That wall isn’t clay brick masonry? Say it ain’t so!
Sorry, but it’s so. It’s a cast-in-place concrete wall at Warner Park baseball stadium in Madison, Wis., (home of the mighty Mallards) decorated to look — a lot — like brick and mortar masonry.
The 4 1/2 – 5-foot walls front the grandstand along the first- and third-base lines.
They were created with formliners in a brick pattern. Master decorative concrete artist and craftsman Shawn Wardell, Specialized, Inc. got the job of decorating the 3,000 square feet of patterned concrete to make it look like red brick and gray mortar.
He began in late May by blending Consolideck ColorHard “Brownstone” with “Rose Quartz,” two parts to one, to create the familiar red clay brick color.
ColorHard colors, hardens and densifies concrete in one easy step. You just mix a pre-measured amount of ColorHard color concentrate with one of PROSOCO’s lithium-silicate hardener/densifiers — in this case, Consolideck LS/CS — and you’re ready to decorate and make the concrete more durable.
Shawn said he applied his “red clay” ColorHard, by spraying it from a quart spray bottle onto a 9-inch paint pad. He carefully drew the pad across the surface of the wall with just enough pressure to help the ColorHard soak in, without letting it run down the face of the wall.
He said it took some experimenting to get it right.
The formliner indented the “masonry joints” about a quarter-inch beneath the surface. Shawn was able to coat the surface several “courses” at a time, without getting color in the joints.
“I had a deadline,” he said. The project had to be finished by the ballpark’s home opener, so there wasn’t time to color each “brick” individually.
Where color did get into the recesses, Shawn cleaned it out with a 4 1/2-inch wheel on a hand-grinder.
Shawn applied a film-forming acrylic protective treatment over the colored wall to keep water off and give the wall a satin finish.
The cap on the wall got the same ColorHard treatment — with “Desert Sand.”
The park owners liked it enough, Shawn said, that they decided to recreate the look on the ballpark gift shop.
When the grandstand walls were first installed, it turned out that they were too tall. About a foot had to be trimmed from their tops. The trimmed-off tops got duty as retaining walls at the park’s entrance, and also got the Shawn Wardell ColorHard treatment.
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