DIY Faux Brick Paint Tutorial

by Amy@HeritageHomeEc
4 Materials
5 Days

I absolutely adore our brick Farmhouse. Bringing the brick inside was a priority. So I came up with a DIY Faux Brick Paint technique to use to bring some of the outside in. Read on for the full tutorial.

When I first moved into this home with my hubby, it was still stuck in the 1970’s. He inherited this home from his grandparents, so it’s not only been in the family for years, but the design has been too. I’m sure it was high-end back then. Patterned wallpaper, shag carpet, and ugly linoleum floors apparently were all the rage back then.

Harvest Gold? Really?

Honestly, I remember those days too. My Mom decorated our entire bedroom in those horrible “harvest” colors that were so popular back then. Brown, orange and yellow carpet with seriously ugly green walls. What in the devil were those people thinking? I maintain that maybe they were color blind.

I know over time, styles and trends change. They always do. (Hey, take a gander at my hair in the 80’s for proof. *wink*) But there are certain aspects of home design that I see as timeless. Brick is one of those things.

Brick is Timeless

Because we live in a very large brick farmhouse, the idea of bringing some of the brick inside seemed perfect. The exterior (and a lot of the interior) walls are construction-grade brick. Ripping down the plaster and lathe seemed to be an option, but too messy. Besides, I can’t see the condition or style of brick inside the walls. Tearing it out just to look seemed rather wasteful. What if I hated it? I wasted the time and effort to rip it off, just to waste more time and money to put it back to either plaster or drywall.

No Thank You.

So we got to work stripping wallpaper and mudding the seams of the cheap looking wood paneling. No easy task with 12′ ceilings. It all came together with both of us working on it whenever we could.

Once all the walls were done, I primed them all again with my handy grey-tinted primer. (I so love this stuff!) After all the walls were primed and fully covered, that’s when the fun began.

Level Lines for Faux Brick Paint

The first step was to draw with pencil the level line all the way around the room. I knew I didn’t want it perfect, as true brick really isn’t as it ages. So at about eye level, I drew my level line around the perimeter of the room. This was my starting point and my first row of “brick”.

If you have an older house and try to draw a level line on the old walls, let me tell you, it looks weird. To the naked eye it looked no where close to level. But I trust my line and ran with it. What else could I really do at this point.

Gathering Faux Brick Paint Supplies

I had my paint, chipbrushes, and a large sponge. The sponge I cut in half with a breadknife to make it look brick-shaped and to give it some texture. No one just wants a plain old flat looking brick, am I right?

I poured my paint into the tray, and then, using my chipbrush, coated the sponge with the paint. Start in the middle of the sponge and work outward. You want the bulk of the paint to absorb into the middle, and then lighter coverage toward the outside of the sponge to give it that “rough” looking edge.

Resist the urge to just dip your sponge into the paint. It does not end up well. You get too much paint and not enough texture to your brick. Trust me, I tied. Epic failure. It may seem tedious to keep brushing on the paint, but it gives the best coverage to the sponge while maintaining the textured look you want for your faux brick wall.

Start Sponging on Your DIY Faux Brick Paint

Starting in one solid row along your level line, gently sponge your paint onto the wall. I left about 1/2″ to 3/4″ between each brick. Just judge as you go how you want it to look. Stay along the level line the entire perimeter of the room.

Once you have your guideline done, let it dry to check the color of the brick. I didn’t like my red so much at first, so I mixed in a little black to my next session of painting to darken it up just a smidge. I wanted to try to get it to look as much like our exterior brick as possible.

Always Let Paint Dry Before Committing

If there is one rule that I always live by when I’m painting is to never judge the color before it’s dry. As paint dries, it really does change color and I refuse to hate it until I’ve given it time to present it’s true self.

It’s the same with people. I know it’s a tad bit cliche, but do NOT judge a book by its cover. You never know for sure what you are getting until you give it a fair shake.

Continue Sponging Your DIY Faux Brick

Continue your “brick” above and below your level line, leaving about 1″ mortar lines. Make sure you stagger your brick randomly, making it look a little more realistic over time. In the corners and at the trim lines, I cut more sponges to fix into the space left. All in all I think I used a total of 3 packages of sponges, even though I was cleaning them out between painting sessions.

These darned old houses are so out of square they give you all kinds of weird spaces and angles to deal with.

Also, because I learned this the hard way, make sure you tape off with a couple rows of blue painters tape your walls and any architectural elements that you don’t want brick on. I didn’t do this and had to repaint parts of my newly redone wall cabinet.

Viola! DIY Faux Brick Painted Walls

This technique is time consuming. I honestly love how it turned out and I would definitely do it all over again in the future. It’s so much cozier in our laundry room now. One added outcome was that now the room feels bigger and even taller! It so high that sometimes looking up at it makes me get a tinge of vertigo!!

I hope you try this technique in your own home, even if just on an accent wall. The outcome is definitely worth the work.

PS. Don’t miss the other part of my laundry room update by checking out my Faux Shiplap Walls tutorial.

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  3 questions
  • Susan Susan on Aug 15, 2021

    Some bricks have more white or is that the paint primer color showing. Is that because of the way you painted your sponge? You did not add any paint on top of the red brick to create the bricks that have more white (grey) did you? Just curious. I like the variation. Wow is right. I could see doing a small wall myself but not the level of walls you did. Thanks though for showing us how it is done.

  • Clayton Clayton on Aug 16, 2021

    Is that photo, a piece of the outside of your house? It looks amazing! Could you post a full, daytime photo? I am really into old house architecture.

  • Christina Millis Christina Millis on Aug 18, 2021

    I love this.. I am getting ready to do my bistro kitchen and want to do 2 accent walls in brick. I was looking at wall papers but I like this. Where did you find the sponge?

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