Concrete retaining walls provide a necessary function, but that does not mean they cannot also be aesthetically pleasing. If your retaining wall in Kansas City is a key part of your curb appeal and is visible to all who visit or walk by, you likely want tips for helping it look its best. Painting is an option for improving its appearance. Here are six tips for painting a retaining wall:
- Test the surface: Before considering whether to paint a retaining wall, check the concrete to make sure that this is an appropriate step. Take several pieces of masking tape, stick it on your wall and pull it off abruptly. If concrete comes off, your wall is too far compromised for paint and needs replacement. However, if no concrete is removed, you can continue with your painting project.
- Choose the right paint: Good paint that is designed for concrete will improve the appearance and offer protection against the elements. The wrong type of paint will either retain moisture and lead to further disintegration or fail to make up for the shortcomings. You want to use a waterproofing paint that is designed for concrete and masonry; general-purpose house paint will not do for this project.
- Clean first: There is no point in painting a dirty surface. Start by using a masonry or concrete cleaner to treat the surface of the retaining wall. Follow the instructions carefully and use a power washer on a low setting to ensure removal of all surface dirt. Let the wall dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
- Handle paint effectively: When it is time to paint the wall, stir the paint with a wooden stick to ensure it is thoroughly mixed. Poor paint into a plastic tray so you are not applying too much of it at once. Use a paint roller and cover it completely with paint. If your wall is large, use an extension handle for good coverage. Start at the top of the wall and move down. Cover all pores and voids. The better you cover the wall, the longer the paint will last and offer protection from the elements.
- Dry completely between applications: If the sun is out and temperatures are mild, allow the paint to dry for a full hour. Check it after an hour, and if it is still wet, wait another hour. Paint dries slower when it is cool out, so be patient if you take on this project on a typically cool fall day. Once dried, add a second coat and ensure it is fully dry before applying the third coat. Three coats are normally enough to fill any open pores and ensure good coverage. If you notice any voids after a third coat, consider adding a fourth if you have enough paint.
- Store paint carefully: If you have any paint left over, it is a good idea to keep it on hand so you can use spot treatment against blemishes later. Store paint in a cool, dry space and it should remain effective for years.
MSE Hardscape Design and Installation counts retaining walls in Kansas City among our specialties. If you need to build, paint or remodel a retaining wall, contact us today to schedule an estimate.