Step 5: Pack it Down

packing down mortar with a tuck-pointing trowel
Photo: John W. Taylor
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Wait 60 to 90 minutes for the mortar to set up enough to leave a thumbprint when pressed. Using a tuck-pointing trowel, smooth and pack down the mortar so that it matches the height of the existing joints. Clean the stones as necessary.
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    Tools List

    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses
    • gloves
      Gloves
    • knee pads
      Kneepads
    • 3-pound hammer
      3-pound hammer
    • mason's chisel and maul
      Masonry chisel
    • mason's brush
      Masonry brush
    • one-and-a-half inch paintbrush
      Paintbrush
    • brick trowel
      Brick trowel
    • grout bag
      Grout bag
    • pointing trowel
      Tuck-pointing trowel
    • mortar pan
      Mortar pan

    Shopping List

    1. 60-pound bag of sand/topping mix

    2. 1 gallon of acrylic fortifier

    3. Water