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Do It Yourself Mortar Wash

Matthew Huntington

The technique called "mortar wash" involves placing a coat of mortar over a brick, stone or concrete surface to either conceal the underlying material or partially conceal it. When used on brick, the technique results in a "painted" look that some homeowners find attractive.

A mortar wash can be applied in thick or thin coats, with or without tint, to achieve a specific look.

  1. Clean the brick, stone or concrete surface so it is free of dirt, mold and loose mortar.

  2. Mix one part water to five parts pre-mixed mortar in a large pail. Add tint if desired. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth, stiff slurry.

  3. Wet the surface you wish to "mortar wash" with water using a brush. Apply mortar mixture to the wet surface with a steel trowel in the thickness desired, working from top to bottom.

  4. Wipe the surface with a dry rag, if desired, to expose underlying material in certain areas.

  5. When the mortar wash is dry, sand it, paint over it, or leave it as is.


For a thinner wash, add more water to the mixture in Step 2. For a different look, the mortar can be applied with the bottom of a broom instead of a trowel.