Are you looking to add some texture and interest to a boring wall in your home without breaking the bank? A DIY faux brick wall is a great solution. In this post, I’m going to guide you through the process of creating your own faux brick wall with joint compound, step by step!
The real secret here is the supplies. There are plenty of tutorials on using brick tiles or even faux brick panels. But today I’m going to show you how to create a fully customizable DIY faux brick wall using just joint compound and painter’s tape.
Not only is joint compound the most affordable alternative to a real brick wall, but it also gives you the flexibility to customize the look of your wall in a variety of ways.
Materials You’ll Need
The first thing you’ll need to do is gather your supplies.
Supplies to Build the Wall
How much joint compound you need will depend on your space and how thick you want the bricks to end up. I purchased the 4.5-gallon container and still have 3/4 of the container left for other projects. You could also potentially mix your own to save even more money on the project.
Supplies for Painting
Episode 1 and 2: Faux Brick Wall
Watch this on Youtube:
Watch this on Youtube:
Step One – Creating a Brick Template
You could be very precise when doing this process and use a laser level to map your brick pattern out perfectly. I have chosen to embrace the flaws and unevenness of all walls and go with the flow. The organic appearance of the bricks makes it work out well, in my opinion.
Plus, it’s just easier and less time-consuming.
Create a Brick Template
So, my first step was to create a brick template out of cardboard. I chose to use about the same size of brick tiles sold at Home Depot.
7 1/2″ x 2 1/4″
It is not perfectly square, I wasn’t going for perfection. I wanted a more authentic look of a handmade brick wall, which would not have been perfect. It gives it more of an old-world feel to me.
And when the wall is done you can’t tell.
Step Two- Mapping Out Your Brick Pattern
I chose to do this process in the easiest way possible and I think it turned out beautiful. So, don’t be afraid you’ll mess it up. I wasn’t out for perfection and you shouldn’t be either.
Taping Off the Trim
Use the .94″ painter’s tape to tape around your trim and any area you don’t want the joint compound to get on.
This is actually the reason why I chose to install the new farmhouse-style trim first instead of having to install trim on top of the faux brick.
The tape just ensures I didn’t get joint compound all over it. I also taped off the edges of the other walls I wasn’t making brick on.
Painter’s Tape on the Wall
- Use the .70″ Painter’s tape to create your brick pattern on the wall. Also, start at the top and work your way down.
- Having small bits of brick left over at the base is better than by the ceiling.
- The first row I started from the corner of the wall. And worked left to right.
- Then the second row I started from the opposite side. In the same way, I lay my shiplap walls.
Note: You want overlapping tape at the ends of walls, etc. This will make it a lot easier to pull the tape off when it’s covered in the wet joint compound at the end. You don’t want to have to dig around to find it as that would mess up your bricks.
Step Three – Applying the Joint Compound
This part of the process is actually cathartic and extremely simple. The basics are to apply a thin coat of joint compound to an entire area. Then scrap it off the painter’s tape in between. The less joint compound there is on the tape, the less the mess.
Also, this process gives the top of the “brick texture” by scraping the putty knife across the surface lightly and dragging it.
Trying Different Approaches
I wasn’t sure how to approach this part of the process at first, so it was literally an experiment.
At first, I started just applying the joint compound in a large area.
Then I tried just getting the joint compound in the “brick” area.
Ultimately I chose the application process below. I think it is the most efficient process and achieves a really authentic look of brick.
The Application Process
- Apply a thin coat of joint compound to an entire area.
- You want to apply enough to completely cover the painter’s tape.
- How much you apply is up to you. I wanted a thicker brick sticking out from the wall vs more flush with the wall texture.
Step Four – Creating the “Brick” with Your Putty Knife
This could be completely extra depending on how brick-like you want your finished outcome. I found the texture this technique added to the front of the bricks was definitely worth the additional effort.
It also made less of a mess, created less waste, and contributed to the overall results.
Ultimately the painter’s tape will create the brick outline, but to create the brick appearance follow this simple technique.
Creating the Brick
- After applying the joint compound to a section come back through and lightly scrape the joint compound off of the tape in between each brick.
- Start at the top of the tape, and lightly scrape down until you find the bottom of it.
- Lift up the putty knife somewhat and round off the top of the brick and scrape over the top of it until you reach the next piece of tape.
Word of Caution: Don’t apply too much pressure when scraping the joint compound off of the tape. You could inadvertently cause the tape to lift up off of the wall. I caught myself a couple of times, but it turned out fine in the end.
Step Five – Removing the Painter’s Tape
Once your wall is completely covered in the joint compound, the tape has been scraped, and the texture is on the bricks, it’s time to remove the painter’s tape.
Note: It’s extremely important to remove it before the joint compound dries. Once the joint compound dries, the tape will be really stuck and you could cause quite a bit of damage.
So although removing the tape while it’s wet makes a mess, it’s a mess with a purpose.
Tips for Removing the Tape
- Have a large trash can available to just throw the joint compound-covered tape in as you go.
- It’s all connected so once you start pulling a lot more will come than you’re expecting.
- Expect to get messy, wear clothing you don’t mind getting messed up.
- You may have pieces of tape fall and get stuck on the wet joint compound. But it’s ok, just take your putty knife and lightly scrape it smooth.
Note: The joint compound will take at least 24-48 hours to dry. This will depend highly on the moisture in the air, the temperature of the room, and how thick you made your bricks. You will know it’s dry when it has changed colors completely to a more washed-out look.
As a part of the natural drying process, the joint compound will crack. I chose to leave the cracks as they just made it look like more authentic handmade bricks in my opinion.
But you can also fix the cracks by simply using your finger to cover them with fresh joint compound. However, this will also make for a longer dry time before you can move on to the next step.
Step Six – Sanding the Bricks to Create Authentic an Old-World Look
When your joint compound bricks dry they will have rough edges. If you don’t mind this you can skip this entire step and move to the top coat (or paint).
I, however, didn’t like this look and felt like the rough edges would break off into the paint. So, I chose to sand them all down using 220-grit sandpaper.
Sanding the Bricks
It really doesn’t take much. The joint compound is very fine and smoothes out very easily with a few swipes.
I used my hand to feel along the tops of the bricks and lightly smooth that as well. Just lightly.
This process took about an hour and created quite a mess. You will have to sweep the walls and vacuum them to get all the fine dust off before you move on.
Note: Make sure you have good airflow or use a mask. The fine dust is really not great for breathing.
Additional Notes: Joint compound is water soluble, which means it washes off of any surface. For this reason, clean-up is super simple. Nothing is ruined, even clothing covered in it. Just wash it.
It is also the reason it’s extremely important to give the faux brick wall a top coat of some sort, be it paint or something else you devise. I chose to paint my wall as the texture was the only thing I was interested in.
Step Seven – Painting the Faux Brick Wall
This part is when my entry really started to take shape. I love painting for that very reason. If you’re not familiar with the best ways to paint I actually have a post going into pretty great detail on how to paint like a pro.
Simple Steps to Efficiently Paint a wall
- Use painter’s tape to tape off any surfaces you don’t want to get paint on like around doors and the flooring.
- Then start by painting the trim and edges first.
- Then go in with your roller. I find loading your roller up really well is a great way to get into all the crevices of the faux bricks the first time. But watch for drips.
- I did a total of 2 paint coats using Behr paint and primer in one. The color I chose was a color match with Benjamin Moore White Dove.
- Let it dry for about 1 hour in between each coat.
If you follow efficiency rules for painting you can easily paint even a very large room in a single day.
Other Options for Building a Faux Brick Wall
Faux Brick Panels
Using faux brick panels is a popular way to achieve the look of an interior brick wall. The only downfall to them is the need for power tools and the cost, and in the end, they’re harder to look realistic. Unless you also do a faux german smear technique.
However, the pro to this technique is they have brick coloring you may be wanting to achieve.
Supplies Required to Use Faux Brick Panels
You can find all of the supplies you need at your local Home Depot and many are also available online for convenience.
- Faux Brick Panels
- Construction Adhesive
- Brad Nailer + 18 gauge Brad Nails
- Circular Saw or Table Saw
- Stud Finder
- Tape Measure
- Joint Compound
- 2″ Paintbrush
- Large Putty Knife and Small Putty Knife
- Paper Towels
- Wet Rag
Using a Sponge Stencil to Create Faux Brick
Another fun way to create a fake brick wall look would be to create a sponge stencil out of Sea Sponge and use acrylic paints to create the look of bricks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Overall, creating a DIY faux brick wall using joint compound is a simple and fun project that can give you the look of a real brick wall without the cost or hassle of actual brick. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can transform a boring wall in your home into a fun accent wall that will add character and interest to your space.
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope I have inspired you to try this fun project and add a little bit of charm and a sense of history to a boring wall.
Meet the Author
Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→