Can I Dye Existing Brick Mortar? - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 03-28-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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Can I dye existing brick mortar?

We just bought a new house which we absolutely love, but the mortar is the same color as the brick, and I'd like to bring out the mortar lines with a lighter color. Is there any way to dye or paint mortar without screwing it up or do I have to live with it the way it is? I don't want the bricks to be affected, just the mortar.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.


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Old 05-26-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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Can I dye existing brick mortar?

Keep in mind - If you "dye" or "stain", you are changing the color or hue, but cannot make anything lighter. To get lighter, you have to coat, which gives you a surface with increased maintenance. Mortar, and especially brick, are hard to lighten since most bleaching materials will damage/destroy the mortar.

Products with a clear vehicle carrying a gooing staining pigment (like a iron oxide) will only make thing redder, browner, or blacker, but not lighter.



Last edited by concretemasonry; 05-26-2008 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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Bleaching Mortar

Hope this is not too late.

Recently a "mason" repointed old stone work on my house using tinted mortar that was too dark. I was able to lighten it with a paste of oxalic acid.

Oxalic acid is available in powder form from many hardware stores. It is a mild acid and is actually found in some vegetables. Although the maker doesn't recommend getting it on the skin, it has never bothered me when I use my fingers to get it where needed. One of the uses listed on the box is to remove rust stains from cotton fabric. I've used in the past to remove rust stains from the tub, shower, toilet and concrete on the porch.

To bleach the mortar, I added enough water to the powder to make a paste that I applied to the joint. After it dried, I hosed it off. The maker recommends neutralizing it with borax, but I just hose it off with plenty of water.

Hope this helps
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