Color matching new mortar to existing mortar can be a delicate thing. With masonry restoration work, we often find ourselves in a place where we will be pointing or laying with new mortar around old work areas. Matching the existing surrounding mortar color is essential in providing a quality job, especially in highly visible or trafficked areas, like fronts of building & homes.
When mis-matched mortar is used it can create a dirty, displeasing look. It's as visually appealing as walking around with mustard on the front of your shirt, it's gross. I mean, I've totally been there and done that, but a load of laundry is substantially less expensive than the smallest masonry repairs. That, AND shirts are, generally, not as good investment vehicles as buildings or homes. My wife is a financial advisor and also, my wife, so she agrees two-fold there. I digress, back on to it....
How do we match mortar for our masonry repairs? We use Solomon Colors Mortar Colors. Solomons concentrated mortar colors are the most consistent, longest lasting, easy to use mortar colors ever, period. Solomon offers 60 readily available colors, making mortar matching simple.
3 shades of 20 colors, produce that standard 60 readily available colors. The shades are categorized by their series. The series from darkest to lightest shade are A, H & X.
All Solomon color series (A, H and X) are the same product sold in different weighted bags (1, 2 & 4lbs) respectively.
The Solomon Color system is designed to add 1 bag of A, H, or X color to bags of masonry or Portland to achieve the desired color. Solomon’s system is based on weight ratios of color to cement to achieve intended color. Solomon’s instructions are noted on the bags of color, but I’ve also included them below.
However, through experience, I’ve found appropriate volume of color to use to achieve a desired series color with premix mortar sold in 60 or 80lb. bags.
60 lb. bag of premix mortar mixing instructions
- To achieve the A series color: Thoroughly dry mix 12 ounces (Volume) of color with a 60lb. bag of premix mortar. Add water and mix to desired working consistency.
- To achieve the H series color: Thoroughly dry mix 6 ounces (Volume) of color with a 60lb. bag of premix mortar. Add water and mix to desired working consistency
- To achieve the X series color: Thoroughly dry mix 3 ounces (Volume) of color with a 60lb. bag of premix mortar. Add water and mix to desired working consistency
80 lb. bag of premix mortar mixing instructions
- To achieve the A series color: Thoroughly dry mix 16oz. (Volume) of color with an 80lb. bag of premix mortar. Add water and mix to desired working consistency.
- To achieve the H series color: Thoroughly dry mix 8oz. (Volume) of color with an 80lb. bag of premix mortar. Add water and mix to desired working consistency
- To achieve the X series color: Thoroughly dry mix 4oz. (Volume) of color with an 80lb. bag of premix mortar. Add water and mix to desired working consistency
The above ratios can be reduced by ½ to accommodate half of a 60 or 80 pound bag of premix mortar. (TO achieve A series color: 6oz. color to half a 60lb. bag for example.) Reducing the ratios by more than half can be done, but I would not recommend doing so, as it will result in a less consistent color, which could be a problem if you are in need of mixing multiple batches for use in the same area.
Pretty neat stuff huh? You looking for mortar color? We got you covered, check out our mortar color product page. Looking for additional information on mortar colors? Look no further.
Mixing Instructions Per SOLOMON:
INSTALLATION Preparatory Work: Solomon Colors color units packaging eliminates all job site weighing or measuring of colors, thereby achieving uniform color control for each mortar batch. In addition, the Solomon Colors’ Color Units concept allows accurate color control regardless of the mortar type, strength, and mortar mixture utilized. As detailed in Table 1, select the proper ASTM C270 masonry mix design of Type N, S, M or O compressive strength for the masonry units construction. Then, depending upon the masonry mix design, select the appropriate Solomon Colors color and specify the number of A, H or X series color units.