Introduction: Another Brick on the Wall

About: I teach engineering and architectural drawing and design to high school students.

I will explain how I transformed an otherwise boring retaining wall into a faux brick wall. We had an unsightly retaining wall adjacent to our garage. It is rather long and would be expensive to have it rocked. I decided to add a faux brick pattern to dress it up.


Pencil, painter's tape, measuring tape, level, plastic bucket, wooden spoon, mortar mix, exterior paint or concrete dye, water, concrete trowel, newspaper.

Step 1: Step 1: Create the Outline of Your Bricks

Make sure the area of the wall you are working on is relatively clean. This will help ensure that the tape and mortar mix will adhere to the original wall.

Measure and mark where you want your brick pattern to go. If the top of the wall is level and you want the brick to be horizontal, you may measure from the top of the wall. Tape off a small area at a time. You do not want to tape off an area larger than you will be able to complete in a work session. You will need to mix the mortar in small batches so it will not dry before you are able to spread it on the wall.

Step 2: Step 2: Mix the Mortar

Prepare the mortar mix using the directions on the package to get the optimal consistency. I added exterior paint in place of some of the water to create variation in color. I used a gallon bucket and mixed about 3 cups of mortar at a time. Once you get the desired consistency, spread the mortar over the taped area using a trowel . Make sure you remove the tape before the mortar mix dries. If you do not remove the tape while the mortar is still wet it will not leave a clean mortar joint line.

Step 3: Step 3: Continue

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have created the desired number of bricks. Make sure you clean your tools immediately after using them.

Step 4: Step 4: Enjoy the Transformation!

I used an exterior paint to change the color of the space between the faux bricks.