Last week I had my front steps repointed where the old mortar had worn
away.They are about 20 years old. The new mortar is so much lighter in
color than the old.I was hoping the mason would mix a mortar to match
the old stuff, but he didn't and now I am thinking about what I can do
to match the new almost white mortar to the old grey/brown weathered
mortar.Here are some of the ideas I have come up with.Bear in mind...I
know nothing about mortar and how it reacts to different compounds or
chemicals after it's set.
I thought about trying to clean the old mortar with bleach to lighten
it up a bit closer to the new mortar..would scrubing it with a
toothbrush be ok.Would bleach be ok to use on old mortar? What about
Vinegar?..then I thought about just trying to darken the new mortar ,
which is a much smaller job..but what should I use..I was thinking of
using a small paint brush and mixing a paste of water and cigarette
ashes..or maybe ashes from insense...and brushing it over the newer
mortar.What about coffee grounds...magic marker? paint of some kind?.
some kind of stain?...I am open to suggestion...please E mail me with
any you have. thanks
Chemicals and cigarette ashes are nonstarters, I believe. Try chipping off a
nice chunk of the mortar you *like* the color of, and having a paint store
computer match it with flat acrylic exterior paint, then lightly brush that
onto the mortar you don't like. The mixed paint can be further tweaked by
the dealer, should the first try fail. If you don't wish to deal with a
whole quart (minumum for custom blending) of paint for such a small area, go
to a hardware or art or paint store and buy two or three colors of 1 oz
bottles of acrylic that, when mixed in the right way, could approximate the
color you want.
Sorry, I'm not going to e-mail you, but if you happen to check here you
can have my free advice (worth every penny). The color of the mortar
depends on a lot of things, but primarilly is the color of the sand that's
in it. As new as it is, there likely hasn't been any weatehring to expose
the sand that there, so you still don't know what color the mortar is
going to end up.
You can take some muriatic acid and give a little scrub in an incospicous
place to expose the sand. If the sand is a match, then that should be all
you need to do: wash the whole thing and you'r4e good to go. If it's not,
then you're going to need some other sort of fix.
However, I'd really just learn to live with it: new mortar looks different
from old mortar. Unless you're hiring fine artisan masons you're going to
be able to tell the difference. Next time re-point the whole thing and
you won't have to worry about it.
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC'd posts are unwelcome.
Ask me about joining the NRA.
I had the same requirement recently and I just mixed a very small amount
black oil paint into some mineral spirits so that it looked about the
same as if I'd just cleaned a brush in it. I applied that a few times
with a small paintbrush over a couple of days until the mortar reached
the right color.
Worked for me.
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"As long as there are final exams, there will be prayer in public
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