Creating a realistic looking brick wall using faux brick paneling. Perfect for your home, apartment, or photography studio
Do you have a boring wall in you home or studio that could use some excitement? I know I did. This DIY faux brick wall project was easier to do than I expected. Best of all, it only took a few hours to complete.
Here is my problem. I have a gray wall located in my photography studio that drives me crazy every time I pass by it. There is really nothing wrong with it, I just felt that it was missing something. It was boring.
This gray wall has gone through a number of changes throughout the years. I was never satisfied with how it looked.
Many years ago I thought about creating the look of a brick wall in my studio but could not find the time to do it, the motivation to physically build it, or the best way to accomplish the overall project.
I searched online how to create a fake brick wall and got many different solutions. One actually used real bricks. Another suggested cutting pieces of styrofoam into brick size pieces and gluing them to the wall. Some said to dip a rectangle sponge into paint and then stamp a brick pattern on your wall.
Although all of the suggested ways to make a faux brick wall would work, there was one major issue that made me not want to do it and that was the thought of how time consuming this project will be.
Recently I was at Home Depot shopping for some Wainscot paneling to build a new set for a clawfoot bath tub that I have. Located next to the Wainscot was other paneling that looked like a brick wall.
A few months after building my bathtub set, I got started on the new brick wall set for my boudoir studio.
I searched online how to make a faux brick wall using paneling. There were many good suggestions on how to do it. Although most suggested a different way to paint their paneling. None of the recommendations really caught my eye, so I decided to do it my own way.
I knew when I created my faux brick wall I wanted to do it without spending more money than necessary. And guess what? I did it. The only thing I purchased were two brick wall panels. That is all.
Here is what I did to make a faux brick wall without spending a lot of money.
I purchased two brick wall panels from Home Depot. They cost around $28 each for a 8 foot by 4 foot piece. Fortunately, the remainder of items used to create the wall were items I already had from painting and building previous sets for my studio.
One item not pictured that you will likely need is a saw. I used a jigsaw. The paneling is not super thick so a sharp utility knife will probably do the trick. You may need to do some more cutting than you expect. I will explain later.
My ceilings are about 9 feet high so one panel does not cover the entire wall and leaves a foot of gray wall at the top. I am using this in my boudoir photography studio, so I will simply crop the uncovered gray wall out of the photos when I use it with clients (and for this post).
Here is a faux brick panel leaning on my drab gray wall. The panels are kind of on the heavy side (the Home Depot website says they are 32 pounds). The panels are more awkward than they are heavy because they are so tall. I was able to hang the panels up by myself, but it would have been much easier with an extra set of hands.
First, I lifted the panel and set it on top of the baseboard then slid it over to meet the edge of the other wall. I did this to see if the panel lined up straight on the wall. Luckily, it did.
Next, I laid the panel down on a table and spread adhesive around the edges and center of the brick panel.
Then, I basically repeated the first step. I slid the panel to its proper position and then pressed all over to give it firm stick.
After that, I hammered nails randomly into the panel to make sure it that it will not fall off the wall in case the adhesive fails.
Now the fun part. I am joking. This part was a pain in the ass, but only a small pain.
As you can see in the above photo, I have a cable outlet and a power outlet. I do not watch cable television at my studio, so that outlet was covered up.
I repeated step one again with the second panel. I wanted to see if the brick pattern matched up perfectly with the panel on the wall. Unfortunately, the pattern was off by a quarter of an inch, so here is were the more cutting part comes.
I used a jigsaw to cut off a quarter inch from the bottom to make the brick pattern match perfectly. Then I needed to measure where the power outlet would be and cut a hole out for it.
After all the cutting was done, I laid the second brick panel down, spread adhesive on it, stuck it to the wall, pressed and nailed it just like the first one.
I was surprised how fast things were coming along.
Once the faux brick panels were mounted to the wall, I mixed up some drywall patching compound and filled in the excess hole area near the power outlet that was cut out. I also applied the compound in the center where the two panels meet, and over most of the wall to give the bricks a textured look.
During the time that the patching compound was drying (I had a fan blowing on the wall so it dried fast), I grabbed a paint brush and the charcoal colored chalk paint. I wanted to have some dark accent marks on the wall, so I randomly painted a few.
While the charcoal color dried (again, very fast), I watered down a very light gray colored latex paint then randomly brush stroked the paint on the brick panels. This color filled in many of the unpainted areas, as wall as lighten up the dark accent marks.
Next, I watered down the white latex paint and painted over the majority of the brick wall. This mixture was about 50% paint to 50% water. Since this paint mixture was very thin, it allowed some of the paint below to show through.
Finally, I added some random brush strokes with the pure white chalk paint. I did not notice at the time, maybe because the paint fumes were getting to me, that I did not like how the white chalk paint looked. The brush strokes were very bright.
This project was so easy and quick. It took me more time to write this blog post than it did to get the brick wall done.
I have to say, I absolutely love how my faux brick wall looks. Most important, my clients love taking photos in front of it.
I have since rubbed the brick panel down with a wet rag to mute the bright spots from the white chalk paint and let some of the red brick color show through. It is looking much better now!