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.

paper clay brick wall

This is the finished wall with built-in shelves.

paper clay brick wall

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


More on that later.

paper clay brick wall

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.

paper clay brick wall

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!"

paper clay brick wall

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.

paper clay brick wall

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.

paper clay brick wall

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.

paper clay brick wall

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.

paper clay brick wall

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

paper clay brick wall
paper clay brick wall
paper clay brick wall

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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Have a question about this project?

3 of 107 questions
  • Joe S
    on Jan 26, 2019

    Did you make the bricks by hand or are they premade ?

    • AnnMarie
      on Jan 28, 2019

      It looked like Bryan drew a rectangle brick on the wall and filled in the rectangle. Mashed it down with thumb/ figure prints to give it that brick look. But this is a more of a permanent wall look. I believe that's why he said put it on wallpaper. I can see how it would stick better too. Great idea Bryan, well thought out. Good job!


  • Lori
    on Mar 10, 2019

    Bryan, this is fabulous work. Thanks for sharing! I have questions related to using this as a treatment for my cement patio pad, which is fully covered with half of the walls somewhat open to the elements. A small section of one edge of the patio gets wet when it rains with heavy winds. I live in southern California, and aside from this year's crazy rain, it's dry.


    1) You've answered the question of exterior application needing top coat. With proper application and maintenance, how do you think it would hold up to light foot traffic?

    2) With normal wear and tear, chipping, etc., am I correct in thinking that targeted reapplication of clay, paint and top coat would fix things right up?

    3) Can period application of top coat over time better protect and strengthen the treatment?


    Wish I could sit around a table, sip a couple sakes and pick your brain :-)

  • Marina
    on Mar 12, 2019

    I'm interested in making a kitchen wall/backsplash that looks like AUSTIN STONE. A small kitchen in remodel house with no upper cabinets, only shelves. I might be moving there upon completion of entire house remodel. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    Thanks!

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