How to Restore and Protect a Concrete Wall - 3

In the previous post, I discussed the clearing and cleaning of the concrete wall. Those tasks will prepare it for the concrete resurfacing and painting.

Finish the Concrete Surface

If there are noticeable irregularities with the concrete wall's surface then they need to be filled up or patched. These could be large holes, dents, cracks, holes, gouges and the like.

Many small holes on the concrete wall are left behind by large nails and other fastening hardware. You can easily seal these holes with a sealant. Masonry cracks can be sealed in a similar fashion with procedures here.

But for big surface holes and gouges on the wall, these gaps need to be covered with mortar. If there are other masonry jobs that need to be done on the wall, now is the time to do them.

When all significant surface irregularities have been covered, you can now resurface the concrete wall with fresh mortar. The concrete hollow blocks and jointing have a rough surface and so a concrete mix of 1 part cement to 1 part sand is adequate. Mix the materials on an old plywood near the wall for easy access.

If the existing concrete wall is dry, wet the existing surface with water just prior to applying the 1:1 mortar. Use a hose to wet the surface.

After applying the mortar, you can further smoothen the surface by wiping the freshly laid mortar with a wet sponge. I simply use a block of used foam soaked in water for this purpose. The wet sponge is useful for removing drippings of wet concrete that trickle down the wall.

In the finished wall below, the vertical lines are the marks left by trickles of concrete that have been wiped away with the wet sponge.

The purpose of this finishing is not to have an ultra smooth surface. Remember, this is a garden, not a bedroom. The concrete wall should be reasonably smooth so it will be easier and more cost effective to paint later on. A smooth surface requires lesser paint than a very rough one. A very rough surface effectively increases the surface area to paint.

There will be plenty of fresh concrete droppings as you work on the wall. Ignore them while working. Take care of the mess after the job or after the work for the day.

At the end of the job, wash off the mortar drippings from the leaves of affected plants with a garden hose as shown below. Rub the leaves with your fingers as you hose them down.

Paint the Finished Concrete Wall

After about three days of dry hot weather, the wall is ready to be painted.

The old concrete wall is no longer acidic. And because the freshly laid mortar is a thin plastering over the existing one, a neutralizer solution is not necessary.

The best way to paint the new concrete wall is with a paint roller mounted on a pole. Use an exterior latex plaint with a color suitable for your garden.

After two coats of paint on the newly restored concrete wall, you'll have the attractive backdrop to showcase your garden.

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