I finally have decided what my favorite project has been so far in our house. My brick wall! I seriously am in love with it. It makes the biggest difference in our living room/ kitchen and even though it wasn’t super cheap to do it, it was totally worth it. I started the project Friday morning at 8:00 am and finished Saturday afternoon around 4:30 pm. All though I took a couple breaks here and there plus a long break to sleep, I pretty much worked the entire time while watching netflix. I have been asked by so many people how I did my wall and if I can come to their house and do it for them 🙂 All though I would love to come and do it at everyone’s house because I think it looks awesome, I know some people out there can DIY themselves! If not, just call me 🙂 This project takes a lot of time and patience but in the end is totally worth it! Here we go!
Little warning though, this blog is long. Like really long. But I waned to make sure that if anyone wanted to do this project they knew exactly what to do 🙂
The first thing that you are going to want to do is measure or guesstimate how much brick you are going to need. Originally, I bought some brick veneers from Lowes but ended up returning them because of how expensive they were and how much I was going to need. I researched different types of brick veneers and different companies. I ended up getting ours from Z-brick online because it was the best deal for the money. I got 33 square foot of brick veneers from them and by the end of the project had 1 full brick to spare :). I will give you a warning that the bricks might not look exactly like the picture online so if you want a better picture of the bricks you can email the company. They were so great to work with and the lady I emailed back and forth with was so helpful. The bricks got to our house within 2 weeks and shipping only cost $40; which trust me, is great for the amount of bricks I got and compared to other places. Plus, only 1 brick out of hundreds of bricks was broke upon arrival; just one, that to me is amazing.
After you order your bricks you need to get the rest of your supplies. It is super important that you get a good adhesive that will stick to your wall so that your bricks/brick adhesive have something to hold too. I looked at a bunch of different blogs and reviews and found that Omni Grip from Home Depot was the best. I got just the one gallon of it and still had about 1/4 of it left after doing my project, so it goes a long way. Liquid nail is the brick adhesive that I used to put on the back of the bricks before sticking them onto the walls. I used about a total of 8 1/2 of them for the whole project.
When it comes to grouting your bricks you are going to want to make sure that you get sanded grout. Why should you get sanded grout instead of just regular grout? Because trust me,sanded grout is way more forgiving, easier to work with and is way easier to brush off your bricks. You will see later in pictures why you will want to get sanded grout. I got PolyBlend grout from Home Depot in antique white. If you ask them for the card with all the colors on it, you will be able to see and imagine the colors better.
After you get all the big things then all you need is a sander, some gallon ziplock baggies, a bucket, a trowel, a paint brush, laser level/ruler, loose change and some old rags or towels. Now lets get started!
After you have gotten your bricks in and hopefully measure or guesstimated right on how much you needed you are going to want to make sure that your wall(s) are clean. Having dirt or dust on them will prevent the omni grip from sticking as well as it should. After cleaning you need to determine how big you want your grout to be. I knew that I wanted mine to be a bit bigger than usual so my main spacer was actually a nickel. I had Landon go through all of our change jars and pull out all of our nickels plus a couple of quarters, dimes, and pennies. The reason I decided to use loose change as my spacers is because your brick veneers are more than likely not going to be all even and perfect. I had some that were skinnier, longer and had indentions in them, therefore sometimes I would have to use a quarter instead of a nickel or a penny instead of a nickel.
I decided that I wanted to leave my base boards on, but really it is up to you. I laid my first brick right above the base board, then put a nickel above it, marked it and then moved the brick to the top of my marking and marked again. I did this all the way up my wall so that way I could see that all my bricks were going to fit and I wasn’t going to be left with a huge gap at the top. Plus I wanted to make sure I stayed even as I moved up the wall. After that is when you are going to want to get out your omni grip. This stuff is super easy to work with! After I made all my markings, I just put some of the omni grip on my trowel and smoothed it all over the wall.
I at first only did a small section to make sure that I was doing it right, but after awhile I started doing it in huge sections so that it would dry faster and I could move faster. You want to smear it all over you wall in a thin layer. You don’t have to do a super thick layer or you are going to be waiting a long time for it to dry. I started to not wait for it to dry but found out that your adhesive will stick to it way better if you let it dry. I let it dry for about 20-30 minutes and then started laying my bricks.
In order to lay your bricks on the wall you are going to need your trowel again and liquid nail. This is where your frosting cookies/ cakes skills will come in. You are going to want to do a good thick layer of the adhesive, kind of like a good frosted cookie.
After that, take your trowel and make a line in the middle of your brick so it causes it to suction to the wall. Then just press it on the wall and push on it for a couple seconds and then it’s good to go. The bottom layer will be easy because it will just rest upon your trim or floor. After that is when you are going to want to pull out your loose change!
I went in small sections and worked my way up and then out. I didn’t go all the way across the wall but instead just laid out about 4 bricks and then went up to the second row and started laying those bricks down. I took my nickels and spaced them out to the side and then spaced them out on top.
I just placed them on top of my first row brick and then let the second row brick rest on top of the nickel. After a couple bricks I really started to get in a groove and moved quickly. However, once I ran out of nickels, I had to wait for them to dry before I could take them away and re-use them somewhere else. It took about 30 minutes for the adhesive to stick to the wall good enough so I could remove the nickels without the brick sliding down the wall.After that I just started to work my way up and down the wall. When I got to our outlet on the wall I just took a hammer and chisel and chipped away at a brick till it was the perfect size to go around the outlet.
Some people used a wet saw to cut their bricks, however I didn’t have one of those so I just used the chisel and hammer. Brick veneers actually break pretty evenly if you hammer it right. Only two of my bricks out of the 50 that I chiseled broke at a different spot then I wanted them too.
After that I let my bricks dry over night and then I started the grouting processes!
Sanded grout is messy and gets everywhere so I highly advise you to lay down a big blanket or drop cloth to catch all the grout that will fall. I mixed the grout in a large bucket and then got out my zip lock baggies. I scooped about 3 large scoops in the bag and then cut out a corner of the ziplock bag and started to squeeze the grout in between the bricks.
It took some time for me to get use to this and my first section that I worked on with the grout was a real struggle. If you don’t mix your grout enough and it is too chunky or dry then it will not lay right on the wall. If you put too much water in your grout and it is too liquid-y then it wont stick to the wall and will run down the bricks. You want your grout to look like a good frosty from Wendy’s or milkshake. You want it to be thick and be able to move but not too wet. After you figure that out, you will just sit there for a while and grout. I wouldn’t mix the whole bag of grout at once because once it starts to dry it wont come out of the bag as well. I did about 3 different round of grout from one bag. That way I didn’t have to keep getting back up to add water and remix it once it started to get hard.I did the grouting in really large sections and once I used all the grout in my bucket I would stop and grab my rag and start to work with the grout.
Once the grout started to dry, I gave it about 15-20 minutes and then would use the rag to press down on the grout and really push it in the crevasses. You are going to just want to wrap your finger in a rag and press down on the rag because if you don’t use something to cover your fingers they will start to hurt from the lime and texture. Trust me, I tried my finger at first and later that day my hands hurt. After pressing the grout firmly into the crevasses, grab the back of your paint brush and start to swoop it down the lines and create that indention in the grout. After, turn your brush over and start to brush away at the grout that got on the bricks. If your grout isn’t dry enough yet then it will start to just come completely out of the wall when you start to press on it, if it does that then you need to wait longer for the grout to grab onto the omni grip and dry a little more.
Once you have done all that you can step away and start to look and see where you might need to sand some of the grout away or maybe take the back of your paint brush and re-work the grout. Once I got started and got the hang of it, it really became quit easy. It took me about a day and a half to finish the complete wall. My sweet husband and dad did come in after I had finished and touched up my grout for me because at that point I was kind of done with the grout. 🙂 I went back with some white paint, water and my paint brush and somewhat whitewashed some of the bricks to give it some variation and differentiation. It was pretty easy and really forgiving so if you want to add some color or “old timey” feel to your bricks white washing is an easy way to do it.
I have gone back with a grout sealer and started to seal the grout but it says to make sure your grout is completely dry before you start to seal it. So I have started to do that slowly.
Let me know if you have any questions! I tried to type out all my thoughts and how I did everything but a lot of it I learned while I went and kind of adjusted as I went! Landon and I seriously love it and think it has added such a difference to our kitchen and living room. Overall this project cost us close to $350 with a lot of the money going to the brick veneers. But it is totally worth it!
What you will need:
Wall adhesive- We used liquid nail from Lowes
bucket (to mix the grout)
laser level/ ruler
loose change (mostly nickels)