Faux Brick Plastering Techniques
Faux brick plaster is a method of creating the look of bricks on an interior wall by using plaster. There are several ways to make faux bricks, and the way you choose often depends on the size of the wall area being bricked and the level of detail you want to bring to each brick.
Find two old combs. Tape around the end tines to make them 1/4-inch thick combined. Remove the tines for 2 1/2 inches and tape off another 1/4-inch group. This creates a tool for the height of your brick. Cut off the extra part of the comb. Make a second comb with 8 inches in the middle for your length. Apply texture compound to the wall with a putty knife. Place a level along the horizontal bottom edge. Drag your height tool horizontally, which scribes two grout lines. Use your long tool vertically. Clean up the edges with an artist brush.
Sketch out your bricks on the wall with a pencil, level and square. Standard brick size is 2 1/2 inches by 8 inches. Allow for 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch grout lines. Tape 1/4-inch-wide or 3/8-inch-wide foam tape -- 1/8-inch thick -- over your grout lines. Press the tape firmly to the wall. Apply texture compound over and between the tapes using a wide putty knife. The thickness of the tape allows the brick to project away from the wall. Make a ragged edge along the sides of the brick to create the look of plaster peeling away from the brick. Allow the texture to dry and peel off your tape.
Plaster stencils are made of plastic. Tape the stencil over the area to which you want to add brick. Apply joint compound or texture to the top of the stencil using a wide putty knife. Allow the compound to harden for about a minute and slowly lift the stencil off the area. Allow the area to harden completely before stenciling adjacent to the first area. Use the time to clean up the edges with a small artist brush.
Make a large jig using a picture frame and basswood slats. The slats should be spaced for grout lines. A jig allows you to plaster a large area, straight and even, by pressing the jig to the wall and spreading plaster over the slats before removing the jig. If you use a narrow frame you can simply align the horizontal slats to allow you to keep the brick level across larger areas.