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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.
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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.
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.
You’ll need plenty of ventilation for this project. To save time, position a fan to dry the wall after cleaning and painting.
Apply a base coat (Thunder Clap shown) and let dry overnight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To capture the painted brick look on a small scale, cut the faux brick panels to fit the back of a bookshelf.