Add texture to any room on a budget with this easy to follow tutorial that teaches you how to add a faux brick wall to any space at a fraction of the cost!
It’s week 2 of the One Room Challenge, and I have an actual tutorial for you! I’ll be sharing the tutorial for our Industrial Faux Brick Wall. When I started working on the design for this space the picture in my head was ‘coffee bar’. I talked about this some when I shared the design plans last week, but this space is at the top of our stairs, so I didn’t want it to look like a full blown kitchen. However, I do want it to function like a kitchen. With a few thought out design concepts we were able to get as close to my vision as possible.
Distressed Faux White Brick Wall
If you know me at all you know NYC is my favorite city. I love the mountains and the beach, but there is just something about the Big Apple that draws me in. There’s so much architecture and the people watching is just the BEST there! Needless to say it’s always been a dream of mine to live in, own, or just visit a real NYC loft. I adore the exposed brick walls with the industrial feel, and I wanted to bring a little piece of that look to our kitchenette.
Industrial Brick Walls
I have to be totally honest with you in regards to this tutorial. It’s very subjective to your personal style. It’s like handwriting. I actually ended up not loving the final result, and fixed it by going more white than I originally planned. That’s part of the process right? I’m going to show you each step I took, but to be honest you might not need all the steps if you want your wall to look like the end result of mine. If you are just taking this for inspiration, then all the steps will show you different results. If you are trying to replicate this look, I’ll give you some tips on what I might do differently.
But first we need to gather all the supplies! This post contains affiliate links. These links don’t change anything for you, however I do receive a small commission if you purchase any items after clicking the link which also helps to keep this blog going! Thanks so much for your support!
Supplies for Painting a Faux Brick Wall
- Brick Panels
- Black Paint – Cracked Pepper from Behr
- White Paint – Reserved White from Sherwin Williams & Swiss Coffee from Behr
- Sheetrock Compound
- Sheetrock Knife
- Masonry Coater
- Lint Free Rags
- Paint Brush
- Small Paint Roller
- Paint Tray
- Paint Pail
- 2″ Chalk Paint Brush
- Metal Paint Scraper
Industrial Brick Painting Tutorial
**If at any point you want to distress the brick, use your paint scraper to gently and tastefully remove some of the paint and sheetrock compound
First we installed these brick panels. There are some tricks to avoid the seam lines, but I figured I’d hide it well enough with the joint compound and anything I’d be hanging on the wall. If you want to hide that a little better you can cut out some bricks and intertwine them, and then fill the gaps with a mortar repair caulk.
Distress Brick Panels with Sheetrock Compound.
When the panels are installed you can move on to the sheetrock compound. At first I wanted to use real Plaster of Paris, but that dries much quicker and doesn’t allow you to work with the product and fix it as you go. The downside to my chosen method is the dry time of 24 hours. Make sure and keep that in mind when planning out your timeline. I used a drywall knife to apply the compound. If I’m being honest I just kind of slapped it up there and had to get used to working with it to figure out the results I wanted. I definitely tried to keep different angles going and not have everything look like it was applied in the same direction.
I did find that by taking the knife and pushing up in the grout lines it gave it a little more definition, but this is really just an artistic choice on how you want to apply it. Play around with it and maybe even practice on some scrap plywood if you aren’t totally comfortable working with it. Decide ahead of time how much of the actual brick you want to cover.
Then I took a masonry coater brush and lightly ran over the compound to give it an authentic feel. Otherwise it looks very smooth. This gives brush strokes that feel a little more organic to me. Experiment with pushing up in certain spots to get different looks. Think of it like molding clay and really just work the material until it looks the way you want it to.
Before it’s dry take your fingers and run them along the mortar lines. Since this isn’t real brick you don’t want to loose the dimensions of the mortar lines.
I worked in small sections to make sure I was able to correct any mistakes right away. Then when it’s all applied you’ll still be able to blend anything you see.
Paint Faux Brick Panels to Look Industrial
Once all the sheetrock compound had dried, I did a simple gray wash using a watered down paint mixture. (Cracked Pepper paint from Behr). I did about 1 part paint to 6 parts water, mixed it thoroughly and applied it with a paintbrush and immediately wiping it down with a lint free rag. Overall I applied 2 coats of the gray wash. You can see the differences below. (I’d probably suggest doing 1 coat, because I ended up dry brushing over the second coat anyway.)
Once the gray wash dried I took a small paint roller and applied a watered down white wash (Reserved White paint from Sherwin Williams). I used the same ratio of paint to water, I just mixed it up in a paint tray and kinda sloshed it on there. Again, this is very artistic so there’s no exact method. Once I rolled the paint on I took a lint free rag and smeared it all together so I didn’t have any paint drips. Remember, you can also use your paint scraper to distress the paint to get a more aged look.
Ok, once I applied the white wash I wasn’t super happy with how it was looking, so I started dipping my rag back in the gray wash and rubbing that around. You can see some of that progress in the photo below.
After rubbing the gray wash back over the top I just wasn’t happy. It looked too messy and had a bluish tint. Had this been on real brick I think it would have worked a little more to my favor, however it is faux panels and the dimension of the bricks was becoming somewhat lost. So next I took my chalk paint brush and dipped it into the Swiss Coffee Paint and used a dry brush affect to apply paint to each individual brick. I tried to avoid the “mortar”. Using the Swiss Coffee color here, because of it’s warmer tint, provided a better overall tone for the look I wanted.
I worked in rows, and once I finished with a row I’d take the brush and just rub it back and forth to blend it all. This was done with practically no paint on the brush.
In the photo below you can see my progress. I started dry brushing from the bottom and worked my way up.
Once you have finished dry brushing, again distress if you feel necessary, and I actually went back and dipped my rag in the gray wash again to sort of define the mortar lines where I felt like they were lost.
I know this feels like a lot of layers of paint. You certainly don’t have to do everything I did, but I will say that when you have multiple layer and distress as you go, it really adds dimension as it reveals what you did underneath. So take this tutorial as a guide and see what you can come up with!
I can’t wait to show you guys the full reveal. The wall ended up looking so nice. As soon as that post is up I’ll come back and update this post with the finished results, but I didn’t want to give too much away too soon ; )
One Room Challenge Progress:
- 1st Week: Share the design plans
- This Week: DIY Faux Brick Wall
- 3rd Week: Install Vent Hood in Open Shelving
- 4th Week: 2×4 Kitchen Cabinets
- 5th Week: DIY Cabinet Doors
- 6th Week: Final Reveal
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