I just built a long concrete block retaining wall and want to make it
look better. I am selling the house so would perfcer an economical
solution. I had thought I could just thin coat it with morter mix
then paint but getting the morter to stick to a vertical serface is
turning into a real no go.
It will soak up paint on the first coat like a sponge, so for economy,
check with your local landfill, many of them have paint recycling
programs where you can get recycled paint free or very cheap.( If not,
check with your local paint or big-box store for returns and
mismatches. Don't mix latex and oil-based, they are incompatible.) If
the color of the blended paint is acceptable, great. If not, paint the
desired color on top the first coat, you will still save a bundle. Save
a little for the new owner for touch-ups and graffitti recoat. Best
wishes for your project.-Jitney
How have you tried to do this? Would you like some suggestions on how to do
If it were my wall I would stucco coat it and never paint it. If you have
to have a color you could add it to the mix but that is slightly more
complicated and expensive.
I just tried to trowell it on using various consisties. Had thought I
would next try cement rather than morter mix. I know nothing about
stucco. Would this involve wire mesh etc? I am looking for
suggestions and would be grateful to hear any you can give. I will do
a net search on stucco but would also like to get advice from someone
who knows the ins and outs of hands on.
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 01:45:30 GMT, "Colbyt"
Forget the mesh, mortar, and adding anything. Apply "dash". It's the
colored final coat in a traditional stucco job. You can spray it on
using a hand hopper or apply it by trowel. Check with a plaster supply.
They may recommend you roll the block first with Weldcrete or similar.
Stucco is a trick. It looks easy but it does take a touch. Use real
stucco mix, not just mortar. There is a subtle difference. You can
also get "link" that you paint on first to make the wall a bit
stickier (a latex compound). You start at the top and work down. You
want the mix a bit wetter than you would first think. More like cake
icing than peanut butter. You are still going to waste a lot getting
the touch. It might be best if you just hire a guy. When he does it
you will say that looks easy, but he knows the trick ;-)
Henslee most likely knows more about this than I do as I have only done it a
few times. All of these projects have held up well. So even if I am doing
it wrong it works.
I used the term stucco very loosely. I normally just use the premixed
mortar mix and add Portland cement to enrich it. Quite a bit of cement
actually. More about that later. You can add a small amount of lime to make
it more sticky but that also causes it to set faster. For a first timer I
would leave out the lime. I would also suggest that you establish a definite
quantity of cement that you add by weight because if you don't your wall
will dry different colors. Eventually it will all be almost the same but
that takes a few years.
Since you are dealing with a CB wall I am assuming you have no voids or
honey combs to fill. I would apply that with a stiff brush and skip the
I worked with an older mason for one day to learn this. He taught me to mix
it by color and consistency which is hard to communicate. Normal wet mortar
mix has a grayish color and a sandy texture. You need to add enough Portland
to change the texture to a thick, smooth batter and the color to olive green
(think army truck color). Get it all mixed, let is rest 5 minutes and then
add water and mix to achieve the final consistency. You can only add the
extra water one time. If the mix gets too stiff to use you must discard it.
The final consistency is that of pancake batter or a very thick latex paint.
The texture does not have a gritty look.
On the average day you will have 45-60 minutes of working time per batch.
You need the following ready to use:
Hose and sprayer set mist
Your stiff application brush
A softer finish brush.
bucket of water to keep the finish brush wet and to rinse it in
Get your wall wet and keep it damp by misting as you work. Start at the top
and work down the wall doing a 2-3 foot section at a time. Slather it on and
spread it as smooth as you can. Move to the next section, by the time you
do this the first section will be should ready for the finish brush. Brush
over it with a very damp, but not dripping brush to smooth and finish. The
time will vary with temperature. You must let the first application almost
set before you finish brush it. The concept is the same as broom finish on
concrete.Your soft brush should remove only a little bit of mortar. Rinse
If you get color variations you can always repeat the process with a single
thinner final coat that runs the length of the entire wall.
I suggest you make a small test batch and practice on a couple of spare
blocks to get a feel for what you are doing.
I don't have any pictures of the process but I do have some before and after
pics that I could most.
On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 14:46:44 GMT, "Colbyt"
Buy a hawk. That is the flat tray doodad with the handle in the
center. You use it to transfer mortar from the tub to the wall and to
catch the stuff you drop. It makes things go smoother and you don't
waste as much
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