The cast-in-place concrete wall at Madison, Wis.-based Warner Park baseball stadiumhome of the mighty Mallards—is decorated to simulate brick and mortar masonry.

The 4 1/2- to 5-foot walls front the grandstand along the first and third baselines.

Created with formliners in a brick pattern, master decorative concrete artist and craftsman Shawn Wardell, of Specialized Inc., got the job of decorating the 3000 square feet of patterned concrete to make it look like red brick and gray mortar.

He began in late May by blending two parts to one Consolideck ColorHard Brownstone with Rose Quartz to create the familiar red clay brick color.

ColorHard colors, hardens, and densifies concrete in one easy step. You just mix a premeasured 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.

Wardell says 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 says it took some experimenting to get it right.

The formliner indented the simulated masonry joints about 1/4-inch beneath the surface. Wardell was able to coat the surface several courses at a time, without getting color in the joints.

“I had a deadline,” he says. "The project had to be finished by the ballpark’s home opener, June 7, so there wasn’t time to color each brick individually."

Where color did get into the recesses, Wardell cleaned the area with a 4 1/2-inch wheel attached to a hand-grinder.

Wardell 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, Wardell says, that they decided to recreate the look on the ballpark gift shop.