How to Dye Mortar Mix to Make Faux Bricks

Updated April 17, 2017

Mortar is the glue that holds the bricks together within a wall or floor. Dyes can be added to mortar mix to create a personalised colour for use in a variety of home remodelling projects. You can create a faux-brick finish if you complete all of the necessary steps; success hinges on getting the mortar mix to the correct consistency and applying painter's tape evenly to mimic the pattern of real bricks.

Place a dust sheet on the floor to protect it from spills.

Paint a grey, brown or other colour base coat on the surface that will get the faux-brick finish. This step is optional. Your base coat will show through as the mortar lines between bricks on the finished surface, so choose your colour accordingly. Wait for it to dry.

Use a level, yardstick and 1/4" painter's tape to create a brick pattern on the surface.

Apply the cement dye to the dry mortar, then add water in accordance with the directions for your mortar, typically three parts sand, one part cement and enough water to make the mix into a peanut-buttery texture. Mix it all thoroughly. Lime can also be included if desired.

Apply the mortar to the surface using a trowel. The texture and thickness is up to you, but be careful not to apply too much.

Remove the painter's tape carefully from the surface. Wait for the mortar to dry.


Use a sponge or small brush to create a realistic brick texture. Take your time and allow all wet surfaces to dry completely before moving on the next step.


Wear gloves when working with wet mortar or concrete.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheet
  • Mortar mix
  • Water
  • Red/brown cement dye
  • 1/4" painter's tape
  • Level
  • Yardstick
  • Trowel
  • Base coat paint (optional)
  • Lime (optional)
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About the Author

Based in Austin, Ryan Fergerson has been writing about the art and music scene since 2001. His online articles cover photography and other topics. Fergerson graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in English.