29.6.18

How to Make a DIY Faux Brick Wall Look Real

Intro by Robin
Steps by Ed





What a transformation our guest room has had!  Above is a Before shot, clearly.  An adequate space for guests to sleep - but completely uninspiring.  I think it's fair to say it had no character.  


It wouldn't be going too far to say it's more like a "character vacuum" - somehow this bland box sucks character from other spaces and people to make people instantly feel less interesting and life feel less vivid.


OK, yes, that was going a bit far.


The room has come a long long way.  And one of our goals, along with making our guests feel welcome and comfortable, was to add layers of texture and interest to this supremely boring space.  We've achieved a lot through some of our previous projects:



This latest project adds even more texture.  I've long loved the interest and historic feel old brick give to spaces.  I'm fond of painted brick - though I've never gotten up the nerve to paint real brick.   I always have images of needing to strip the paint later - and I've stripped many layers of paint off things and it's AWFUL.


But cheap brick panelling - that's my comfort zone - I could paint that all day!  We found these sheets of textured brick panels at Home Depot, affordable and the texture is really good.  I'm not a fan of the colour - they tried - but it's not perfect.



These brick panels have great texture!



Here's how we made a DIY faux brick wall - using brick veneer panels - and made it look pretty darn real. 



What you need:




How to:




As always, begin with a plan. 
In this case, the plan called for starting with the most difficult part to make sure things looked good. 
We used cut-off pieces from the bookcase backing to cover a duct box. At this point, it was an experiment, but the planning rules still hold: 
Look at the sections you are using and line up the bricks like they would be on a real wall section. 
This means 'half' bricks are ends and should meet 'full' bricks on any outside corners. 



Prime, glue and nail up the panel. 
You can see lots of seams here, and the good news is - it won't matter. We covered everything with lots of drywall compound to create a partially plastered wall look (Or a look like the guy doing it was partially plastered. 😜)



Now hide the seams and nails with drywall compound. 
This was the most fun I ever had drywalling because the more uneven and random I made it, the better it looked/hid seams and corners. A light sanding knocks off any points, scratchy bits and you can put on your favourite paint colour.




The big wall. 
With the duct corner successfully complete, we were happy to move on to a big section and see how it looked. Again, look at the last row of bricks and make sure your new section will line up appropriately. THIS IS ESSENTIAL - miss this step and your wall will look decidedly phony.
Glue and nail it up.

The final piece - measure and cut carefully.  
Because this seam was in the middle of the wall, we worked at getting it extra tight. We cut the last sheet so two factory square edges were landing together in the middle and double checked before we cut off the top or bottom (I almost cut the wrong part - which would have meant buying a whole new sheet.  Thankfully, Robin said, "Are you SURE?"- I wasn't... I really wasn't sure.)
Measure twice, cut once.

Glue & nail - with a friend holding if possible
(My friend helped hold then stepped back to take this picture)
Look carefully along the left third of the above photo and you can see the seam - just barely. We didn't prime these pieces so you can see how one might be tempted to think the seam wouldn't show up after painting -it totally will! Don't skip the next step!




Drywall compound like you're partially plastered
(Yeah, I liked that joke so much, I used it again, so what?). 
Robin's preferred version is that the wall should look like a backdrop for a "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" themed photo shoot. 
Whichever version you choose, don't skimp on the compound up that middle seam, then drag it out in various random directions to look like an old wall. When complete, you can use your sculpting skills to make the seam bricks look connected or simply obscure everything. It's art!
Lightly sand, prime, finish paint and you're done!




What a difference!





And here's a similar angle Before:


bland.


Decor sources:
Throw Pillow Fabric (I made the simple pillow using this tutorial.)
Sheets (So soft and pretty - and a great price.)
Coverlet and Shams (Yeah - I almost didn't buy it when I saw who the "designer" was. Ha! But the quality is wonderful.)
Lamps (similar outside Canada)
Faux boxwood topiary (similar) vase is thrifted
Panelling paint (green): Milk Thistle Behr
Trim paint: Soft Focus Behr
Photography: Moody Blooms for Mental Health by Michelle Peek
Walnut Frames with 8x10 Mat. Ours aren't available online, but these frames are very similar and affordable.


Other projects in our Basement Guest Room-Library:



This is one of dozens of projects we've created in our Budget Basement Makeover(more here) and one of many projects in our cozy Guest Room-Library (more here).  




Wait until you see it all!  Keep in touch and follow our progress by subscribing at the top of this page.



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3 comments

  1. I think I'll try the faux brick. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! Be sure to come back and let us know how it turns out. :)

      Delete
  2. I love it but don't want to paint over it. How can I make it look real without painting over it. I don't want the nails or seams to show.

    ReplyDelete

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