DIY Faux German Schmear Brick Column

Yes, to answer your question, my hubby DID think I was crazy when I said I wanted to slap some grout on our wall to simulate brick.

Anyway…..

I think this faux brick is a showstopper! My eyes are instantly drawn to it when I enter the room. Bonus points– 99% of my guests ask to touch it and proceed to say “Wow, is that real?!” BOOM. Instant character.

Here it is next to our shiplap bar *heart eyes*

Here are the materials you'll need: 

  1. Brick paneling from Home Depot (I purchased the 1/4in X 48in X 96in Kingston brick)
  2. Table saw (or some other means of cutting the paneling)
  3. Nail gun
  4. Paint colors of your choice + brushes (my recommendations below!)
  5. Painters tape
  6. Drop cloth (to catch the huge mess you WILL make. Trust me)
  7. Any ol’ rag lying around your house (that you don’t mind trashing afterwards)
  8. Sanded grout in the shade “Alabaster”
  9. Joint compound
  10. Chisel scraper
  11. Dixie Bell wax in the shade “brown” with a stippling brush

First, you gotta get that brick paneling cut to fit your space. The best way I can describe this is it feels like compressed cardboard, so it wasn’t very difficult to cut.

And if your wall is taller than what the sheet comes in (like mine in the photo), no worries! Another piece can be cut and nailed right underneath. You won’t be able to see the seam because we’re going to cover it up anyway.

Dixie Belle paint in:
Mud Puddle, Drop Cloth, and Driftwood

I love this paint! This combination was perfect for the vision I had for this wall. If you want a dirtier, even more rustic looking brick than my end result, I would scratch the “drop cloth” shade and go for an even darker brown than “mud puddle.”

Tape off the surrounding wall and get to work! Go ahead and lay your drop cloth down, too.

Here’s a win: there’s nothing precise about this AT ALL. Slap that paint on wherever your faux-brick-lovin’ heart desires. Put less paint if you want more exposed red.

Pro tip: work in small sections! You don’t want the paint to dry too quickly (which is exactly why I stopped and took pictures, right? Ha!).

See, I told you to throw caution to the wind.

Now use your wash cloth and mix it all up! I wanted the brick to be predominantly white, so I went back and added more where I wanted it.

Give the paint about 30 minutes to dry before you move on to the next step.

Next step: joint compound. Here is the brand I used.

Now. Joint compound. If you just said to yourself “What the heck is a joint compound?” don’t worry. So did I. To be honest, I still don’t know its real purpose. But darn it, it really made my faux brick wall come together.

The little tan cups in the photo above are from Home Depot. They were a little more than a dollar, and I used them to scoop my joint compound into. Not a necessary supply, but a convenient one. You could also totally use a red solo cup. You do you boo.

Now take your scraper and go to town! GASP! IT’S PINK! No worries. It dries white!

Again, there’s no rhyme or reason to this part. You just slap it on there wherever you want texture. I ended up going back several times with the joint compound because I really wanted this to look like a crumbly, super textured wall.

Let this dry for an hour before you move on to the grout.

Alas, I have no photos of the grout stage. To be honest, it was frustrating me and it took a while to get it right. But once I did, SO WORTH IT.

Be patient with yourself and step back when you need to!

I used the same scraper to apply the grout. I just scooped some of it out and covered all the gray “grout” lines on the paneling. It was thicker in some places than others to keep with the authenticity theme of real brick.

I would do about 3 rows of grout at a time, and then go back and use my finger to make “grout lines.” It’s what gives each brick definition. You could also use the end of a spoon if you don’t want to get messy (er).

Finally, seal the deal with your Dixie Bell wax! I 100% forgot to buy a stippling brush at the craft store, so I grabbed an old makeup brush that I once applied foundation with #whateverworks

The dark spots you see in the photo above are where I stippled on the wax. A little goes a LONG way, so start small!

In summary, 95% of this project was smearing things on and hoping for the best.

So on that note, thank you for reading my first blog post. As you can see, I am clearly a professional.

For best results, head on over to my instagram! I put together a story highlight for people who are more visual. I hope that when they’re used together, these resources will make it easy for you to have a faux brick wall of your own. Reach out to me at any time if you are stuck or have a question!

If you end up trying out this project, I’d love to see it! Tag me on instagram @olivebranchcottage.

Happy DIY’ing!

-M

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I'm always finding new ways to give my home a farmhouse, vintage feel. Follow along with me for ideas, and to share YOUR ideas with me!

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