Paper Clay Brick Wall!

7 Materials
$100
2 Weeks
Easy

I love interior brick walls and this is how I made a realistic looking brick wall out of homemade paper clay.

This is the finished wall with built-in shelves.

I built shelves between the studs of this non-loadbearing wall.


More on that later.

The final brick wall is paper clay over wallpaper. I tested it for a year first and let me tell ya' it was impossible to get off! My paper clay recipe dries incredibly rock hard and is pretty much indestructible!


The gray color paper clay is made with newspaper, but I found the toilet paper, paper clay to be easier to work with.


Before doing this over wallpaper, please consider:


-Is my wallpaper in good condition?

-Is my wallpaper easily removed?

-Will adding heavy indestructible paper clay make my wallpaper fall off?

-Why would anybody do this to their wall?

-I bet that Bryan is the coolest..


EDIT:

You don't need to do this over wallpaper. You can do it to a painted wall or over wood.


Please keep in mind that it will be extremely difficult to remove from drywall without damaging it. (Sheetrock is a brand of drywall)


Drywall is covered with a heavyweight paper or fiberglass matting. I tested it myself and the glue in the clay absorbed and dried into this making it almost impossible to scrape off. It's like the clay fused with the wall.


If you worry, consider doing this to something you can hang on the wall. Cardboard and thin plywood come to mind.


*I'm getting this question a lot.


The clay is not weatherproof. It needs to be protected with an 'exterior' water and UV resistant topcoat. I put seasonal paper clay props outside with a topcoat and have no problems. They're only out there for a couple months, so I'm not 100% sure. I'll need to test a forever outside project and make a post.


They actually sell sculpting concrete products that are designed to be outside if you don't want to chance it.

My paper clay recipe is 

-6 rolls of unscented toilet paper 

-6.5 cups of wood glue (1.5kg or 3.3lbs) 

-1 cup of joint compound (dry wall mix).


1. Soak one roll of toilet paper at a time in the smaller bucket using warm water. The toilet paper tube will easily come out and the toilet paper will turn to pulp. Break up the pulp with your fingers and then dump it in a plastic strainer. Push as much water out as you can and then put the pulp in the big bucket. Do this for each roll of toilet paper. 


2. Add the wood glue and joint compound. 


3. Mix carefully at first, so the joint compound doesn't fly up in the air. Mix it thoroughly until it becomes paper clay.This is my paper clay recipe.


For me it took 21kg of wood glue, 14 cups of joint compound and 147 rolls of toilet paper.


Kind of felt embarrassed going back to the same place buying so much toilet every other day. "Ewww, it's that toilet paper guy again!"

This project was time consuming, but easy. I know that there are easier ways to make a faux brick wall, but I wanted to do the entire thing with my hands. I love artistry and the process. It's the best part of every project for me.


Anyway, I only used my hands, a spirit level and a piece of wood. I eyeballed the brick sizes and simply pushed the wood into the paper clay while balancing the level on the wood. That is it.

Here's a picture of how to do it. Just find a piece of wood the thickness you want your mortar and wide enough to set a spirit level on and you're golden.


You'll often get clay sticking to the wood. I tried putting painters tape on the end of the wood and it helped a little. You'll need to be constantly pushing the clay with your fingers. You'll also use your fingers to shape the front of the bricks.


I occasionally rubbed a red whiteboard marker on the painters tape I put on the wood, so it would come off in the clay. This is a good way to keep track of progress on big projects.

The paper clay will take a couple days to dry.


I painted the bricks with a matte red wine and I mixed my own mortar color. The black color is just diluted black paint and the white is dry brushing.

These are the built-in shelves. I made 12 and you can see how by checking out my built-in shelves post.


https://www.hometalk.com/12444913/built-in-kitchen-wall-shelves?r=2


*Be extremely careful opening up your walls.

I mixed up some joint compound and smeared it over the bricks in a couple spots. I love how it looks!

This is one of my next projects! I gave a shiny black wall light a rusty faux finish and put it on the new brick wall.


For more, come check me out on Facebook and Instagram.

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To see more: https://www.facebook.com/bryansworkshop

Have a question about this project?

3 of 129 questions
  • Cassie
    on Sep 15, 2019

    How well do you think this would holdup as a backsplash?

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on Apr 30, 2020

      Hey Cassie! It depends on the service. This is just paper clay with wood glue in it. You can test it on the service and if it holds, I'd say go for it and use a good topcoat to protect from water, grease and humidity.

  • Scimal
    on Apr 17, 2020

    My I use news paper instead of toilet paper hmmmm? Plz do reply me

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on Apr 30, 2020

      You can, but the TP is easily to sculpt with. I tried newspaper out when I was testing the clay. There's a pic at the start of the post.

  • Scimal
    on Apr 17, 2020

    May I use newspaper instead of toilet paper

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on Apr 30, 2020

      Thank you for the pictures! You should make Hometalk posts. I painted the bricks with a matte red wine and I mixed my own mortar color. The black color is just diluted black paint and the white is dry brushing. The rest is joint compound.

Join the conversation

4 of 591 comments
  • Heather
    on Aug 17, 2019

    This looks awesome, really. But you never showed how you scooped up /shaped the clay mixture. And how you pushed on it to make the texture! Just the wood part. I would have no idea how to get it like that.

    I love the look!

    • Bryan's Workshop
      on Sep 12, 2019

      Hey Heather! The clay has a wet/gluey texture. It just plops on the wall and dries with the textures naturally. You'll need to form the shapes, but don't worry about the overall texture. I'll take some vids in the future and you can check them out on my FB page.

  • Cherie
    on Oct 1, 2019

    This is the best looking faux brick Ive ever seen. Good job and I am totally stealing your paper clay recipe!

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