How to Repoint a Stone Fireplace

G.K. Bayne

Over time, all mortar joints will soon begin to weaken and give way. Repointing a stone fireplace is a simple task by following simple steps. The process is time consuming but the results can be beautiful and enhance the value of the home.

  1. Spread the tarp around the work area and place the safety glasses over your eyes. The tarp will help in cleaning up the mess and the glasses will protect your eyes. Use the hammer and mortar chisel to remove any cracked and loose mortar joints in the stone fireplace. Carefully chisel out any loose mortar, do not chisel out any solid mortar. You may have to use a sturdy stepladder to reach the higher places on the fireplace. Use the small paintbrush to remove any loose debris and dust from the newly exposed mortar joints.

  2. Mix the mortar ready mix according to the bags instructions using the hoe and wheelbarrow. Mix only a small amount at a time as the mix will have a tendency to dry out and loose it bonding strength before you can use it.

  3. Scoop a small amount of the mix on the mortarboard and use the mortar point to carefully push the mix into the joints you have cleaned out. Work the mix into the joint by pushing the mix deep into the new cracks. If the joint is having trouble holding the mortar, use the spray bottle filled with water and wet the down area. This will help with the bonding of the mortar mix to the stone.

  4. Use the sponge and a bucket of clean water and gently clean the edges of the stone. The mortar will get on the stone, but it will clean very easily before it is fully cured. Most mortar mix will setup very quickly, usually in a few hours.

  5. Tip

    Clean all tools with water that comes in contact with the mortar mix immediately, as the mix will quickly setup and permanently adhere to the tools. Follow all the manufactures instructions and warnings that come with the mortar mix.


    Some chemicals in the mortar mix may cause irritation, so you may want to wear gloves.