Todd Rose of Stephens and Smith Company, Inc. in Nebraska, recognized a growing trend in the Midwest area for staining precast concrete walls. Running the decorative side of Stephens and Smith Company for over 2 years, Rose recently sent in a picture of a 5,000-square-foot retaining wall they completed and enhanced with an acid stain. Weve done over 50,000-square-feet of these walls so far throughout the Midwest. And Rose says their demand keeps increasing. In fact, when golfing one day, I noticed these retaining walls around many of the homes along the golf course and I thought, Wow, we could dress those up a good bit through staining, he says.

Rose explains that the walls are created with the Stone Strong retaining wall system using hollow precast blocks. Their design ensures durability, and flexibility for straight or winding walls, along with an exterior that provides the look of natural stone through texture, shape, and added color. The Stone Strong walls can be used for retaining walls, lake shorelines, or erosion control, etc.

For the retaining wall pictured above, Rose says we sprayed this wall three different colors with a water-based stain. Then we sealed it with an anti-graffiti barrier. Since the wall is near a parking lot and traffic, we didnt want a glossy finish, but we did need to bring out the color. Rose says they treated the wall like a floor, washed it and opened the pores. We used our own stain, and had to apply it in multiple layers so it wouldnt run, he says.

The Stone Strong walls are precast with texture and shape. They come in blocks, explains Rose, with 24-square-foot of face, and go together like a puzzle. They interlock, stack straight, and fill with gravel. In some instances, they can be up to 40-foot high.

For 35 years, Stephens and Smith Company has provided concrete services including decorative flatwork, foundations, floor toppings, walls, and more. Employee owned with over 250 employees, their mission has been to have an owner at every location, says Rose.

Stephens and Smith Company, Inc.
www.stephensandsmith.com