Q&A / 

Fireplace Mortar Repair

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Julie has a nice home in Quebec, Canada. But she's got a problem with some sloppy mortar around her metal fireplace. Here's what she has to say:

"We have a fire place with stones all around, I am trying to find the best option to hide the cement on the fireplace.

See the sloppy mortar on top of the black metal? Makes you wonder if the mason on the job was legally blind. Photo credit: Julie Fortin

See the sloppy mortar on top of the black metal? Makes you wonder if the mason on the job was legally blind. Photo credit: Julie Fortin

I find it really ugly and we had this for the last two years! What would you do to correct this?"

Here's my answer.

Julie this is a pretty simple job.

I would get an oscillating multi-tool that is equipped with a carbide half-circle blade made to remove tile grout.

You'll carefully use this tool to remove and smooth the mortar under the stone so it looks uniform. Work SLOWLY.

Start your grinding up near the stone and work towards the metal. Do not touch the metal with the tool. As you get close to the metal see if a sharp wood paint stick or piece of oak will pop off any mortar that's on the metal. It should come off the metal with ease if you persuade it.

Once you have the mortar looking uniform, you'll have two options:

  • leave it alone if it looks great
  • paint it the same flat black as the metal fireplace

Send me an After photo so I can show the world your expert workwomanship!

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