Let me show you how to create the cheapest and easiest faux brick accent wall for your home! This project only has five simple steps and can be done in as little as a day.
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I’ve been eyeing some gorgeous veneer thin bricks for a while now. And I’m still super tempted to create a real brick wall somewhere in our home.
But I have a little bit of commitment phobia with this project. So I wanted to try out a less permanent technique to see how it might fit into the rest of the design in our house.
Plus, I love a good budget friendly project. And would you believe this DIY cost me less than $30?!!!
I spent a good amount of time researching different ways and projects on Pinterest to get the brick look. And the common solution I was finding involved using faux brick wall panels from Home Depot.
The only problem I had with these was the hideous unrealistic red brick color.
Which most DIY’ers masked with a generous smearing of joint compound all over to give it a German schmear look.
But I still felt like they had too much of a fake brick wall look.
How do you make a realistic faux brick wall?
I wanted a more realistic look and color to my wall, so I turned to looking at real exposed brick examples to give me some ideas. And I fell in love with the look of sandy pieced plaster all over the walls. And I had a lightbulb moment!
Why not try out some of the premixed mortar I had from our grout repair project to see if it might hold up?
Now all that was left was to snag those brick panels up from Home Depot. But before I did, I popped into our local Menards, just to see if they had any brick panels in stock.
To my surprise, they had a ton of different color options. And I knew I found the one for this project!
Isn’t that color gorgeous? Yeah, a little pinkish, but we can tone that down.
Ready to see how I turned this
It really was an easy DIY project!
- Faux brick panels *I used one full panel for this project
- Liquid nails
- Premixed grout/mortar in a white color
- White paint *optional
- Brad Nailer
- Small putty knife
- Circular saw
- Stud finder
- Paint brush (if choosing to paint)
Step 1 – Measure and cut your faux brick paneling
The first thing you want to do is measure the width and height of your wall where you’ll be applying paneling.
Since I was only going to be paneling this small wall nook, I only needed to trim down the height and width of my board.
I clamped a metal guide to my board to allow for a perfectly straight cut, and used my new Rotorazor to trim the sides, I love this little tool because it’s basically a mini circular saw and super easy for me to use.
If you plan to join two or more panels together, it’s a good idea to cut out around each brick where the two panels will meet. It’s a little time consuming, and I would recommend using a multi-tool to make it easier on yourself, but the extra cuts will pay off in the long run.
This way you don’t have any half-brick pieces, which by the way would scream faux. But also, it helps the panel seams become a lot more invisible since they won’t be one straight line.
Once you have your panel trimmed down, you’ll want to dry fit it to your wall to make sure it fits properly. Like most homes, my walls weren’t square, so I had to trim down the side of my board at an angle due to the top of my wall being wider than the bottom.
In my case I ended up cutting just a bit too much off leaving this gap, which really annoyed me, but I can always fill it.
Lesson learned. Measure twice cut once.
Step 2 – Attach your faux brick panel
The next step is to attach your faux brock panel to your drywall.
I used my go to adhesive, liquid nails, and applied a generous amount all over the back of my faux brick panel. I attached it to the wall, making sure to press firmly against the wall to ensure a good grip.
Next, I used my nail gun to secure it to the wall in each of the corners as well as along the sides.
These faux brick panels really aren’t that heavy, and unless you plan to install load bearing hooks onto your brick wall, then you don’t need to worry about securing it into any studs.
But if you choose to, you can always cover any visible nail holes during the finishing steps.
Step 3 – Apply Your Wall Texture
This was the magical fun part, but also extremely messy.
I would strongly encourage you to protect your floor by taping it off and securing a plastic tarp or trash bags to catch the fallen mess. There will be plenty. But oh, so worth it, I promise!
Working in small sections, I used a small putty knife and scooped up generous amounts of mortar mix. Then, I applied it to the wall, simply smearing it on in no particular direction.
It’s going to look thick, and that’s ok.
Next, you’ll use your hand to smooth out the mortar spreading it farther across your panel to thin it out. You want a mix of sheer and heavy coverage for a more realist look, so have fun with it and don’t give it too much thought.
Make sure that you’re applying it all over the panel, including the existing faux grout lines.
If there are areas that need a bit more coverage, you can always go over it again later.
I would recommend allowing your first coat to dry completely for a few hours before applying anything additional. This will help prevent any of your texture from flaking and falling off.
Step 4 – Caulk Your Seams
Since I was going to be using a sanded grout/ mortar mix for the finishing touches, I used a spare tube of sanded bathroom caulk that I had on hand to help blend the texture.
I caulked along both sides of the entire wall, as well as the top and bottom to fill in any slight gaps.
For some of the wider areas I had to go over it a few times, but it dried fairly quickly, so there wasn’t much down time before I could move on to the finishing touches.
Step 5 – Finishing touches
After the texture has had a chance to dry, you might find that you need to blend in some of your seams or caulk lines.
If this is the case, simply repeat the process of applying your mortar in smaller sections, taking the time to fill in gaps, nail holes and brick pattern seams.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to seal the brick wall?
This is completely a personal preference. Initially, I had planned to seal the wall because I didn’t want any of the dried sandy mortar falling to the ground everywhere.
But after living it with it unsealed for a week (out of pure laziness I should point out) I realized that it probably wasn’t necessary unless it was going in a high traffic area.
I could see where lots of touching or brushing up against it could cause some issues. But it hasn’t been a problem for us.
If I were going to choose an option to seal it, I would likely go with a very matte polyacrylic solution to avoid any sheen.
And to apply it, you could use a soft bristle paint brush to go over the surface of your faux brick panels.
Try it out!
What do you think? Would you make your own faux brick wall? Be sure to check out the rest of this budget hallway design and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. And don’t forget to PIN this project for later!