I love exposed brick!
Especially when it's in an old home and found in an expected place. Something about
it seems so warm and cozy to me, even if it's found in an industrial space.
Warms it right up! It has a history. And if that brick is showing wear,
or the remnants of old plaster then even better.
What if you don't have any brick walls hanging around in your home and crave
some architectural interest? Create some! The exposed brick look can be created
so easily and is just as perfect as a wall as it is a fireplace or chimney. A brick
wall in your entryway or hallway would be just as enchanting.
I'm in the process of making over our guest room and doing a shiplap look (that post to come later). As you will see in the photos, there is an odd "bump out" in the middle of a wall where our furnace vents run up to the roof. In my original design it was going to be done in the same shiplap look as the rest of the room, but once the faux chimney idea came to me I was so glad I hadn't gotten to it yet with the wood.
The first step was to run to Home Depot and buy a sheet of faux brick paneling. I lucked out by getting the VERY LAST ONE! More than likely it was still there because it had some damage, but who cares about that when you plan to cover it in joint compound, right? It also meant it was half price due to the damaged area. Even better!
I used a jigsaw to make the necessary cuts, and applied the paneling with a nail gun. You can also use construction adhesive, however I didn't want to damage the plaster should I
decide to ever remove it....as if!
That completed the first step.
Now to create the old plaster "German Schmear" look. I just used what I had on hand, which was about half of a bucket of joint compound that was left over from the bathroom remodel. Perfect!
I grabbed two different trowel sizes, but found that I preferred the smaller size to apply and "smear", then followed with the larger one to knock down some of the roughness and
give a dragged look to some areas. And in case you were wondering, yes those are my pajamas and slippers. I tend to jump into things right after my morning coffee and news... then sort of
forget to get dressed, or brush my teeth for that matter.
Here is where I suggest you take a step back. When you're working up close it's hard to see the big picture. Step away and see if you're loving it. I decided I liked that it was inconsistent. Heavier with more coverage in some areas, and thinner in others. YOU CAN'T GO WRONG HERE! Because guess what? It's water soluble! At this point you could even take a damp rag and start wiping away areas if you want more exposure. Or do as I did and wait until
was was nearly dry and "scrape & chip" away areas. Between water and scraping you have
plenty of opportunities to play around, and of course can always go heavier if
you want a very plastered look.
Once my chimney was almost dry I decided to scrape some away and reveal more brick to let a little color show through. If you did this and didn't like it you can just as easily add more. The only step left to do after it's cured overnight is to very lightly sand off any places that are rough
and wipe down with a damp cloth.
I absolutely love it! It looks as though we really did discover the brick chimney behind our plaster walls. Now back to finishing up the bedroom makeover and get that shiplap painted!
Who Am I?
I've tried it all...hair stylist/faux painter/stay at home mom/jewelry artist/late in life college student/retail shop owner/design consultant/home stager. Through it all I've loved doing home renovations, DIY and thrifting.