Being able to repoint brick is a task that requires a substantial amount of manual labor, and when done properly will be at least a two day process, maybe more if the area is extremely large. As with any other type of construction or remodeling project, this task begins with preparation. Preparing the brick for repointing is the single most important step in the process, because if not done properly, the new mortar will not bond to the bricks, meaning that it will crumble within a few short months. After the preparation is done, mortar is added into the joints of the bricks which is what repointing is, adding strength to the bricks while making a more eye appealing look.
Preparation is the first step when attempting to repoint brick. A hammer and chisel need to be used to cut away the mortar within the joints, as well as some of the surrounding bricks. The basic rule to follow when chiseling out the area is to go two to three times wider than the width of the original joint. After the chiseling is completed, use a wire brush to remove any loose particles and then spray the entire area down to remove anything that is left. Allow the bricks to soak up as much water as possible so that the mortar will bond effectively. Allow the wall to remain untouched overnight.
The next day, the final step needs to be completed in order to finish the task. In order to effectively repoint brick, the area that is being worked on has to stay moist, so it should be hosed down again. Mix the mortar according to the directions, making sure that the final product that will be used resembles the consistency of peanut butter. Apply one thin coat at a time to the joints, sequentially adding them until the mortar is level with the surrounding bricks. Continue down the entire area, working from top to bottom, and from one side to the other. Make sure to keep the bricks moist, and always apply the mortar in small amounts. Never try to hurry the repointing by slapping big globs of mortar into the joints.
The job is then basically completed except for the clean up. In order to repoint brick well, the joints need to be cleaned up with a soft brush as soon as the mortar has become firm. Do this by brushing in a downward, diagonal motion to remove any burrs that have formed. For the next three days, keep the bricks and mortar wet so that the moisture from the mortar is not sucked out by the surrounding bricks. This will make it possible to professionally repoint brick, and gives a long lasting finished job that will withstand the test of time.