Asked on Nov 30, 2017

What is the best way to mortar an old stone retaining wall?

by Mer19877992
I have an old stone retaining wall in my backyard that needs to be repaired. Some of the stones have fallen out because the old motar has come loose. I would like to repair the wall back to look as close to original as possible. What would be the best way to clean it up? What would be the best material and tools to use?
  7 answers
  • William William on Nov 30, 2017

    Tall order! It looks like a stacked stone wall with mortar to hold the stones on top of each other not for support. A low cost way would be to use a concrete grout bag and mortar mix. Mix the mortar to a peanut butter consistency, stuff it in the grout bag and squeeze the mortar in the joints. Use a wood dowel the smooth the joints.

    • See 1 previous
    • Karen Karen on Dec 02, 2017

      I read somewhere how to get that patina on the rocks. Put buttermilk on the rocks and it will grow a soft mossy cover.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Dec 01, 2017

    i agree with William above. If (like me) you have smaller hands, you can use large pastry bags With no tip on It. Use paint sticks to smooth into/between stones. Then smooth it out with.

    As your appears to be quite old, I would take sections, check it for stability, the repair that section. Clean all your stones and allow them to dry well. (Keep track of how they are laid out too.) only go about 1/2 way up and allow that a chance to set up before continuing up. This looks like a fun project!

  • Cheri Casper Cheri Casper on Dec 01, 2017

    True stacked stone walls use no mortar. Get a book on New England stacked stone walls and do it properly.

  • Dean R Fox Dean R Fox on Dec 02, 2017

    Clean out loose material and then use a tuck and point method to re mortar the wall.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Dec 02, 2017

    Maybe you could spray paint the black hose and white hose with a beige or gray color, too, and see if the wood fencing will lift up and let the drain hose fit behind it. That will make your refurbished wall look better. Or don’t paint the hose, just paint the latticework white to match the house.

    Now that I see the “wall“ is really a foundation, I would not hesitate to encourage you to use cement as a mortar, just find different sizes of the same type of rock so you can jamb and wedge in the best fit pIcees. 😇

    • See 1 previous
    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Dec 06, 2017

      That’s several things you don’t need to worry about, then. I just love rock fences, rock walls, and rock houses. I grew up in north Georgia. I don't see many of these in Mesquite, TX. 😇

  • George Zook George Zook on Dec 05, 2017

    I would pressure wash the wall and replace the missing stone ... old walls like this usually didn't have mortar ... I couldn't tell from the image if the wall is backed up with earth on 1 side? If so would need to see other shots to make suggestion if wall retention failure is part of the problem or if it's only cosmetic/aesthetic

  • Old grouchy granny Old grouchy granny on Sep 04, 2018

    I had a major tonnage of rocks delivered in my yard when i hired a rock company to install a long pathway. They had Mexican workers and one was assigned to rebuilding a length of old rock wall. He did a gorgeous job and I'd ask for him in a minute if i wanted another rock wall rehab. Check around, even with today's hate on for Mexicans, they still are talented, especially in rock work. And you get a good one, you will never waste time with a half-competent blonde blue-eyed "superior" USAan.