This is easily one of my most fun – and stressful – DIYs that I’ve taken on in our little 1917 Saint Paul home. I’ve hated this little wall since we moved into the house. I’ve had SO much trouble decorating it and finally decided just to lean into making it a feature wall. Our house was completely flipped in 2016 and much of the cool, old character was taken out of this house. I decided on the brick wall because it could add in a bit of that old character this house was missing.
Materials You’ll Need
Joint compound – I needed 2 ½ 3-quarter buckets for my small wall, so plan accordingly!
Craft paint – I used Espresso and Light Taupe
Optional: White chalk paint
Your first step is measuring out the bricks with a level. The size I chose was 7 x 3 inches. Place tape in brick pattern where the “grout” lines will go. I did all the horizontal lines first and then went back in placed in all the vertical lines. This seemed to be the fastest way I could get through it.
After your brick pattern is laid out, use your putty knife to smear a ½” of joint compound on the entire wall. This is the fun part! You can be totally messy and uneven with it. I would highly recommend going thicker than you think it should be. As soon as the entire wall is covered, start removing the tape. This is going to be EXTREMELY messy, so have a garbage bag ready to keep all the messy tape in. You want to remove it while the joint compound is still wet. You’ll begin to see your bricks form. After all the tape is removed, let your wall dry completely. I waited about 12-15 hours.
After the wall is dry, it’s time to start priming! You’ll need to do two coats of your primer over the wall. Beware – if you’re a brush loader (like me) this part will become very drippy. Use a light hand with the primer because the brick nooks and crannies will hold onto primer and you’ll have a lot of drips.
Once your primer is dry, it’s time to start painting the bricks! I squirted both colors on a paper plate and just kind of went to town. I started with the darker color and painted one brick at a time moving line by line and then went in with the lighter color to fill in a little. I used a lighter hand with this, but honestly, you can make it as light, as dark or as messy as you want.
Once you’re done, you can choose if you want to white wash it or not. Mine was very bold when I was done and I wanted to tone it down a bit. I used a paper towel and dipped it into white chalk paint and kind of “brushed” it over the top. This, again, can be as much or as little as you want based on your desired outcome. You can also mix a white paint with water and use that technique as well.
This project was labor intensive, but I was able to finish it in about a week because I kept moving along with it. It did add all the character I was looking for and I am SO excited with the end result. I do have my steps saved in my highlights on Instagram if you’re interested in watching my process via video.
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