How to Stone Face Walls

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Stone facing adds a natural decorative element to the walls of your home without requiring that the home be built of stone. Homes with half stone, half brick or wood exteriors are common. Installing stone facing does not alter the structural integrity of your home's walls, so you can install it yourself without worrying about doing permanent damage to your home. You can purchase stone facing at larger home improvement stores, or the building materials department can special order it for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Grade D waterproof paper
  • Hammer
  • 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch nails
  • 18 Gauge galvanized metal lath
  • Portland cement
  • Washed sand
  • Drum cement mixer
  • Trowel
  • Metal scraper
  • Tarp
  • Stone facing
  • Joint tool
  • Stiff brush
  • Grout bag
  • Stone sealant

Prepare the Walls

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to apply waterproof paper to your walls. If your home is built of brick, adobe or another masonry material, you can skip to Section 2.

  • Cover the entire wall with metal lath. Hammer a nail every 6 inches across the wall to secure the lath to the wall. Be sure to nail through all existing studs. Overlap the lath at all joints and corners. Overlap 6 inches on vertical seams and at least 2 inches on horizontal seams.

  • Mix 2 parts washed sand to 1 part Portland cement in a drum cement mixer.

  • Use a trowel to apply a 1/2-inch layer of cement and sand mixture on top of the lath. Be sure the cement fully covers the lath in a solid, level surface.

  • Use a metal scraper to scratch horizontal grooves in the cement. This will help the mortar adhere. Allow the cement to harden for 48 hours.

Apply Stone Facing

  • Lay out the stone facing on the tarp laid out near the wall. Arrange it in an aesthetically pleasing formation, trimming stones where necessary to ensure a tight fit.

  • Mix 2 parts washed sand to 1 part Portland cement in a drum cement mixer for at least 5 minutes. It should be the consistency of whipped potatoes.

  • Apply a 1/2-inch layer of mortar to the wall.

  • Begin at the top of the wall and apply a thin layer of mortar to the back of the first stone. Use the mortar to fill in any holes or uneven areas on the back of the stone.

  • Firmly press the stone into the mortar at the top of the wall. A small amount of mortar should squeeze out from the edges. Remove excess mortar with a trowel or joint tool before placing the next stone. If any mortar squeezes onto the front surface of the stone, remove it with a stiff brush. Do not allow mortar to harden on the stone. Repeat this process until the entire wall is covered.

Finishing and Clean Up

  • Use a grout bag with mortar to fill in any gaps around the stones.

  • Use a stiff brush and water to clean off any excess mortar, especially on the face of the stone.

  • Allow the stone facing to cure for at least 4 weeks.

  • Apply stone sealant according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can rent a drum cement mixer from your local home improvement warehouse.
  • Narrow joints between stones provide a nicer, more professional look.

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References

  • Photo Credit brick and stone arched window image by Kathy Burns from Fotolia.com
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