I’m ashamed to say that Aaron and I have been working on this brick wall project since November 2009. Seriously. And not because it was hard, but life sort of got in the way. A determined DIYer could get it done in a week and most of that is drying time.
With us now super-motivated to sell Aaron’s house, we knew we had to pick up where we left off (ohhh… 2-3 years ago) and get ‘er done.
(Above) This is Aaron’s living room. We had the grand idea to remove the plaster to expose the brick fireplace. We knew the fireplace was back there so the idea of exposing an original element of the house was exciting to us. Except when we tore down the plaster, we saw a not-so-great brick wall with a cemented-in fireplace.
(Above) Some of the brick was cracked and crumbling. There were big smoke stains on one side (I’m guessing where they used to hang pots) too.
(Above) I will say the color of the brick is absolutely gorgeous and looks so good next to the gray walls.
So… we set out looking for a different solution. We had two options: 1.) Dry wall over it and cut our losses or 2.) Cover it a different way. We knew painting was out. Trying to paint crumbling dirty brick would have been a nightmare.
I found this post on Apartment Therapy about the walls in a design store in New York (BDDW’s). I was interested. We loved that it still looked like a brick wall, but with softer lines and modern style. And then I came across this post on The Nesting Game, where they also used the same approach.
Plus, it seemed so simple. You need three things: drywall compound, a big ‘ole spackle knife and medium grit sandpaper.
(Above) We started with a skim coat of drywall compound, filling in the bigger holes and cracks. In baking, I would call this a “crumb coat.” Once the wall was skim-coated, we went back over the entire wall (without waiting for it to dry) with a much thicker coat, smoothing and swirling as we went.
(Above) Did I mention this project is super messy?
(Above) After a couple of hours, we had a nice, thick coat of drywall compound covering the wall.
It took about a week for the compound to totally dry, so we let it sit. We wanted to be safe so we waited, oh… two years.
The last step was sanding and finishing the top edge and corners. For sanding, we only wanted a few peeks of the brick to show through, with an overall smooth look. More sanding would have resulted in a more rustic, distressed look while sanding less would have resulted in a much more solid, contemporary look.
It feels good to be finally finished with this project!
I want to add a sunburst mirror to the wall but besides that, this project is finally done. Woo! Feels good.
What do you think? Anyone else dealing with crumbly brick walls?
Love it? Hate it?