Thursday, January 29, 2015

Carved Vertical Concrete Retaining Wall

Do you have an ugly concrete raining wall, we had two?  I hate looking at them. When we built the house I knew something would have to be done to hide them. I took a class or two and voila'.... a unique, OOAK carved rock wall. Much better.

We started with a blank wall and my husband wanted to add "bump-outs." That's the beginning of what you're seeing with the rebar. The hole you see at the top is for a waterfall (when we poured the wall and the upper patio we also added piping for this, and anything else you could possibly imagine).  
Before I can get to the carve coat we had to get a scratch coat on everything, you can see it in the following picture. 
I started in the corner with the carve coat and worked my way around. It took me a couple weeks to finish it. I worked alone most of the time. Mixing, throwing and carving wears me out so I don't get as far in a day by myself as I could if I had someone doing the mixing. 
The product I use is called Tru-pac and each bag of it gets mixed with a 60lb. bag of mortar, then you literally throw it onto the wall.  It's a fascinating product and so versatile.  So much fun to play with.
It also rained on me so I made a "make-shift" tent so I could continue working.  I'm no tent-builder that's for sure, but it worked.
For the area directly under the stairs I had to be in the lake....yeah....I jumped out of my skin a couple times. The fish "hunt" right here around the edge and a good sized snake hangs out in some rock right near here. Stinkin' bass made a quick dart and splashed and I nearly came out of my boots!

Got some staining done.

Except for the bridge, it's done.  At the bottom of the stairs we poured individual "planks" that we need to get set in.  Other than that, its' done! 

This was my first project.  Other than a few sample boards, playing around with multiple mixes to see which one I liked the best, this was my first Hoorah!  Had a great time.  Since then I've done a fire pit in the center of the patio right in front of this wall, a fireplace inside a house, another waterfall for my BIL, a pool surround and a man-cave.  Each project is unique and OOAK.  Can't wait for spring and a few more projects. 

Have you done anything unique to a concrete retaining wall?  Would love to see what you've done.


  1. Since I retired 11 years ago, I've really gotten into the faux rock, faux bois with concrete hobby. I built a pond for my turtles, made benches of concrete and am now turning my chain-link fence into a rock wall. Here's my channel on YouTube: You might especially be interested in my concrete recipe for vertical concrete.

  2. These spaces allow weeds to grow between the individual pavers; something that will not happen with stamped concrete. concrete overlay


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