How to Mortar Wash (German Schmear) a Brick Fireplace

Materials Needed:

    • Plastic or drop cloth
    • Painter’s tape
    • 2 buckets (one for mixing mortar and one for water)
    • Durable gloves
    • Mortar mix
    • Electric drill (for mixing mortar)
    • Mixing paddle
    • VersaBond White Mortar Mix
    • Putty knife (metal is preferable)
    • Heavy-duty sponge
    • Rags

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How to Create a Brick Border (Lay a Brick Roll lock)

Our patio porch has been an ongoing project for several years. In this post, I will share how we laid a brick border (brick roll lock) around the edge of our patio porch. A brick roll lock is a series of bricks laid on their face with their ends visible.

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Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt

Background:

We wanted to surprise two very special girls with a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando.  Our son Ryan’s partner is Bekah; she has two precious girls (Ocean and Luna) whom we love very much!

Instead of just telling them we are going to Universal Studios, we wanted to make telling them a memorable experience (as well as the trip itself). Hence, we decided to create a Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt to reveal our trip.

You can do this for birthday parties, rainy days, Harry Potter weekend movie marathons, or any occasion which would warrant a Harry Potter scavenger hunt.

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Renovating/Updating Our Patio Porch

Patio Porch on the Lakeside

Check out this before and after picture! Here is a picture of the basement patio (lakeside) once we cut the block and added a header to add a double window. We wanted more daylight in our basement living room. Here is the inside view of where we cut the block to add the double windows. We will show you more interior pictures of the basement living room area later in this blog post.

More patio porch project pictures: 

  • Click here to see how we built our outdoor fireplace on our patio porch.
  • Click here to see how we wrapped the columns on the patio porch.
  • Click here to see how we added old barn wood to our patio porch ceiling.