Painting Faux Brick Walls With 3 Different and Unique Methods
Welcome back! As promised in my post about how to make faux brick walls with joint compound, I’m here to tell you all about the 3 different methods for painting faux brick walls that I’ve personally used in our home! I love all of these 3 methods and the different looks that they each have.
The first time we added a brick wall to our builder-grade (therefore charm and character-free) home, we used brick panels that we purchased at Lowe’s. Fortunately, we had rented a Jeep for a trip we were taking and were able to load all seven 4’x8′ panels into the back of it.
The rental Jeep was great for hauling brick panels!
Joint compound is certainly easier to transport! 🙂
OH…and just as an aside…we have since bought a Jeep! 🙂 Faux brick panels are pre-painted to look like dark red brick with black grout lines. I knew from the beginning I would be painting them white because my goal is to lighten and brighten my home.
I will tell you that when it comes to brick walls, my opinion is that the older and more aged looking, the better. I like to think of an old Brooklyn Brownstone with all of its gorgeous old brick walls, and I take my inspiration from that.
My brick wall inspiration photo! Brick panels are perfect and symmetrical and look like a brand new brick wall so I had to do something to give them a bit of character. After attaching them to the walls I used joint compound and a spackle knife to give them some texture and add some bumps and lumps here and there so that they weren’t quite so perfect. I also had to try to cover the seams where the panels came together. One more reason for loving the joint compound method….no seams to cover! (just sayin)
Adding texture and covering a seam in the brick panels But I digress, we’re here to talk about painting faux brick walls made with joint compound. The first joint compound faux brick I did was on my kitchen backsplash. I have two sections of backsplash, each about 7 feet long so it was a great place to learn this technique. The faux brick panel wall behind my open shelving is painted white so I painted my backsplash white as well because my plan was to have all white walls in my kitchen. When we bought this house the previous owners had it all painted in a nice creamy tan called Sandcastle. It’s very pretty and was one of the things I loved about the house, but I love white so I will be slowly repainting all the walls (or most of them) to white.
Before adding faux brick to the backsplash As I mentioned in my faux brick tutorial, joint compound is messy but it washes away easily with water. With two walls of kitchen backsplash covered in joint compound, the last thing I want is for it to wash away with water, so sealing with primer and painting faux brick is very important. I did this as soon as they were fully dry and we were very careful in the meantime to make sure nothing splashed on them. Once my faux brick wall/backsplash was fully dry it was to prime it. Joint compound drys very chalky and feels quite rough so I put two coats of primer on it to start the sealing process and also prevent it from sucking up all my paint. I used Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer because I have used this primer many times and knew it would thoroughly seal my joint compound bricks. I applied 2 coats of primer and made sure it was thoroughly dry between coats.
I painted my faux brick backsplashes with Behr paint from Home Depot mixed in my favorite white for walls which is Westhighland White by Sherwin Williams. I was quite happy to find that I could get Sherwin William colors at Home Depot prices. I used a semi-gloss for this project because it’s a backsplash and I want it to be very washable as well as reflect light as it can be a bit dark under the cabinets.
(hard to see in the photo but we also did the brick above the cabinets! That was FUN!) ;/
The second time I did a faux brick wall made with joint compound was also in my kitchen, on the wall surrounding the opening that goes toward the laundry room and garage. As I looked at this blank wall, (it’s the only one in the kitchen that doesn’t have brick on it), I decided to try something a bit different to make this more of an accent wall.
Once the bricks were on and completely dry, I primed the entire wall with my Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer. I don’t worry about grout lines at this point so I just prime everything. That way I know I’m getting primer on all the edges of each joint compound brick. After two coats of primer it was time for the fun part! I chose 4 different colors that I thought most closely look like the colors you would find in red bricks. In hindsight, I could have easily only used two colors and had a very similar outcome, but for the purpose of this article, I will tell you exactly how I did it. I knew I would need much paint for this part of the process so I just got the little sample pots from Lowe’s.
I put a puddle of each color on a paper plate and had 4 separate small 1-inch chip brushes, 1 for each color (I buy them in bulk because I love using disposable brushes for projects like this). Let me just say that by the time I was done, I was using the same brush for all the colors because I just didn’t care anymore. LOL! If you follow along on Instagram @somethingpaintedwhite you may remember this project from my stories. Oh what a great time we had. We laughed and laughed! (sigh, good times) I did a small section using just one of the colors and brushing it randomly on each brick with a very light coat and leaving some white showing through. Then I went back over the same section with the second color, brushing it on randomly in no particular pattern. I repeated this with the two remaining colors. Then I moved on to the next section and repeated this process. One of the colors was a bit more purple than I liked so I took the brown color and put a bit more over top of any of the purple areas. Long story short, I just made a mess on each brick and it looked awesome!
I did the entire wall in this fashion until I was happy with the way the colors looked. Painting faux brick is so therapeutic, especially when it looks so real! I was quite happy with just how authentic it looked when I stepped back and looked at it as a whole.
I’ll be honest, I considered just painting the grout lines white and leaving it as it….but I decided to follow through with my plan and whitewash the entire wall. I used my favorite wall color, Westhighland White by Sherwin Williams, (mixed with a smile by Home Depot). I did a 50/50 mix with water and using a rag, I wiped it on the wall. After the first round of wiping I let it dry and did it again until I was happy with how it looked. Once I was finished with the wiping I used the same color of white and a small artist brush to paint in all the grout lines. I love how this brick wall just pops out from the rest of the kitchen and am so glad I chose to whitewash it!!!
The third method I used for painting faux brick just might be my favorite! This wall is at our little summer home that we refer to as ‘The Ranch’. It’s not a ranch, it’s a tiny little park model RV that was built in 1991 and some genius thought pink floral wallpaper all over the entire unit would be a great idea. I guess it was...it matches the pink countertops! (where is my forehead slap emoji when I need it)!!! Our little ranch needed at least one wall of brick. This wall was painted the same way as the accent wall in our kitchen, except this time I only used two colors (Valspar Pretzel Twist and Valspar Cowboy Boots). Much faster and it still looks like a brick wall!
For this wall I used the german schmear technique by schmearing joint compound ALL OVER my painted bricks. As usual, when doing a technique I haven’t done before, I panic and sweat, and have a good old-fashioned freak-out, but I keep going! I scraped it on with my spackle knife so that it was a thin layer that allowed a bit of the color to peek through here and there. I did have to take my finger and wipe the joint compound out of the grout lines, it was super easy and secretly kind of fun! (in hindsight, I realize when doing german schmear, one color of paint under it would probably be sufficient)
I love the german schmear look! Curtains are temporary, don’t judge! 🙂
It’s just joint compound on the floor and wipes right up with a wet rag! By the time I was finished schmearing this wall I was in love and had found my favorite method of painting faux brick. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that one day I will re-do the wall in my kitchen to be just like this one. Again, I had to allow the joint compound to dry thoroughly (24-48 hours, weather depending) and then rather than paint it…I just sealed it with Rustoleum Chalked Clear Matte Sealer and that was that! As soon as the faux brick wall at ‘the ranch’ is complete with blinds (and extended into the kitchen) I will update this post with a new photo! If you follow me on Instagram @somethingpaintedwhite you’ll want to stay tuned to stories because we’re heading to the ranch this week and I will be finishing this faux brick wall. YAY!!! Painting faux brick walls can be super fun and easy! I hope you found some inspiration in this article and will try at least one of these techniques for painting faux brick walls. And when you do be sure to let me know so I can give you a high-five!
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Isela Fierro 7 days ago
It looks great! I used white grout instead of joint compound, I can see see the brick color come thru a little better. love new techniques
Firecrkr24@yahoo. com 7 days ago
Looks Great , Great ideal looks like real brick walls in your photos love Diy projects.
How do you make the corners and window ledges look real using the panels? I noticed some ‘bricks’ were vertical in the archway of the kitchen, too. Fantastic job, btw. You must have a lot of time to devote to your projects! I’m envious, Lol.
Another question, did you paint the cabinets with Westhighland White? The place I bought has the same Venetian Gold granite counters but very nice cherry wood color cabinets. Although they are good quality, I really want white (finding the perfect white is challenging) and was thinking of painting them and having the brick panels as a backsplash painted the same color as the rest of the living room but in a gloss (it’s a small place). If it looks good, I’ll continue the ‘brick’ wall all the way down the same wall into the living room to make it look more realistic
I’ve been wanting to do this as my backsplash for quite some time! Also wondering how you got the corners so perfectly rounded even though it’s paneling.