Faux Finishing - Bricking

Bricks have a rustic quality to them. They look rugged, strong and capable of withstanding a lot of punishment. They can also add warmth and charm to a kitchen or living room.

Unless you live in a big city apartment building or loft, the chances of you having actual bricks in your wall are slim indeed. But if you dream of a kitchen with enchanting bricks as your countertop’s backsplash, there are other options you may find interesting and affordable.

Faux painting comes in when you have a desired look in mind but you don’t have the funds or access to certain materials that are necessary for many of these types of jobs. Finishing your walls with a faux brick look is a rewarding experience, especially when it’s so life-like that your friends will have to actually touch the wall to make sure it’s not really brick!

Before you get started painting your bricks, you’ll need the following items:

  • 2 Rectangular Brick-Shaped Sponges
  • Base Coat Color Paint (This will be the color of your grout)
  • Foam Brushes
  • Acrylic Paints (Reds, Blacks, Whites, Browns, whatever color you want your bricks to be)
  • Disposable Plates
  • Paint Brush and Roller
  • Paint Tray

Before you begin your room’s transformation, it’s best to remove all of the pictures and nails from the walls. Also remove the outlet and switch plates. Once that is complete, take a damp cloth and wipe the wall down to remove any dust. If you’re painting a kitchen wall, make sure the wall is clean with no grease residue.

Step 1: Paint the wall with your base color. Use the paint brush to cut-in around electrical outlets, switches, corners and ceilings. Use the roller and paint tray to apply the paint to the rest of the wall. It’s usually best to apply 2 coats for best coverage. Allow the base coat to completely dry before moving on.

Tip: If you are painting a dark-colored wall with a light color, you will probably want to primer it first. Your local hardware or paint supply store can even color your primer to match the base coat for optimum coverage.

Step 2: Take one of the brick-shaped sponges and cut it in half so that it is half the length of the other sponge. If you’ve ever seen a brick wall, many times the bricks are staggered with a full brick and then a half a brick every so often. This will lend a realistic effect to your brick wall.

Step 3: Pour the primary acrylic color for the bricks on a disposable plate. Dampen the sponge with water and squeeze out the excess. Use the foam brush to apply the acrylic paint to the damp sponge. Be careful not to over-saturate the sponge with paint. Dab some of the secondary colors onto the sponge for the right effect then press the sponge onto the wall and remove. Leave a gap of about a ½” of base color showing between the bricks. Every so often, use the half brick for realism.

Step 4: Alternate the sponges beginning each row. If the last row started with a full brick, then use the half brick to start the next row. Be sure to apply fresh paint for each brick. Don’t over-use the sponge to the point the bricks begin fading.

Step 5: Follow steps 3 and 4 until the wall is complete. Allow the wall to completely dry. You can go back with an artist’s brush and add in little effects like a cracked brick or worn edges if you wish.

That’s all there is to adding the look of brick to your humble abode. It’s a fun way to paint and the results are incredibly rich and detailed.

More helpful guides to other faux painting techniques
Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.