How to Distress an Interior Brick Wall

Heather Montgomery

Distressing is the act of making something look old or worn. If you have an interior brick wall in your home that you want to look old or if you just want to change the color of the brick, distressing may be the technique for you.

Distress the brick walls in your home.

There are two techniques you can use to distress your brick, painting the entire surface and then distressing it or applying paint to strategic areas to make the brick look dirty and worn.

Painting Entire Wall

  1. Vacuum the entire wall with a brush attachment to remove any dust, cobwebs or debris.

  2. Pour a base color into a paint tray and roll on a base coat of paint, make sure this paint color is one that you like as it will show through after the distressing. Fill in any gaps with a stiff paintbrush dipped into paint. Let the first coat dry and then apply a second coat of paint. Let the base dry completely, if you only want one color to show through, apply only two coats of the same color paint.

  3. Apply two more coats of a different but complementary color paint to the wall letting the first coat dry before applying a second.

  4. Sand random areas of the wall with sandpaper until the base coat or brick shows through. Use steel wool to rub away paint in other areas of the wall.

  5. Dip a rag in paint stripper and hold it to the wall to remove areas of paint, the longer you leave it the more paint that will be removed. Clean the stripper away with a clean damp rag.

Distressing Specific Areas

  1. Vacuum the entire wall with a brush attachment to remove any dust, cobwebs or debris.

  2. Pick a paint color that is darker than your brick, such as brown or black.

  3. Dip a stiff paintbrush into paint and dab it on the edges and some faces of the brick. This will give the appearance of dirt making the brick look old.

  4. Pick a light color paint to make it look like the brick has broken or worn away. Dab the lighter color on the corners of the brick.