Let’s chat about Brick, specifically, faux brick walls with a german schmear look.
It’s a very popular feature that some homes are lucky enough to come with. I love how it adds so much texture and character to a space.
The house we recently moved into was a cookie cutter new build that was screaming for some custom character. I had seen these faux brick wall ideas everywhere and I knew I had to try it!
My original idea was to do this faux brick german schmear in my laundry room, but I wanted to test it out first. The walls surrounding my living room were perfect testers. The above picture is my friend’s fireplace.
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All The Ways To Make German Schmear on Faux Brick
There are a couple different ways to make a german schmear faux brick wall in your home. In this post we will talk about 2 different ways: Faux Brick Wall Panels and Joint Compound and Faux Brick Wall Made with Joint Compound with a White Wash
Faux Brick Panels
These faux brick wall panels from home depot come in 4×8 sheets for just under $45 a sheet. Not the cheapest, but if you only need a few brick panels, it can be done for under $150 which is very reasonable for adding faux brick to an entire wall.
This was my inspiration picture from pinterest, but it is from the laundry room at the Itty Bitty Farmhouse.
Instead of butting the panels right up next to each other, use a jigsaw and cut the faux brick panels along the edges so the faux brick panels are interlocking. You’ll also need:
Supplies for Faux Brick Wall Panel Application
German Schmear Application
Installation of Faux Brick Panels
Lay out the faux brick panels with the interlocking cuts you’ve already done. Make sure they fit well, if not make the adjustments before gluing them to the wall.
Now, I am a perpetual mind changer, so I would skip liquid nails and just nail the crap out of these brick panels to secure them firmly to the wall. But if you want to make this faux brick wall last forever, apply some liquid nails to the back and along the edges.
Before installing your faux brick panel, find the studs and use painters tape to mark their location along the floor. Take your level and draw level plumb lines along the side and top of the wall.
Line up with the edges of your brick panels with these lines and make sure the faux brick panels are level. With the help of another person, lift the brick panel and press it firmly to the wall.
Grab the 18 gauge brad nailer and 1 1/2 brad nails and place nails directly into the studs and along all the edges, especially if you didn’t use liquid nails. Repeat with all of your faux brick panels.
Applying German Schmear
Your faux brick panels are on the wall, now it’s time for the fun part, making the faux brick wall german schmear look. Start with joint compound. It’s easiest to get the pre-mixed kind and you may have to water it down slightly.
Get a putty knife and go to town. Use the plastic putty knife as not to damage the walls. Apply your “schmear” to the seams first to help them blend in and then start squishing it into the grout lines of the faux bricks.
Then apply the joint compound over the faux bricks. The best thing about this technique is it is very forgiving, and can help hide any mistakes.
How thick your application goes on is up to you. If you want to have some of the faux brick color showing through, apply it thicker in some sections and thinner in others.
If not, apply the compound all over the wall as evenly as possible until the desired coverage is reached. The important thing is to work in small sections and to work quickly before the compound dries on the faux bricks.
*Optional Extra Step: Take a Damp Sponge right after you finish the application of the german schmear to the faux brick wall panels and smooth out the compound all over the wall. It eliminates the need to sand the brick walls and the cleanup that goes with that. This is also good if you applied too much in a certain area, use the sponge to wipe some away.*
Sealing the Faux Brick Panels
Lastly, it is best if you seal the faux brick wall. Use a polycrylic in a matte finish to keep the look of real brick.
Just take a roller and apply it evenly all over the brick wall. It keeps the compound on the brick from yellowing and makes the walls not feel tacky, but smooth.
Caulk the edges that meet the wall in the corner and along the ceiling. If you apply a baseboard over the brick, caulk along the top of the baseboard where it meets the faux brick wall.
Enjoy your beautiful new faux brick wall!
Faux Bricks Made From Joint Compound and White Washed
This is the technique I used in my home. It is the cheapest option of the 3, and the most beginner friendly, but very time consuming. Everything can be purchased at Walmart, for under $50.
Step 1: Supplies For Faux Brick Wall with Joint Compound
Now that I had my location for my brick wall, I needed to gather my supplies:
- Joint compound
- Masking Tape
- Paint-I used acrylic paints
- Putty Knife
- White Chalk Paint
- Ladder or step-stool (depending on the height of the your wall)
Step 2: Determine Faux Brick Size
My house has brick on my fireplace and I knew I wanted to create some symmetry between the brick features. The bricks were about 7 inches wide and about 3 inches tall and staggered underneath a vertical row at the top.
I used the pencil to start drawing out a guide where the tape should go.
Step 3: Drawing & Taping the Guide for the Faux Brick Wall
To make my pattern, I started at the top of my wall and measured horizontally every 3 inches. I marked them then used my level to draw the lines all the way across the wall.
Before moving onto the next pencil line, I would run a piece of masking tape matching the top edge of the tape with the drawn line. Repeat all the way down your wall.
Next, I measured the individual bricks by making vertical tick marks in between my horizontal lines. I wanted them to be 7 inches wide. I measured 7 inches from one edge and drew my tick mark.
Then I took my 2 ft level and drew tick marks in between every other line to make my layered brick look. After drawing the first row, I taped over the line just as I did with the horizontal lines.
Repeat al the way down the wall and across each row.
Note the little tags on the far left hanging off the corner of the wall. I left the tape this way for easy removal.
Step 4: Making Faux Bricks with Joint Compound
Once you have taped your entire wall, its time for joint compound. Use the putty knife to apply joint compound to the entire wall, working in small sections.
When applying the joint compound, smooth the joint compound in different directions making texture for the faux brick.
I did about a third of my wall and paused to peel off the tape.
This is where the tags come in as mentioned above. Grab those and pull of the tape gently.
Peel the tape before the joint compound drys completely. Once the entire wall is covered, let dry for 24 hours.
Step 5: Paint for the Faux Brick Wall
If you started with a white wall, then start painting your individual faux bricks on the wall. I started with a gray wall, so I first painted everything on the faux brick wall white. Where the tape was removed is the grout color and I wanted this to be white.
Take a crafting paint brush, and paint each brick. I wanted mine to have a weathered look, so painted them lightly and not completely.
Once all the faux bricks are painted, take the white chalk paint and add some water to create a faux brick german schmear look.
The paint should have a milk like consistency. Paint over all the faux bricks to the desired coverage (mostly cover color of bricks, some, hardly any, etc). I wanted the brown to show through so I painted a light wash.
Any one of these methods to complete a Faux Brick Wall German Schmear Effect will look wonderful in your home. Which one you choose depends on your tool collection and your budget. Things to remember:
Faux brick panels cut them in interlocking edges to fit together seamlessly, don’t use fast drying compound for german schmear application, use a plastic putty knife not a metal one, work in small sections, and caulk the edges and corners.
Faux brick wall made with joint compound is the cheapest option, but possible the most time consuming. White wash or lime wash can give the same faux german schmear look on the faux brick.