Old Brick Wall

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Old 08-15-15, 10:10 AM
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Old Brick Wall

Hello! I have an old exposed brick wall i'd like to 'spruce' up a bit with fresh mortar, sealer, etc. The problem is, the wall is well over 100 years old, and tucking in fresh mortar is going to be pretty unsightly. I did so in a small test area and it sets to a very dark gray vs. the almost-white of the original mortar. I'm curious if anybody here has any thoughts/ideas? It desperately needs new mortar, but I'm trying to figure out something that might give me a lighter look. I know it won't ever be the same look, but something closer? Could I mix standard mortar with something lighter like a thinset, etc.? I have no clue. Would love a second opinion.....
 
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Old 08-15-15, 11:54 AM
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Amber, chances are that since your original mortar is very light and a hundred years old, it may very well be a lime based mortar. Knowing the climate you are in would also be important in evaluating the mortar choice.

Lime based mortars are soft but very forgiving mixes. They will, as all mortar choices are supposed to do, be softer than the brick. This is important, especially in colder climates, as the mortar is designed to be somewhat sacrificial, that is, it should deteriorate before the brick does from the influences of water and freeze thaw cycles. Many older bricks would be particularly vulnerable if the mortar used is significantly harder than the brick itself.

Some older lime based mortars could still use some measure of Portland cement mixed in but it might be best in your case to do some research and perhaps take a sample of the mortar to a professional or a material supply yard that deals with masonry products. Do not go to a big box store and expect expert opinions in a matter such as this.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 06:06 PM
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Matching the existing mortar color perfectly will be next to impossible. But you could get close using a blend of white Portland cement and lime in your mortar mix. Time for some experimenting.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 06:11 PM
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you need to begin w/WHITE cement, NOT grey,,, there isn't much to buy from an apron/vest store, either - maybe safety glasses, gloves, plastic mixing tub but that's about it,,, find a masonry supply yard

here's a decent article to help you on your way: Masonry Magazine: Mortars & Mixtures

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Old 08-15-15, 06:16 PM
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Is there an echo in here?

I think the guy in Post No. 3 suggested the use of white Portland cement in the mortar mix.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 06:24 PM
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i'm a slow reader how ya doing, bdge ?

pro mtls + tools + methods + knowledge + skills = pro results
 
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