Faux Brick Paint Technique

Faux Brick is one of the most popular faux finishes available today, for both its timeless look and its ease of application.

Think about it…in centuries of use, brick has never gone out of style. The brick faux finish can look elegant, weathered, country, or all of the above.

The best part about the faux brick paint technique is its relative ease of application. It is one of the simplest of the faux finishes to create, and you only need a couple of tools.

One of the other wonderful advantages of the brick faux finish is its ability to hide imperfect or uneven walls. Faux brick’s naturally imperfect and textured appearance works great for hiding minor plaster flaws.

It is important to remember with this technique that your base coat will show through as the mortar lines. Your base coat should be done in the color you wish your mortar lines to be (gray, cream, etc…).

Any color glaze can be used for the brick, as long as the color reflects the actual look of brick (brown, red, gray, blue, terra cotta, etc…). My suggestion is to use two different color glazes of similar tonality (for example, a red and terra-cotta) to give the finish more realism and depth. More in-depth information is available in STEP 2 below.

As with all faux finishes, I recommend perfecting your technique and color selection on a practice board before beginning the faux brick technique on your walls.

Stop! Very Important! Before beginning, make sure your walls are properly prepared. Not sure? Take a look at our paint preparation instructions (opens in a new window).

Here is what you’ll need:

Necessary Paint Products

  • Latex Satin Paint (in desired base color, should be a gray or cream tonality)

  • Faux Technique Glaze (in desired base color)

Necessary Paint Supplies and Applicators

  • Rectangular (approximately brick-sized) Cellulose Sponge

    Please Note: This is the only faux finish in which I advocate the use of a cellulose (or synthetic) sponge over a natural sea sponge. The shape and texture of a cellulose sponge more closely match that of a real brick.

  • 3/8” Nap Roller Cover

  • Roller Frame

  • 2” Angled Nylon/Poly Brush

  • 1” Nylon/Poly Brush

  • 2” Painter’s Tape

  • Lint-Free Cotton Rags

STEP 1:

Painting Base Coats

Begin by taping around the ceiling, windows, doors, floor trim, and any other woodwork or trim that is present. Use a high-quality nylon-polyester brush to “cut in” around the ceiling and trim work.

Using a moderately-loaded 3/8” roller, roll on the satin base coat. When rolling, finish each section with a smooth ceiling-to-floor stroke to help eliminate roller marks.

Per paint manufacturer’s instructions, wait at least four, and preferably six, hours before applying a second coat (if necessary). Let the base coat dry for at least 24 hours before beginning the faux brick technique.

STEP 2:

Applying the Faux Technique Glaze

You have a couple of choices when it comes time to apply the faux bricks. You may simply choose a glaze color, such as a brick red, and apply only that. Or, for a more realistic, and only slightly more complicated finish, you can use two or more complimentary glaze colors.

Think about most brick surfaces you have seen. Bricks come from different batches, and often have color variations from one lot to the next.

Oftentimes, even individual bricks will have some color variation, from light to dark, red to brown, etc. Keep this in mind while you’re making your decision.

Now that you’ve chosen your technique, one color of multiple, pour your glaze selections into separate paint trays or dishes.

Choose a convenient place to start your technique. If you’re unsure, an upper corner is usually a good place to start.

If you have chosen to use one glaze color, apply it to one face of your sponge with your 1” nylon/poly brush. If you have chosen multiple colors, apply them randomly to the face of the sponge with your brush.

Take care not to saturate the sponge. This may cause the paint to run when you press the sponge onto your surface.

Now, carefully press the face of the sponge against the wall or surface, like a stamp. Do not press too firmly, as this will apply the glaze too thickly and may cause it to run.

Pressing lightly will allow you to see the texture of the sponge, which simulates the rough texture of real brick.

It is important, to give the faux brick an authentic look, not to stamp the bricks in straight vertical lines, but to stagger them, like real bricks.

III III III III
I III III III I

Leave a uniform area (about a pinky’s width) all around each brick. Your base coat should show through, representing mortar lines.

If the color or shape of some of your bricks doesn’t suit you, you can stamp the design again, overtop of the old one.

STEP 3:

Filling in the Partial Bricks

Now, you will probably have some space where a half (or less) brick is needed to fill in an area (such as a corner).

Once you have finished stamping all of your full-size bricks, cut the cellulose sponge into two halves. Use these smaller pieces to finish the corners where you can.

If some areas need an even smaller piece of sponge, simply cut one of the halves into the size you need.

STEP 4:

Removing the Tape

Remove the tape from the trimwork, ceiling, and any adjoining sections while the glaze is still wet. Be careful not to mar your beautiful new brick faux finish.

The look of faux brick is timeless and durable, so you may never have to change your walls again!

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