My Pool Water Is Not All The Same Color?

When selecting a pool finish, the main thing you may want to know is “What color will my pool water be?” Then you ask youself, “Why doesn’t my pool water match the color in the pictures in the catalog or on the website?”

The pictures with this article clearly illustrate just how different the same pool finish can look. And I assure you – this is NORMAL! Many environmental factors can have an impact on the color of the water in a pool, like the depth of the water, the time of day, and the pool’s surroundings. The colors of any glass bead or stone accents in the finish will affect the color as well.

Water Depth and Water Color

When you look at shallow water, as on top steps, swim outs, and spa benches, you’re really looking at the pool finish itself and not seeing much color in the water. The water in “play pools” of 3 ½ to 6 feet deep will not have much saturation either.

Even a black pool finish can create a gold-tone water color in very shallow water, but it will change to emerald green in the deep end of the pool. If you use the same finish in a pool and an attached spa, you’ll notice that the water color changes with the depth of the water. The deeper the water, the more dramatic the water color.

Time, Space & Weather

It’s no surprise that bright sunny days create the most vibrant water color. In addition to the sun bringing out the color, the pool surface also clearly reflects the color of the sky above. The color of the sky will be unique based on the time of year and the region. Overcast conditions or shady areas can make the pool water look more gray, more blue, or somewhat dull and lifeless. In these cases, what you see is the color of the pool finish, not the water. Depending on the angle of the sun on the pool, early morning and late afternoon light can make the pool look warmer or darker.

Pool Reflections

The area surrounding a pool can have a big impact on the color of the water. Houses, walls, fences, and foliage near the pool can all be reflected on the pool’s surface which can appear to impact the color of the water. Greenery will impart a green cast which can make the water appear green. A pool surrounded by trees will nearly always appear greener and darker than it actually is. Desert landscaping can appear to give pool water a green tone as well.

Glass Bead and Stone Accents

Want to kick your water color up a notch? Adding colored glass beads and accent stones can impact the water color more than you can imagine. In addition to our traditional StoneScapes® JewelScapes®color pallet, we now offer JewelScapes® Glass Blends and StoneScapes® Touch of Glassto help builders, remodelers, and applicators enhance colors and reflect them back into the water.

Startups and Acid Washes

The processes professionals use for startups and/or acid washing a pool can greatly impact the finish and ultimately the color of the water. NPT’s premium pigments can help offset these problems but they can only do so much. An aggressive acid wash can severely darken the pool finish and the pool water. Most of the time these pools will not match the pool finish sample that the consumer picked out, and the water color won’t match the photos.

Startup techniques can affect the amount of scale in a pool which will ultimately impact the look of the finish and the water color. Scale is actually plaster dust or calcium carbonate, a deposit of calcium hydroxide on the surface of the pool. Scale is typically white or light in color. When it is allowed to build up on the surface of a pigmented pool finish, it can lighten the color or sometimes mask the color completely which will affect the water color as well.

Reality Check

When viewing photographs of pools, you should always keep in mind that the photos are reproductions of reality and they only capture one moment in time. How and when the picture was taken can have a big impact on how it will look. Digital reproductions can alter or enhance the true water color.

When someone views digital photographs, colors will differ and change based on the how the monitor or device they are being viewed on has been calibrated. Photos in printed catalogs are affected by the ink and printing presses used, as well as how the files were prepared.