Painted interior white brick wall with a faux panel

14 May 2020

So....this is what we've been working on. We're trying to finish some things in the basement and so we're adding some cabinets to the little kitchenette area and on either side of the fireplace.

I loved ^^ this photo I took at the 2018 Parade of Homes and used it as a starting point. I wanted to go lighter and brighter in the basement because it doesn't have the most light down there and the carpet is darker.

I had remembered seeing these brick panels at Lowe's and thought they might be good to use behind the floating shelves we're having installed next to the fireplace. I've also seen them at Home Depot.

This is a close up of the faux brick detail on the panel:

and what one 4X8 foot panel looks like --they are only around $30!! I could fit the panels in my Toyota Sienna minivan with the seats folded down but the panel came right to my head -- it was pretty tight.

Something you need to keep in mind is that they can only be installed this way (4ft side on top on bottom, 8ft on the sides) if you want the brick to go in the normal horizontal stacked pattern. We have almost 9 ft ceilings in the basement so we placed them on top of the baseboard and decided to add a moulding at the top so we didn't have to try to fill in a small section at the top. We just attached them with a nail gun in the "mortar" parts that lined up with the studs in the wall.

The TRICKY thing is lining the panels up. You need to make sure that if the half brick row is on the bottom then to put the half brick row on the bottom on the panel next to it.  The problem is that they are not exactly even on the bottom -- see the difference of the thickness of the black mortar at the bottom of both of these.

So I used my trusty palm sander and went to town with a coarse grit sandpaper on the bottom of the panel until it was more even and the brick lined up when I put it next to the other panel on the wall:

Then, we caulked the seam and then made some other spotches around with caulk to make it seem more like it was intended to not be perfect.

I didn't have a fancy saw to cut out the outlet and light switches so I improvised and just measured and drew the outline of the outlet with chalk on the panel and drilled a bunch of holes around the outline with the drill. Not ideal, but it worked!! Just remember when you measure to take in account of the baseboard if you are going on top of it. I measured from the ground up and ruined one whole panel!!

Then, we just primed with 2 coats of Kilz primer and then I used Sherwin-Williams Alabaster to paint over that. It's such a great white and went really well with the existing trim that was painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. We also used Alabaster in Hailey's room.  Here is what it looks like so far! I think you have to look pretty hard to find the seam. It's darker downstairs so these pictures aren't great but I wanted to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Then we caulked along the panel at the top and the edges which took some time

but we were pleased with the end result, especially at only $30 per panel. I think it would be really great as an accent wall in a girl's room too.

I'll keep you posted on progress but here we go! Let me know if you have any questions!

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