Pool coloration question

My pool probably needs a plaster job. I drained it this fall and did a patch job, and it looks okay, but has gray spots. I would like to drain it again in the spring, sand down some of the gray spots, patch a couple of new spots, and refill.
My question is:
Is there a product other than paint that will color the bottom of the pool blue? Is there a possibility of using copper based algaecide in a sprayer when the pool is drained? I thought I might spray it directly on dry plaster, and let it soak in, then fill. I know I need a PebbleCoat job, but at $4200, I am going to try ONE more cheaper fix.
Anyone do this before? Any sites?
Steve
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SteveB writes:

White plaster + pure water = blue pool.

Not to get a permanent blue color.

http://www.truetex.com/pool.htm
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Once you paint a pool, it will always need painting. Yes, they sell some great coatings but I wouldnt use them until I have exhausted all other options. When you drain your pool, (dont forget to release the hydrostatic valve) first scrub the walls with Trisodium Phosphate. Then pour muratic acid on the walls and scrub it around evenly. This is serious stuff so protect yourself. Some people dilute this acid with water. I just use it right out of the jug. Beleive me, you will like what it does. You will also need an acid resistant brush and if your really cautious, a respirator.
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