The following is a short list of products that are similar to those we used to prepare and seal the concrete retaining wall.
The list is very basic – Sealant, Stiff bristle brushes to clean the walls, and different types of paint brushes and rollers to apply sealant to the concrete sleepers.
Preparation – Scrub Brushes
Get the cheapest possible stiff bristle brushes you can find. The bristles need to be strong enough to scrub off any dirt away from the concrete sleepers. This will help with getting a better outcome from sealing the wall. If you try to seal over a dirty wall, it will not absorb and cover the wall properly meaning you may have to re-seal earlier than expected.
Concrete sealant comes in three finishes – Gloss, semi-gloss and clear. We selected semi-gloss which gives a slightly wet look without being overly shiny. We used about 50L of sealant for our concrete retaining wall. What was surprising is how much sealant gets absorbed into the concrete before you get to a point where you start covering the surface – you will need more than you think.
Paint Brushes and Rollers
Wide paint brushes
We used a lot of wide paint brushes to cover our concrete retaining walls. These were great in getting the sealant into the corners and in between the stackstone pattern. Try to get something that is heavy duty as the course concrete and the chemicals in the sealant will destroy cheap brushes.
If you have a flat surfaced concrete retaining wall, you can save yourself hours of effort by using paint rollers instead of brushes. We used rollers on the back side of the retaining wall. No need to spend a lot of money here as we got some of the cheapest ones available and they did the job.
You will need 2 coats
The instructions on all the sealants specify 2 coats, with about a 2 hour drying time in between coats.
Our sleepers looked terrible with only 1 coat and its recommended to go with the manufacturers advice. Plus, you can see all the bits you missed and go over them again to make the wall look fantastic. I repeat – you will need more sealant then you first thought!