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How to Mortar Fieldstone

By Phillip Woolgar ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fieldstones can be formed into walls.

Mortared fieldstone is a common addition to a garden wall, but can be added to almost any landscaping plan. Careful attention needs to be given when you mortar fieldstone because the mortar can crack and loosen the stones. Fieldstone is naturally-occurring stones in fields. Once a fieldstone is altered, it is no longer considered a fieldstone. You can find many fieldstones in high plains. The stones are generally up to four feet at their widest points.

Buy dry mortar mix that is designed for stone or masonry work.

Mix the mortar in a bucket with water. Different proportions apply to whatever mix you use, so check the directions on the package. The mortar's consistency should be comparable to brownie batter. Make it thick enough to remain on the trowel without drips. Ensure you wear goggles, gloves and a dust mask.

Trowel one layer of mortar onto the surface of where the stone will be stationed. Trowel more mortar between stones on either side.

Trowel one layer of mortar underneath the stone that you lay next. This process is called stone buttering.

Put the stone onto the mortar bed on top of the rock and push it gently into place. There should be enough mortar for it to ooze from the sides.

Remove the excess mortar from the links and smooth out the joints with the trowel.


Things You Will Need

  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Goggles
  • Stones
  • Water
  • Plastic bucket
  • Dry mortar mix
  • Trowel


  • Use manufactured stones to build your wall. The look is more consistent than with fieldstone.
  • Wet one of your fingers as you scrape the mortar from the joints. This will ensure the mortar doesn't solidify before you can wipe it clean.


  • Don't mix more mortar than what you can use before the mixture dries.
  • Ensure you wear a dust mask and goggles before mixing the mortar.
  • Wear gloves when handling the mortar.

About the Author


Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada. His work has appeared in Canadian national publications such as the "Globe and Mail" and the "Vancouver Sun." In 2009, he received second-place recognition in the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association's Excellence in Arts and Culture writing category. Woolgar graduated from the Langara College Journalism Diploma program in 2008.