I am trying to match the mortar on my house but it look like soil. Is this correct?

Tŷ-Mawr ‌‌ posted this on 6 Apr 2016

I am trying to match the mortar on my house – it appears to be soil is this correct?

More than likely it is an earthen mortar or ‘stabilised soil’ dug straight out of the ground outside your house. This may have been mixed with some quicklime in a ‘hot mix’ in which case you will see little lumps of white lime in the mix. This was more often than not the building mortar and not the finished pointing surface.

Quite often earthen mortars were finished with a lime-rich top coat which has since been lost through weathering and erosion. It is therefore sometimes incorrect to try and match the earthen mortar to create a new pointing mix.

Our closest mortar to these earthen mortars would be our Old Red Sandstone fat lime mortars which can often be toned down by mixing with earth or burnt umber pigment. Otherwise, why not try to produce your own earthen mortar from your back garden!

Categories: Lime Mortar FAQs