First, find a picture of a brick wall that you like, so you'll have a solid color reference. (Pinterest is great for this.) Here's my inspiration photo:
And here's my finished brick:
So let's get to it!
You Will Need:
4 colors of paint:
- the grout color (I used a creamy off-white)
- 2 complementary brick colors, one about 2 shades darker than the other
- the "dirt" color - a grungy dark brown or gray
Note: Make sure your brick colors are much lighter & brighter than you want the end product to look, since we're going to grunge them up a LOT. If you're unsure, this is where sample boards help!
For tools, you'll need all the usual supplies for painting a room: rollers, brushes, painter's tape, drop cloths, etc., but also, and most importantly:
- A small, flat-edged foam roller and frame, like this:
Make sure your roller has that sharp, flat edge; the rounded edge rollers won't let you get into the corners and up against the trim, which is verrrry important.
- And a cheap chip brush (pictured above) or any other brush that has extremely stiff bristles.
Now, LET'S PAINT.
To my knowledge there's only one kind of brick paneling out there, and this is it. Great quality, very convincing texture, and SUPER dark. (We found ours at Lowe's for about $26 per sheet.)
Step 1) Paint your brick or brick paneling the grout color. Yes, all of the brick. But don't worry about doing a second coat; this finish WANTS to look imperfect and grungy. So embrace the grunge, my friends. EMBRACE IT.
Ta-da! Grout colored walls.
Step 2) Use your handy-dandy foam roller to LIGHTLY roll the walls with the lighter of your brick colors. Since you only want the bricks themselves to catch the color, NOT the grout, roll in diagonal lines, not up-and-down or side-to-side. And only load your roller with a little paint at a time.
Your coverage won't be even close to perfect, and again, that's ok. Embraaaace the gruuuunge!
Step 3) Randomly paint individual bricks with your darker brick color. You can do this with your little foam roller, or paint them in with a brush. Either way.
(Sorry for the terrible cellphone pics, btw; I didn't think about writing up a tutorial while we were doing this!)
Now, are you ready... FOR THE MAGIC?!
Step 4) This is the most important step, so here's where you'll want to spend most of your time. That said, it's ridiculously fast and easy; in essence, you're just repeating Step 2, only with the "dirt" paint color. A few tips, though:
- Load your foam roller with the dark paint, and then roll it out on a scrap piece of cardboard or wood several times to get most of it off again. You've heard of dry-brushing? This is "dry-rolling."
- GENTLY start rolling over a patch of bricks in several different directions, to avoid any obvious up-and-down lines. You can always add more, and a little goes a loooong way, so start out light!
- After you've rolled out a bit and your foam roller is pretty dry, go ahead and start pressing harder into those grout lines, so they pick up a little grungy magic, too.
- Get as close to the trim and corners as you can with your roller, but don't worry; you'll be coming back for those later.
- Contrast Is King, so don't be afraid of dark spots, lines, and imperfections. Trust me, that "oops" moment will probably end up your favorite!
Step 5) When all of your walls are done, it's time to go back to those corners and trim areas you couldn't quite reach with the roller. See the white line in my corner here?
This is also the time to address any paneling seams, since those can leave obvious vertical lines. Use a small artist brush and pounce on more "dirt" to help hide those lines.
I also sanded my paneling seams prior to painting, which helped a lot. Just use a little sandpaper and hit each brick that straddles the seam, since this paneling tends to have a slightly raised lip right at that edge. And if there's a gap, of course, fill that up with caulking. (Again, do this before painting. Heh.)
Step 7) Step back and enjoy the view!
I hope this was helpful, guys! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
And for my fellow pinners, here's the best "before-and-after" shot I could come up with:
Come see ALL of my craft projects on one page, right here!