How to Fix Chips in Red Masonry Brick
Few people panic when faced with the prospect of patching a pair of jeans or throwing some joint compound on a dry-wall dent. Chipped bricks, however, seem more worrisome. How will you match the color? Do you need to replace the bricks? How much will it cost? How in the world can you do this yourself?
The truth is, with little more time and effort than patching jeans or fixing a dry-wall dent, a chipped brick can be restored to its former glory.
Repairing a Small Chip
Spread newspaper over a small working area. Grind the faces of the bricks against each other so that a fine brick dust falls on the newspaper.
Place a small amount of mortar (enough to fill the chip) in a bowl.
Add brick dust to the mortar. Mix until the mixture has a stiff consistency and is the same color as the brick.
Use a small, stiff brush to make sure the chipped area is free of dust or debris.
Apply mortar to the chipped area with a spoon, butter knife or brick trowel. Work the mixture in firmly until the chipped area is filled with the mortar mixture.
Allow mortar to begin to set. Before it hardens, rub the area with one of the bricks you used for making the dust. Use a circular motion if you are working on the flat part of a wall. If the chipped brick is on a corner, work away from the corner (on each side) in a straight line creating a new corner in the brick.
After the repair looks like the rest of the brick, allow it to set overnight.
Replacing a Large Chip
Brush both the brick and the chip with a stiff brush to ensure they are free of dust or debris.
Apply clear construction adhesive to the chip.
Press the chip firmly into the gap on the brick and hold it in place for a few minutes. Hold it place with a clamp or brace with a piece of wood if necessary.
Things You Will Need
- Two bricks matching the one in need of repair
- Small, stiff brush
- About a cup of mortar
- Spoon, butter knife or brick trowel
- Clear construction adhesive
- Clamp or wood for bracing
Make sure the brick being repaired is dry. If you have gotten the colored mixture on the brick joints, wait until the repair sets to fix the problem. Once the repair has set, scrape one of the bricks back and forth firmly along the discolored joint until it is the same color as the other mortar. If the repair sets up and you discover small cracks (shrinkage cracks), repeat the process; this is common when repairing larger chips.
Writer and storyteller Paige Tighe has been published since age nine. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from Towson University in 1986, Tighe freelanced in southern New Jersey, and had her articles and poetry appear nationwide in "Writing Teacher Magazine," "The Storytelling Classroom" and others. She is also a certified special education teacher.