Our current adventure is attempting to finish Weston’s room. Yes. He is ten months old now. Up until recently we co-slept. It is not for everyone but we love the sharing until it turns into ‘my-ten-month-old-is-the-world’s-biggest-bed-hog’. It seems as if our boys turn into cover-snatching, perpendicular-laying, face-kicking sweat-factories at exactly nine months old. And so we were in a hurry to finish up the painting and get him in here ASAP.
We had already painted his room Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan Gray and then painted all the trim and ceiling. After that we decided to add an accent wall of faux brick. You can read about the installation process here.
Well, right now it looks like this…
Ignore the blankets everywhere and the ‘in-progress’ of it all.
This post is more about painting the panels than discussing my apparent lack of all organization. So the first thing you will need to know is that this was a complete learning process. I read a lot of articles and blog posts about painting real brick…but didn’t think to google how to paint fake brick. That fake word is really important. Both in watches, diamonds and panels. You see…these faux brick panels don’t absorb like real bricks do. And so it complicates things.
I started out just with a watered down version of my semi-gloss white paint. I would paint an entire section…let it dry a bit….then wipe some of it off with a dry cloth.
Then I started on the next section. See how I was basically painting squares?
First mistake. Don’t do that. It makes for really obvious painting seams.
Also, when I was doing the one-coat dry-cloth method, the cloth would leave lots of strokes…and took off more paint than I liked.
At one point I let Will participate in painting. I figured he couldn’t mess it up more than I already did.
My lens was all wrong for this photo opportunity but just look at the joy in his face. He kept on telling me that he could “paint like a big boy…all by my’s self”.
Right now he is going through his terrible three’s and he loves being in charge. And as much as I lose my patience with him or get frustrated at answering the million ‘WHY?!” each hour, he really does LOVE to help and do projects with us…which is basically the most endearing and sweetest things ever. Plus…I feel like it’s good training. One day he’s gonna have to work (like we all do) and my parents and Jeremy’s parents work like dogs and I feel like they taught Jer and I to work hard too. In fact, that is one big reason (out of the million) that I really was first attracted to my boyfriend.
So to see that trait in Will…where he asks to help and wants to ‘wok hard’….it makes my heart soar. And melt. It’s like a flying oozing mess. It’s like out of all these mistakes I make every day, this thing…this kid…he’s a good one. We, by the grace of God, are doing at least one thing right.
So after I finished that section, I realized that I was making a lot of errors and it was eating up a lot of time. And that first panel (on the far left) is way too gray…and not enough variation for my taste.
That’s when I learned the ‘hump method’. First, you want to paint a whole section and make it have humps. See how I painted the bricks to form sideways mountain peaks? Those humps help make your seams less noticeable.
So you do a coat (with humps) and let it dry. Then you do a second thin coat. Also let that dry. I found the easiest method is to do a thee foot section with one coat and then when you go back to do a second coat….continue on and make that second coat be a first coat in the next section. Does that make sense?
Then when your second coat is dry, take a DAMP rag and wipe down the bricks. It will require some arm power and some rinsing but believe me…the finish is worth it.
Okay – this is just for a teaching example…
See that top section? The first section on the left is one coat. The second section is two coats…not wiped. And beyond that is two coats wiped.
I used a cloth diaper…just one of those ones that doubles as a burp cloth. It had some gnarly stains on it and a tear already so it was the perfect absorbancy.
At certain points I would climb down and look at the whole wall to see how it was varied. If there was an overwhelming white section or gray section, I would either wipe more or add more paint to allow to dry.
It was exhausting work because the panels are rough and my upper body is weak.
Jeremy said look less like I’m gonna puke and then I said “But that’s how I kinda feel right now”. I mean seriously. This was like working out on a ladder. Not two of my favorite things buddy.
After the paint was all dry, we needed to address the crack situation. That should be the name of a rap song.
Anyhoo. The cracks between the panels were really obvious. Plus, the white paint made them even more in-your-face. I picked up some regular old white caulk and filled them all and all the screw holes.
You can still see them but they are way less obvious after the caulk. Like they always say Do your best and Caulk the rest!
We also added some cheap plastic 1 inch molding on both sides (here is the photo with it on the right side only) to make the edges look perfectly clean. The attachment was easy. A few brads in it and it was good to go. It was around $3 for a 8 foot section but personally I think the ten bucks for both sides was worth it to make it look more clean and finished.
So there you have it folks. A very white washed brick wall. Doesn’t it look like my inspiration photo from Restoration Hardware baby?
I am loving it. Like might actually kick Weston out of here and move in myself kinda love. Seriously people. I don’t mind sleeping in a crib for an accent wall. I’ve done far more for far less.
Next on the docket….a new chair…a new dresser…some curtains….maybe a bit of art?!
Update : Looking for more info on something you see in our house? We have a Shop the Bower House page with paint colors and links to accessories, furniture and decor!