Preparing concrete mortar mixes that are suitable for vertical applications, such as wall overlays and fireplace refacing, can be tricky chemistry. The mix has to have just the right consistency to go on vertical surfaces without sagging while permitting enough working time for hand carving or stamping. Now you can easily and economically produce high-performance vertical concrete, without any of the guesswork, by using Walttools new Tru Pac decorative mortar conversion kits.

User-friendly Tru Pac conversion kits make it easy to produce realistic stone and rock faux finishes, such as these wine cellar walls. (Photo courtesy of Genuine Cellars, Chicago) Tru Pac conversion kits use a combination of lightweight components, extended-range flow modifiers and proprietary cementitious materials to produce vertical concrete that retains its moisture and workability at overlay applications ranging from thin to thick.

“Unlike other vertical mixes out there which are typically costly, considering coverage from one 50-pound bag may be only 6 square feet, Tru Pac is an ad pack that is used to convert widely available common bagged mortar mix into a high-performance carving mix at a fraction of the cost,” says Don Ciesielski of Walttools.

To make vertical concrete, you simply combine one 20-pound bag of Tru Pac with a 60-pound bag of standard bagged mortar to produce an 80-pound batch of mix. Two formulas of Tru Pac are available, depending on the application. Tru Pac V is a high-density mix for applications from 1 inch to more than 3 inches thick and is typically used for heavily carved finishes, such as boulders and other deep-relief effects. Tru Pac X is a versatile mix that can be applied at thicknesses of less than 1/4 inch up to 5 inches to properly prepared surfaces. “We designed this mix for those thinner applications that are becoming more common, such as showerwall liners, back splashes and concrete plasters. It is more heavily reinforced and can go as thin as 1/8 inch,” says Ciesielski.

Walls sculpted to resemble natural stone are a popular application for Tru Pac mixes. Because the concrete can be applied at thicknesses of 3 inches or more, it’s ideal for deep-relief carving. (Photo courtesy of A Concrete Concept, Minn.)

The extended set times of Tru Pac vertical concrete gives applicators significant time for carving joints and other details.

A Tru Pac wall detailed to resemble faux whitewashed wood. (Photo courtesy of A Concrete Concept, Minn.)

Unlimited decorative effectsTru Pac mixes can be applied by hand or using a sprayer. Once the concrete is up on the wall, the choices are many for manipulating it. The overlay can be stamped right away with one of Walttools’ Tru Tex vertical stamps, which come in patterns ranging from brick, to classic fieldstone, to wood planking. You can also use a variety of hand carving and texturing tools available from Walttools to make custom stone jointing. “We offer a line of tools that allow an endless number of looks and custom finishes. You can construct finishes that range from old oak trees to coral reefs to limestone caves with just a little imagination and practice,” says Ciesielski.

Tru Pac mixes can also be integrally colored and stained to achieve multilayered color effects. “Any powder or liquid integral color will work,” says Ciesielski. “That base color is usually complemented by using topically applied stains, such as Tru Tint WB, a user-friendly water-based stain system that is both forgiving and realistic. By layering a few or several colors, you can achieve the natural multidimensional coloring found in the original surfaces you are trying to mimic.”

Typical applicationsTru Pac mixes can be applied to both interior and exterior surfaces that have been primed with a scratch coat of standard mortar to ensure good bonding. Popular applications include the creation of stone and rock faux finishes on retaining walls, home entryways, fireplace facades and even wine cellars. You can also use Tru Pac to build decorative boulders and poolscapes. “The Tru Pac system can help you turn almost any vision into reality with the right amount of ingenuity,” says Ciesielski.

For more information Walttools

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