Thursday, November 15, 2012

{Faux} Brick Wall

AKA: The {Faux} Brick Wall that Almost Broke My Boob...Seriously.

So, if you have read my posts about my bench and hutch makeovers, you've probably noticed something about the background , which is that there appears to be a brick wall behind them.

It's actually a faux brick wall that I created after I was inspired by another blogger, Brooke at All Things Thrifty.

The thing is, I have always wanted a brick wall in my house, especially aged brick. I just love that look and style. However, there is a slight problem 1. The thin interior bricks that are used to create brick walls in houses are for, like, rich people and last time I checked we hadn't won the PCH, yet. and 2. We are still technically renting so it would be really dumb to do something that expensive.

Anyway, One day as I was trying to come up with an idea for the living room wall, (which is the first thing you see when you walk in the door, so it I wanted it to be unique and interesting) I decided maybe I could do some sort of faux brick look on the wall. I had a friend who had built an adorable "firehouse" in the area under her basement stairs and created a faux brick effect with spackle and painters tape.We decided to try it behind our faux fireplace first, before we attacked the entire wall and ended up regretting it.

After several hours of taping off the "bricks", which took forever because we had to cut the tape in half lengthwise in order to keep the "grout lines" between the brick thin enough to be realistic, 

I was all:

"This sucks!"

So, I decided that maybe I would just figure out how to faux paint brick on the wall with a sponge or something, but as I looked through pictures of walls that were faux painted on the web, they just didn't seem very realistic and I wasn't sure I would be able to create that "aged look" that I was wanting. Almost ready to give  up, I went ahead and searched for "faux brick wall" on Google images, hoping another option would come up. One of the images that popped up was from the blog All Things Thrifty (which is now one of my favorite-ist DIY blogs). Brooke, the blog owner, had created her awesome faux brick wall above a planter shelf with paneling. You can see her post (and tutorial) by going here. After reading it, I was inspired to make my own out of the same UGLY ASS faux-brick paneling at Lowe's that she used.

I convinced Studly that this would be a great and fun bonding experience (and I probably promised him some hanky-panky) and off we went to Lowe's. Actually, we had to borrow a friend's truck first because the panels wouldn't fit in our Pilot and they are a little tricky to have the wonderful people at Lowes cut down because of the design.

Oh, let me go off track for a bit and tell you the story within a story, the inspiration for the title of this post, which is the near death experience that my right boob had when we were getting the panels into the back of the truck.

It goes like this: 

Studly: Hey, babe can you get into the back and hand me that tube of bungees?

Me: sure!

... and then wanting to look cool and athletic, I climbed up on the tire and then used it for a launching pad  to reach over the side and into the bed of the truck to get the bungee's.

Only I didn't quite make it.

Instead, I landed with a WOMP! The rail of the truck struck me right in the center of my beloved (and expensive, silicone) boobie. I jumped off the truck immediately and curled into a fetal position in pain while wondering if the warrantee on the implants covered stupidity.

But, I was no sissy. I was tough, right? (not really, but I acted sort of like it and complained very little...very little for me, anyway) so we moved on.and despite my mishap, we finished loading the panels (well, Studly finished loading them anyway), headed home and got started.

Okay now that we're back on track, here's how we "built" our brick wall:

Once we arrived at home, we laid the panels out on the grass to make sure we matched the pattern up correctly:

and then Studly started trimming them to fit the wall:

We started trimming them outside, but  it got to be pretty late and so we cut the rest of them in the house in order to not piss off our neighbors.. It left a little bit of a mess....but, that's what shop vacs are for, right?

After we had them up on the wall via finishing nails and liquid nails, I started painting the grout lines just like Brooke did when she did hers. I used plain white latex paint.

Then I started practicing how I wanted to paint the "brick" on some extra pieces of paneling.

I ended  up dry brushing the brick with white paint, trying to make it uneven just like an aged wall would look. I sanded it in some places in order to add to that effect. I also took some Fast N' Final lightweight DAP spackle and smeared it randomly on the wall. Since it was closer up than Brooke's was I thought it might look "too fake" without the extra texture. I also used extra caulk to hide the seams from putting the panels on the wall since we had to use three of them.

Here's a closer look, where you can sort of see how the spackle adds to the texture:

...and we only had one mishap (besides my nearly broken boob) in the form of our German Shepherd who strolled into the room and stepped right into the paint tray when I wasn't looking. Luckily, I panicked and called my dad who told me what to do acted fast and it didn't stain the carpet, phew! Although, the dog wasn't so lucky she had paint on her paws for a few more days.

Surprisingly, it was a really easy project...and if I think it's easy. Then, it's gotta be really easy for the average person.

Project Breakdown:
Faux Brick Panels "Gaslight Brick": $78 ( 3 @ $26 ea) from Lowe's
White Latex Paint: already had it
DAP Fast N' Final Lightweight Spackle: $5
Total: approx $83

Love ya!