How to Repair Chimney Mortar

Repairing a chimney mortar is one of those handyman tasks that you can do yourself. Doing the repair yourself can save you money from having to pay a professional to do the job. The step-by-step process presented below proves how straightforward it is to repair a chimney and build a sloped crown to prevent water leakage in the future.

Tools and Materials

Before you start, it’s important that you prepare the tools and materials that you will need.

Here are some of the most common tools and materials that you’ll need for repairing your chimney mortar:

– Trowel

– Mortar

– Weather cap

Prevent Chimney Leaks

Once you have all the tools and materials ready, you can get started with the job. Start by mixing the mortar until you achieve a consistency that’s similar to that of cookie dough. It shouldn’t be too dry or too soggy.

Here are some tips when it comes to mixing the mortar:

– While the mortar is at rest, prepare the area by clearing all the loose debris away.

– When applying mortar towards the crown, form it within an apex where the peak should be at the middle, sloping down into the edges. Just think of this as something like a roof. The goal is to drain the water far away from the crown.

– Avoid making the edges too thin. It should have a height of about 1/2 to 3/4 inches in order to keep it from detaching at a later time. Then use the mortar to seal any of the holes surrounding the crown.

Leave the mortar for several hours, allowing it to cure before you do any further work on it.

Restore the Brick Joints

Restoring the brick joints is a process that house repairs professionals would call as the tuck-pointing. First prep the area to make sure there’s enough adhesion.

Then apply the mortar directly to the joint with the help of a pointing trowel. You can use your fingers when working on some of the tighter joints. Just make sure that the mortar is packed tightly each time you apply it.

Clear any excess mortar away and make sure the entire void is filled in and they stay well in place.

Make sure that the mortar is churned continuously to ensure proper consistency all throughout the process.

Install a Cap and Screen

In order to finish the project and to keep rainwater from getting into the flue, attach a cap and a screen above the chimney. Depending on the kind of weather cap and damper you have bought, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to it.

As you can see, the process of repairing the chimney mortar is easy. However, there are also cases where you might need the help of a professional handyman services to repair the more complicated issues. In this case, don’t hesitate to call for help. It might just save you more money than trying to force yourself into repairing something that you aren’t capable of!

Guest Groups: 20 Cozy Autumn Kitchen Cabinets

With autumn fast approaching, it is time to add deep rich colors and warm cozy textures to your family’s spaces. And what better place to start than at the core of the house, the kitchen? I hope you like my favourite finds for autumn decor. — Lauren from With Two Cats


“Bouquet” by Geninne – $30

Every space needs fresh flowers. Can’t afford them? Use this lovely watercolor fragrance by Geninne Zlatkis instead.


Rosemary Kitchen Art Print by anek – $38

If your thumb isn’t green enough to grow your own herbs, this publish will continue to keep your kitchen clean and your cooking inspired all year long.


Apron Linen Brown by smallbatchproduction – $65

Wrap yourself in warmth with this cozy linen apron. Looks beautiful on or simply hanging from a hook on the pantry door.


Go green and bag your grocery store in style with this leather and triangle tote from bookhouathome on Etsy.

Rifle Paper Co..

Hanging Garden Recipe Cards – $12

Record your favourite dishes on these colorful recipe cards out of Rifle Paper Co..


Black Hawaiian Sea Salt – $12

Add a dash of the exotic to your cooking with this black Hawaiian sea salt out of Terrain (also it will look pretty hanging out in an open plate, to boot).


Natural Lines Tea Towel by PAWLING – $24

Add simple elegance to your kitchen with this handmade, screen-printed linen tea towel.

Jonathan Adler

Bird Salt/Pepper Shakers – $48

These iconic salt and pepper shakers from Jonathan Adler will add a dash of class to your area.

Jonathan Adler

Relief Teapot – $95

This stunning teapot out of Jonathan Adler is sure to add a dose of warm elegance to your evening cup of tea.


“The Fantastic Life” by Adrian Richardson – AUD 57.60

Inspire your culinary creations with this particular artfully-designed cookbook by Adrian Richardson.

Enamel Kitchenmanagement Containers

Store your cooking and baking basics in such shiny enamel storage containers. Stackable and beautiful — the ideal blend of form and function.


Agadir Twists Rug – $498

This richly-colored rug will add just a little warmth and softness underfoot while you brew your morning cup of joe.

West Elm

Sea Measuring Cups – $19

Warm stoneware measuring cups in a vibrant turquoise enable you to get it just right.


I adore these hand-carved magnets out of A Second Life on Etsy. If you are going to hang something in your fridge, make it beautiful.


Zinc-Topped Country Table – $2,455

This rustic zinc-topped table will provide the ideal work surface for all of your chopping, slicing and dicing.

West Elm

Woven Seagrass Pendant – $89

This organic seagrass pendant is sure to be a show-stopper in any area.


Minty Green Metal File Recipe Box by Wannanea – $7

This traditional vintage metal recipe box will keep all of your favourite how-tos at your fingertips.

The Container Store

Maize Bins – $14.99

I really like the colour and feel of these maize bins in The Container Store. A wonderful way to store all those kitchen odds and ends.

Alphabet Magnets – $69.99

And also to keep your little ones busy from the kitchen these gorgeous wooden letter magnets out of ChildTrek.


Hand-drawn Ball Mason Jar by hownowdesign – $10

Mason jars make the ideal storage containers for all things food. Why don’t you make them extra special, like these hand-drawn jars from How Now Design on Etsy?

Next: More guest product picks

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Paint Picks: Be Brave Using Black

In fashion, black is a staple color. You need a small black dress, a traditional black suit and a pair of heels and all are considered an absolute must to get a comprehensive wardrobe. However, when it comes to interior design, black is a paint color that lots of shy away from, but it may make a huge impact in your property.

Just like your own wardrobe, the color black can serve many functions in a space. Black can earth a room which has a great deal of color, provide comparison for high impact and make a mood and drama that makes guests and you take notice, much like that little black dress.

Below are a few great ways that you can use black paint into your insides to pack a punch and elevate your space.

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

In this space, the white Murano Glass chandelier has been intended to be the hero. I had this ceiling painted a flat black so that the ceiling would basically evaporate, along with the chandelier could be championed. As opposed to making the space feel closed in, it actually makes the ceiling feel as though it expands infinitely.

Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..

As opposed to painting the whole room, this space was intended for selective effect. The wall which houses the fireplace has been painted to anchor the room and draw your eye to that focal area of the space permitting the rest of the decor to pop.

Michelle Hinckley

When painted as a all-over color on the walls, either black or a dark shade of grey can make a huge effect. The bedroom revealed here is incredibly dramatic, but not as harsh as you’d anticipate. When you comparison black with lighter colors it aids the space to feel more spacious providing you with the feeling of positive and negative space. A flat paint will also provide you a softer appearance than a paint using sheen.

Dunlap Design Group, LLC

Another great way to use black paint will be on your base and crown molding. Whether this space had white trim it would not be quite as dramatic. The black accent frames the room and anchors the space. It also produces a departure in the builder’s standard finishes and gives your house a customized and tailored appearance.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

All these Dallas homeowners painted their kitchen cabinets a high gloss black. I really like that the black paint created a drama in the kitchen giving it an almost fashion forward look.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

Another excellent low-commitment way to present black in your space is using a piece of furniture. A couple coats of paint in a high-gloss black paint will breathe new life into any slice.

There are lots of creative ways to present black paint in your space which goes above and beyond just plain black paint. We all know that chalkboard paint is a huge trend these days in interiors. I just love this homeowner selectively painted the toilet door with chalkboard paint. It adds such life to your house because you are able to customize it.

Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers

Another creative way to utilize black paint is by painting stripes. This hallway feels as though it has been expensively wallpapered, when you can definitely make this look with a little paint, a continuous arm along with some patience. Many home improvement stores sell laser degrees that project a line on your wall to make guides for painting.

Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc..

Below are some practical tips for using black paint:

Tips for painting wall finishes:
When painting walls & ceilings a flat, satin or eggshell paint finish is ideal. Keep in mind that whenever you have textured walls, the more glowing you go the more noticeable the texture, cracks and flaws. Flat has the tendency to be more absorbent which may show fingerprints, but may also give a softer appearance and minimize any defects or cracking your walls may have. To the contrary, you may choose to go to get an eggshell or satin finish to safeguard against absorption which occurs in a moist area like a toilet, like the one shown here.

Tips for painting millwork and furniture:
When painting trim, doors, or furniture, a semi-gloss is a superb option. Semi-gloss paint is easy to wash. Whereas horizontal paint will show fingerprints and glossy paint shows scratches more readily. It is a terrific easy-to-clean finish for high-use areas.

Dark paint is a great addition to any space. It can create drama, set a mood, or just anchor a room or item of furniture. But you chose to use black paint, a sleeker and more stylish space is just a weekend project away.

Style 2011: Black Casework Doors and Cabinetry
Seeing Style in Black & White
What’s Black and White and Chic? Your Home!

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Design Details: How to Show Off Your Curves

1 thing I heard from Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian is that curves, when completely embraced, are a fantastic thing. Now you are all like,”Whatchutawkinbout, Willis? Houzz is a decorating and design website, not celeb gossip central.” Well, my point is that curved partitions, while catchy to use, can do good things for a space depending on how they’re addressed. From a cliffside modern to some Malibu Mediterranean, here are some voluptuously vernacular examples of how to operate with curved partitions.

Winn Wittman Architecture

The first thing I think of when I visit architectural features like curved walls is”How the hell do I hang artwork or drapes on a curve?” Costly, custom made hardware is pretty much always going to come into play, but choosing the appropriate draperies is not so tough. Contemplate ripple-fold panels rather than conventional pleats. The overall look is much more tailored and matches beautifully with all the contemporary, unfussy look of floor-to-ceiling glass. Here’s a great illustration from The Shade Store.

On the reverse side, if you have got grand, curvy, floor-to-ceiling exterior glass walls, then it is likely they’re meant to capitalize on a perspective like this house by Fulcrum Structural Engineering. Dressing these windows could have been a crime. Unless the homeowner detests the stunning, multimillion dollar perspective.

Mark English Architects, AIA

How to dress a curved wall with framed bits? Turn the entire thing into a work of art by covering it with something interesting. A concrete look like this may be accomplished with decorative paint and/or skimming the wall with plaster. Or, for decorating a curvy design on a dime, stick together with painters’ tape and a couple of gallons of latex, and also proceed with alternating, arbitrary, vertical stripes.

Mark English Architects, AIA

When it comes to corridors, halls and stairwells, curved walls pose no challenges at all. In reality, they just act as eye candy adorned with nifty, safety-focused hand railings.

Again, the curvy stairwell, another fantastic chance to turn dead space to some focal point; stacked stone is often the best idea since its setup works nicely with curves.

Curves on outside, load-bearing partitions: the perfect situation where everyone wins. Modern architecture lends itself into curvy, conduit-like situations. The glass needs not be addressed window treatments as it is only employed as a means to bridge the gap between the indoors and the outdoors.

If your house’s curve is too extreme to adapt a salon-style gallery, work the area because its large part of artwork. A cost-effective means to do that is using a prefab wall mural. You can find an awesome, uber-affordable world map mural at Amazon.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Here is a good example of how multiple framed bits hung close to one another work nicely in hiding the fact that they’re hiding a curve.

Another alternative: Invest in an artwork hanging system made for curved partitions.

Peregrine Design Build

If you have the dollars, a curved wall constructed can make any displayed object 10 times cooler. The geometry involved is pretty much all precision-based; labour costs can easily rival that of a used sports car.

Superior Woodcraft, Inc..

A curved kitchenarchitecturally astounding. With the right cabinet maker, a curved cabinet-and-counter setup can make the lines of a kitchen as delicious as the food it cooks up.

Next: Browse more house design photos.

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