16 March 2012

Tutorial : Exposed Brick Wall

One of the great things that has come from renovating old lofts and brownstones is the design feature of an exposed brick wall, like this one.

Photographed by Michael Morcol
When I began creating my dollhouse inside a storage cabinet from Ikea, I thought it might be nice to bring this hip feature to one of the rooms.  I used cork contact paper which has an adhesive backing and canvas paper that can be fed through the ink jet printer.  First, determine the color you want for the brick and paint the cork paper.  I chose white, but shades of beige, grey or reds can also work well.  Set aside and allow the painted paper to dry.

Search the Internet for a complementary image that looks like plaster, then print it in color onto the canvas paper.  Use as many of the 8 1/2" x 11" sheets as your wall or room will require.

Image Source: www.ballarddesigns.com
Return to the painted cork paper and determine the size for each brick.  Using the grid on the back of the contact paper makes this easy.  I chose 1 x 2 cm squares for the size of my bricks and used scissors to cut them out.

Remove the backing paper and arrange the bricks on the canvas paper to lay the bricks.  Get creative here, leave openings on the canvas paper to create the illusion of decaying plaster. Use an all-purpose glue if necessary to secure the bricks.

So, at this stage I realized that my plaster is beneath the brick instead of on top of it. Ooops! I decided to minimize the plaster areas because of this fact. Next, use paint to touch up any areas of exposed cork, create the brick mortar, and a mottled effect on the bricks (if you so desire).  Finally, seal the wall with clear-coat varnish.

This wall is not as deconstructed as I envisioned.  It's a bit more like a peeling paint brick wall. But, by using materials I had in my stash, I was able to create a surface that has a lot of texture and is still fairly realistic.  Not too bad for my first time out with this technique.  Now, install your wall.  I used double-sided tape.  Decorate. Decorate. Decorate.


Pepper said...

I do like the effect. Thanks for the tut =0)

studioseven said...

Hi Pepper,
And a big THANK YOU! That Butterfly lamp is superb. I just might be able to make it without messing things up. Well, I know I can certainly pull off the lovely lampshade, at least.

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