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Paint a Faux-Brick Wall

You don’t need real bricks for the look of a painted brick wall. Just apply the same painting technique to any faux brick surface.

Painted faux-brick wall.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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This technique can be used on a real brick surface, the brick pattern used on some poured concrete foundations, or as shown here, on faux brick hardboard panels. Before painting panels, caulk the seams without leaving caulk on the surface and fill any nail holes.

Step 1

Thoroughly wash the faux brick surface and let it dry completely. Use masking tape and drop cloths to protect any areas you don’t want to paint. Also, remove or cover any outlet and switch plates.

Good to Know

You’ll need plenty of ventilation for this project. To save time, position a fan to dry the wall after cleaning and painting.

Step 2

Roll on a base coat of paint.

Apply a base coat (Thunder Clap shown) and let dry overnight.

Good to Know

A roller with a short nap will handle the shallow embossing on a brick panel. For a brick-pattern poured concrete wall, you may need to use a roller cover with a 1/2-inch nap or longer.

Step 3

Mix three parts of the top-coat paint (Pussywillow shown) to three parts Floetrol conditioner, and one part water. (For a single 4-foot x 8-foot section, each part can equal 1/4 cup.) Prepare a large sponge by soaking it in water and wringing it out until it’s moist but not dripping.

Step 4

Sponge on the top coat.

Starting at the top of the wall, sponge on the paint mixture in broad, circular motions for a slightly mottled look. If necessary, remove some of the paint with the back of the sponge. Remove all of the painter’s tape, and allow the top coat to dry overnight.

Good to Know

As one sponge becomes saturated with paint, switch to the second moistened sponge. Have a helper clean the first one before the paint has a chance to harden on the outside.

Step 5

Sand the painted surface for a distressed finish.

Sand the surface with a 120-grit sanding sponge just enough to reveal some of the original brick color for a distressed look. Then wipe the surface clean.

Good to Know

To capture the painted brick look on a small scale, cut the faux brick panels to fit the back of a bookshelf.

Find more ideas for painting brick surfaces or creating unique accent walls: