How to Paint a Faux Brick Look on a Wall

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Brick inside of the home is very common along walls and around the fireplace. Faux brick, while not the real thing, is also used to mimic the brick look in areas that it isn’t feasible. If you’re looking to freshen up your faux brick, one cheap and easy way to do it is by painting. We’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to paint faux brick.

How to Paint Faux Brick

​Prep the Area

First things first, you will want to make sure the wall is clean and smooth, no dirt or grime that can get trapped below the paint. Also take the time to pull out any nails and cover electrical outlets.

Before you start painting on your bricks, you will need to tape off the trim and paint on your base mortar layer. White is a little too bright of a choice for the walls, instead opt for more of a realistic aged off white or taupe​.

Use a roller brush to quickly and effectively paint the entire wall area, the same way you would any picture frame. You can use a primer and then the base paint if necessary, or opt for an all in one prime and base paint for the mortar background color.

To make the faux bricks you will need a few items from the home improvement store:

  • Three ​Cellulose Sponges
  • ​Three various cans of brick colored paint
  • ​Four paint trays
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You will want to cut the first cellulose sponge into a rectangle shape, about 8 inches long by 3 and 5/8 inches high. This will make your main brick. You will cut the second cellulose sponge in a rectangle shape that is 4 inches long and 3 and 5/8 inches high, this will be your half brick that will play into the alternating ends.

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How to paint faux brick in your house

The third sponge is not to be cut yet. It is good to have a back up sponge in case you the two sizes you cut do not fit the wall perfectly at the end and you need to make a custom final brick that is longer or shorter.

If you want an aged looking brick then you can round the corners of the brick and add in some irregularities into the sides. You could also cut two or three different bricks sponges to give a little bit more of a different brick look to the stamps you will be making. It is up to you with how little or much you want to do. 

​Preparing Your Paint

When it comes to painting your own brick wall, you want to aim for a realistic look. Not all bricks are the same color, so how do you get that reddish terracotta color when you are learning how to paint a wall to look like brick?

A latex paint with a flat finish will give you the brick look that you are going for. Paints with high or semi gloss are too shiny for the brick finish that looks almost real enough to touch.

Your main color should be a bright or rich red, while the supporting colors should feature a rust color and the other a terracotta color.

A woman paints a faux brick fireplace

To achieve the brick fading color you will want to get one main color and two supporting paint colors.

You will want to mix each paint with an equal part ​glazing medium​. A glazing medium is a separate substance that you will add to your already mixed paint colors.

This medium will make the latex or acrylic paint more transparent and give it a subtle glazing finish. Much like the concept of a clean and shiny tile, this finish will give a visual texture to your faux bricks.

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Pour each of your paints into a separate tray without mixing any of the colors. It may seem a little too unblended, but don’t worry, we will cover in the next section how to make your paints come together to make that mixed tone brick look.

​Aside from using a cellulose sponge for application, you can also make use of the best paint sprayer for inside walls to cover the surface initially, before going in with a sponge or a roller to rough things up a bit.​

Detailed shot of a woman painting her faux brick fireplace white

Painting Faux Brick

Your wall is prepped and the base paint is dry. You have made your sponge bricks and the brick colors are mixed. Now is the time to bring your brick wall to life.

If you are nervous about how the finished brick will look, then you can practice a few times on a scrap piece of cardboard to get your rhythm down and see how the brick color turns out.

  1. ​Take the first full sized cellulose sponge and press it into the main brick color that you have chosen​.
  2. ​Pick it up and use a small paint brush to apply the two secondary brick colors and the cream colored pain in random areas on the sponge. There isn’t much technique to this process, just look at a real brick to see how the various hues bleed in and out of the main color.
  3. ​Depending on your dominate hand, begin in the upper left corner of the wall if you are right handed or start on the upper right corner if you are left hand dominant.
  4. Press the sponge into the wall like a stamp, keeping it level and even.
  5. Stamp a second brick next to it with a 3/8 inch space between them.
  6. Continue stamping like this in a straight line across your wall until you reach the end. Reload your sponge as needed
  7. Take out your half sponge and paint it like you did the large sponge.
  8. Use the half sponge to begin and end your second row, this will give your wall the uneven brick look.
  9. Continue down the entire second brick row with the full size sponge, reloading it as you start to run out of paint.
  10. ​Repeat stamping your across the wall in rows, alternating starting with the full brick sponge and the half brick sponge at the beginning of each row.
  11. Let the paint fully dry.
  12. ​Pull up your painter’s tape slowly so that you do not mess up or pull up any extra paint.
Paint chipping on a faux brick wall


Now that you know how to paint faux brick onto your wall, you can impress you friends and family while enjoying the comfort and warmth that only a brick accent wall can give to your living space.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.