How do I Form Concrete Caps for Retainer Wall?

Written by lisa east hunter
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How do I Form Concrete Caps for Retainer Wall?
Add caps to a retaining wall for a decorative touch. (block wall image by Greg Pickens from

A retaining wall holds up the soil and prevents erosion in your yard. Install decorative concrete caps on the top of your retaining wall to add a finishing touch. Your wall will serve its intended functional purpose, as well as add to the aesthetic appeal of your home. You can buy the caps at a home improvement store or make them yourself. Once the caps are made, attach them to the top of your wall with mortar in the same way the wall was constructed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Concrete mould
  • Cooking oil
  • Pre-mix concrete
  • Water
  • Small bucket
  • Trowel
  • Plastic tarp
  • Putty knife
  • Concrete sealant
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Set concrete moulds of the caps on a level work surface. You can purchase the moulds online or build them yourself using 2-by-4 lumber. Dip a rag into cooking oil and spread it inside the moulds to keep the concrete from sticking.

  2. 2

    Add water to the pre-mixed concrete according to the ratios on the package. The mixture should be as thick as oatmeal.

  3. 3

    Scoop out one cup of concrete at a time with a small bucket. Pour the concrete into each mould. Shake the moulds to settle the concrete and eliminate pockets of air. Add more scoops in the same way until the moulds are full.

  4. 4

    Skim the top of the moulds with the flat side of a trowel to create a smooth surface. Let the concrete cure for 48 hours.

  5. 5

    Lay a soft towel down on the work surface. Pick up each mould one at a time, turn it over and shake it until the concrete cap slides out.

  6. 6

    Move the concrete caps outside and cover them with a tarp. Let the concrete cure for seven days. Brush a thin layer of sealer onto the pavers.

Tips and warnings

  • Making your own moulds will take more time up front, but then you can create as many moulds as you need for the project all at one time, and then fill them with concrete all at once. It will also allow you to customise the size and shape of the caps. Cut the lumber with a circular saw and nail together with deck screws to form your moulds.

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