Crafting Charm: How to Create a Stunning DIY Faux Brick Wall with Joint Compound
Do you love the charm of exposed brick in home interiors? Well I’ve got a little something special for you: a DIY faux brick wall project. My step-by-step guide will not only walk you through the process of crafting your very own faux brick wall but also unveil techniques to achieve a remarkably realistic finish. By using joint compound, tape and clay paint, you too can turn a plain wall into a captivating focal point that exudes character and style. Let’s get started!
- 1/2 in. blue painter’s tape (represents the grout size between each brick)
- Measuring tape
- Plus 3 joint compound
- Putty Knife
- drywall sanding sponge
- Grout bag
- Paint for base layer of bricks – Walmart premixed (Iced Mocha)
- DIY paint in Marquee
- DIY paint in Weathered Wood
- DIY paint in Queen Bee
- DIY paint in Prairie Grey
- Optional – laser level to help you get straight lines
What Size Brick should I Use For a Faux Brick Wall?
The standard brick size in the U.S. is around 2.5″ x 7.5″, which is the size I wanted for my wall.
Tip: My husband took a small piece of wood and cut it into two sizes. One size represents a whole brick; The smaller size represents a half brick. This is not necessary, but it was helpful.
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Preparing the Wall Surface and Floors
There’s probably not much prep work you need to do before you start to tape off your bricks. It’s important that your wall be free of dust and dirt. If necessary, wash your wall thoroughly with mild soap and water. Let the wall completely dry before moving on to the next step. In most instances, you can take a Swiffer or dust cloth and run it along the wall to remove any dust. We’re going to be using tape and it’s important that it sticks.
You’ll also want to cover any outlets and switches with painter’s tape to protect them from getting painted; as well as your floors and carpets with drop cloths.
Taping Off Your “Bricks” for a Faux Brick Wall
Now it’s time to start taping off your “bricks”. It might seem complicated but once you get it started, it gets easier. I promise!
Scroll down below for a Video Tutorial if you learn better visually!
- Start at the top left-hand corner of your wall and work from left to right.
- First, we are going to measure off half a brick because that’s the way most real bricks are laid. So starting in the top left-hand corner, measure 2.5″ down and 3.75” across. Mark with a pencil. Draw a vertical line from the ceiling to the pencil mark and place a piece of tape along the right side of that line. (I placed the “1/2 brick”, that my husband cut from wood, up in the left-hand corner, and drew the vertical line.)
- The next brick will be full-sized. Measure 7.5” from the tape edge you just put down and draw another vertical line just like before. Place another piece of tape along the right side of that line. Continue measuring 7.5” intervals across the wall using a level to make sure lines are straight.
- Next add painter’s tape going across the wall, underneath all your vertical pieces of tape. This will create your first line of bricks which should be 2.5″ from the top of the wall.
- To tape the next row of bricks, measure and mark 2.5” down from the bottom edge of the tape you have going across. Place a piece of tape right along your marks. (Top of the tape should be right on the marks.)
- The second row of bricks will start with a full brick. Measure intervals of 7.5” across the wall and add short strips of tape at each mark. Remember, you’re measuring from the tape edges.
- Continue working down the wall alternating the start of each row with half a brick and a full brick.
TIP: Make sure you extend your horizontal tape pieces past the edge of the wall to make it easier to remove them later.
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Again, I have a video below that might make it easier!
Step by Step: How to make your DIY faux brick wall
Step 1 – Using Joint Compound for a DIY Faux Brick Wall
Now that the bricks have been taped off, it’s time to spread the joint compound. Joint compound is generally used on drywall to create a smooth surface for painting. It can be used as a skim coat or to patch up holes and minor damage in walls.
For this project, we are going to use joint compound to create an uneven, textured surface on the wall. To do this use a metal putty knife. Spread the joint compound generously on the wall, and over the tape, moving your putty knife in different directions. Remember the tip above? Extend your tape out beyond where you’re putting joint compound so you’ll have a place to start pulling when we remove it. Don’t worry that you might be applying too much or creating lumps and bumps that are too big. I found that I hadn’t applied enough joint compound in some areas and had to add more before I was happy with the texture. Do not allow the joint compound to completely dry before going to Step 2.
Step 2 – Painting Base Layer of Faux Brick Wall
Joint compound takes around 24 hours to completely dry but you should start painting while it is still damp; maybe 4-6 hours after applying depending on the humidity. Using a wide brush I painted sections of the wall at a time. I used premixed paint from Walmart in the color Iced Mocha. If you prefer you can use a roller, but I liked the extra texture the brush gave me.
Step 3 – Removing Tape to Reveal Faux Bricks
Once you’ve finished painting your base layer you can start removing the tape. Again, I worked in sections because I didn’t want my paint to dry before pulling off the tape. Find an exposed piece of tape and slowly start pulling the tape off the wall. You will start to reveal your brick design. Continue until you’ve removed all the tape.
Tip: If by chance, the tape pulls off some of the sheet rock, don’t worry. We will be adding more joint compound in our lines anyway. Blue painters tape is best for not pulling sheet rock away.
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Step 4 – Painting to Create Realistic Bricks
Now for the fun part; Painting your bricks to look realistic.
There are lots of different colors of brick. For my faux brick wall, I started with a traditional red brick color.
I’m using DIY Paint which is a clay based paint and was perfect for this faux brick technique. I chose three DIY Paint colors; Marquee, Weathered Wood and Queen Bee. I mixed these three colors together, on a plate, until I found the perfect red. To apply the paint to the wall, I used a sponge cut to the same size as my “bricks.” Paint was brushed onto the sponge and then dabbed on the “bricks.”
Use varying amounts of pressure and paint to each brick to help them look more realistic.
Once the red paint was dry, I added a greyish color, again using the sponge. This was also a DIY Paint in the color Prairie Grey. I alternated between the red and the grey paints until the bricks looked natural. The more you layer, the better they look!
I tried different methods of applying the paint to the bricks but found the sponge helped give texture and depth to the bricks. Brushing and smearing the paint on created a look that was too smooth. It’s important to let each layer of paint completely dry before adding the next color so they don’t blend together.
Step 5 – Adding the Mortar to your Faux Brick Wall
Once you’ve finished painting your bricks, the last step is to add joint compound to the lines left by the tape. These are our “mortar” lines between the bricks. Using a grout bag filled with joint compound, squeeze along the lines between the bricks. I noticed that squeezing the grout bag close to the top gave me more control. You can then spread the grout by using a small tool like a popsicle stick, spoon, or even your fingers. Allow to dry completely.
Let the joint compound completely dry.
Step 6 – Lightly sand your Faux Brick Wall
Now that the wall is dry, the final step is to sand. Using a 220 grit sanding block, lightly sand the entire wall. This softens the rough spots and blends some of the paint colors, making the bricks look even more realistic.
Tip: There is no need to seal the faux bricks. DIY paint is a clay based paint that will cure over time. It’s perfect for this type of project because of its predominate clay ingredient. After all, that’s what real bricks are made of!
Watch this Video for a Visual Tutorial:
And there you have it! We’ve not just crafted a wall – we’ve created a statement piece for years to come! I know it may seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Break the process down into steps and take your time. Enjoy watching your faux brick wall appear with each step that’s completed. Before you know it you’ll be saying “Look what I made!” Creating something beautiful is a feeling like no other!
Cheers to a space that’s uniquely you!
I’m here if you have questions; Just leave them in the comments below.
Until next time,