7: Finishing the Pool Plaster Repair

Remove excess plaster with a trowel or putty knife. Dab the surface with a moist grouting sponge to match the roughness of the existing plaster, ensuring a seamless pool plaster repair.

Step 8: Curing the Pool Plaster

Fill the pool with water to help the pool plaster repair cure faster. If the pool won’t be filled immediately, cover the repaired area with a moist towel or sheet to prevent rapid drying and potential cracking, a vital step in ensuring the longevity of your pool plaster repair.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage pool plaster repair, ensuring your pool’s longevity and aesthetic appeal. Remember, thorough preparation and careful application are key to successful pool plaster repair.

How to do Pool Plaster Repair When the Pool Is Full

A freeform plaster in a pool with water

Suppose you discover a crack or a small hole in your pool’s plaster. In such cases, complete pool drainage might not be necessary for effective pool plaster repair. You have two budget-friendly material options for pool plaster repair, and both are equally efficient. Costly products aren’t always necessary; even dollar-store brands can be effective for pool plaster repair.

Preparing the Damaged Area

Before initiating the pool plaster repair, you need to prepare the damaged area. Scrape the crack to remove any loose plaster and gravel. After clearing out the debris, clean the area with a wire brush to ensure a clean surface for the pool plaster repair. Once the area is prepared, you can temporarily shift your attention to the pool’s filter system.

Choosing Your Pool Plaster Repair Material: Epoxy or Pool Plaster

For pool plaster repair, you have two material choices: Epoxy and Pool Plaster. Both materials are effective for underwater use, but ensure you choose a brand specifically designed for this purpose.

Epoxy: Epoxy is a two-component system, consisting of a patching ingredient and a hardener. Mix them in a 1:1 ratio, following the product’s instructions. Always wear gloves for protection during this mixing process.

Pool Plaster: Pool plaster repair with this material follows a similar process. Mix the plaster as per the guidelines for effective application.

Applying the Repair Material

Now, with your epoxy or pool plaster mix ready, it’s time to patch up the damage. For a crack, mold the plaster into a noodle shape, similar to playing with dough. If dealing with a hole, form a ball of plaster that fits snugly into it. Dive down and firmly press the material into the crack or hole, ensuring it fills every crevice for a successful pool plaster repair.

Finalizing the Pool Plaster Repair

The last step in pool plaster repair is to smooth out the surface. Using a plastic trowel, scrape over the repaired area. This action not only applies pressure to the epoxy or plaster, ensuring a better bond but also removes any excess material, leaving a clean and level finish.

By following these steps, you can effectively carry out pool plaster repair for minor damages, ensuring your pool remains in good condition without the need for extensive repairs or professional intervention.

Maximizing Your Pool’s Potential: Comprehensive Guide to Pool Plaster Repair

Owning a pool comes with the responsibility of maintaining its plaster, which is essential for both appearance and structural integrity. This guide focuses on pool plaster repair, offering insights into how to identify, address, and prevent common plaster issues.

Understanding Pool Plaster and Its Repair Needs

Pool plaster, the protective shell of your swimming pool, is crucial for maintaining the pool’s condition. Factors like weather and chemical balance can lead to deterioration, necessitating pool plaster repair. Issues often include cracks, delamination, and other structural problems that compromise the plaster’s integrity.

Patching and Pool Plaster Repair Techniques

Effective pool plaster repair often starts with identifying the issue and choosing the right repair method. A ‘pool patch’ is a common solution for minor plaster damages. For more significant plaster damage, like structural cracks or extensive delamination, professional pool plaster repair services might be essential, especially in pool-prevalent regions like Las Vegas.

Steps in Pool Surface and Plaster Repair

Pool plaster repair involves cleaning the damaged area, applying a suitable plaster mix, and ensuring proper adhesion. In concrete pools, it’s crucial to verify the concrete base’s integrity before proceeding with pool plaster repair. Using a moist sponge to dampen the area can aid in achieving a smoother plaster finish.

Comprehensive Pool Plaster Repair: Beyond the Surface

While focusing on the plaster is key, pool owners should also address surrounding elements during pool plaster repair. Inspecting and repairing the deck area can prevent water damage to the pool’s structure. Full pool renovations or replastering projects are opportunities to conduct thorough pool plaster repairs and enhance other pool elements like water features.

Prevention: Key to Pool Plaster Longevity

Preventative care is vital in pool plaster repair. Regular pool service and monitoring can significantly reduce the extent of plaster damage. Early identification and treatment of common pool plaster problems can save time and money, making pool plaster repair more manageable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the common types of pool plaster repairs?

Common pool plaster repairs include fixing cracks, patching holes, addressing surface stains, and resurfacing the entire pool when the plaster is severely deteriorated.

What causes stains on pool plaster, and how can they be removed?

Pool plaster stains can result from various factors, such as minerals, algae, or organic debris. Stains can often be removed using pool stain removers or by acid washing, but it’s important to identify the cause of the stain to prevent its recurrence.

When is it time to consider resurfacing the entire pool?

Resurfacing the entire pool is typically necessary when the pool plaster is severely deteriorated, with widespread cracks, delamination, or significant discoloration. It’s a more extensive repair that provides a new plaster surface.

Can I use my pool immediately after plaster repair or resurfacing?

After pool plaster repair or resurfacing, you’ll typically need to wait for a curing period, which can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the product used. It’s essential to follow the recommended curing time before using the pool.

Bottom Line

While the process of repairing a pool may seem tricky, it is an easy and fun endeavor. The steps for repair are simple, and like anything else involving pools, you can take them at your own pace. This way, if something goes wrong, you know that there is time to fix it without compromising the integrity of the pool. 

After completing these careful steps, you will have a good pool plaster that will remain safe in the future! Here are pool-related articles that you’ll definitely find useful. Click here to see more pool articles. Check them out!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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