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Giving Faux Brick a Makeover

Updated on January 12, 2013

After

Before

Unfortunately I did not take a picture of my brick backsplash before I transformed it, but it was identical to the image in this picture.
Unfortunately I did not take a picture of my brick backsplash before I transformed it, but it was identical to the image in this picture. | Source

A Lemon of a Kitchen

In just a few short hours after my husband and I closed on our very first house, I found myself suited in paint clothes tightly grasping a scrub brush. I had plans for my property and it was go time!

Straight through the door we had major financial commitments. We had to tear down and rebuild a broken vaulted ceiling, rip out a smelly carpet and invest in a new one, replace a thirty year old oven and stove, etc... The necessity of these costly home improvements far out weighed the fact that I did not like the look of the faux brick backsplash in my kitchen. Not to mention the fact that I hated the dark stained cupboards and the vast array of wallpaper that adorned my walls. With our budget already maxed, I knew it was time to get crafty. How could I turn this lemon of a kitchen into lemonade, without enough money to buy the sugar?


Painting Strategy

Although I would have loved to tear down the faux brick wall paper and replace it with some sort of fabulous glass tile backsplash, I knew that was not in the financial cards for us. I actually do not mind the look of bricks in d├ęcor, but it was a dark kitchen that needed to be lightened up, and it was a dirty kitchen that needed a fresh coat of clean! I did not want to paint the bricks all one solid color. I wanted them to keep their brick look, whether it was faux or not. If they were meant to look like bricks I wasn't going to try to hide that. So I hopped on the Internet and began looking at some examples of mosaic backsplashes that I liked. I looked at the multitude of colors that were often blended together in tile backsplashes. I also looked into the natural colors that stone and brick are offered in. I decided to try and create a mosaic type of brick backsplash with natural brick and stone colors.


The Colors

The colors I chose for the bricks in the backsplash are as follows:

Glidden interior semi-gloss: Autumn Haze, Whispering Wheat, Tawny Birch, and White Sage. These four colors are delicate shades of grey and brown that blend well together. I chose semi-gloss because I knew the backsplash was located in a prime cooking location and would need frequent washing. A lesser gloss would look more natural.

I used the Behr color Almond Cream (left over from another project) to paint the mortar lines.

I also chose the color Navajo Sand by Glidden to paint the drawers and cupboards. Navajo Sand is a creamy off white color that gives you the light and bright feeling of white, without the bold emptiness that pure white can sometimes create in a room.

Lastly, we chose the Glidden color Dusty Miller for the kitchen walls. This is a light grayish blue color.

Backsplash complete, the rest of the kitchen...not so much.
Backsplash complete, the rest of the kitchen...not so much.

Steps

The first thing that I painted in the backsplash was the Almond Cream mortar lines. I knew that painting inside the tight lines between the bricks would be messier than painting the flat bricks themselves. I used a small art paintbrush and painted two coats of the Almond Cream. Next I began to paint the bricks themselves. Because the four colors are so similar to each other, the differences in shade are hard to distinguish on the first coat. I highly recommend completing two coats of one color before beginning a second color. This will eliminate confusion. The brick backsplash covers several sections of different walls in my kitchen and so I painted each section one at a time. I counted the amount of faux bricks that were visible in each section. Than I divided the number of bricks by four. This gave me an idea of how many bricks should display each color. With 98 bricks in my first section, I knew that I had to paint 24 bricks with each color, give or take a brick or two.

After painting two coats of the first color on 24 bricks, I switched to my next color. I did not map out a specific pattern to follow. I eyed the pattern as I painted, making sure to spread the colors out across the length of the entire wall. However, you could easily take a piece of chalk and mark the bricks in advance if you are worried about creating a pattern.

After completing the second coat of the fourth brick color, my new and improved backsplash was complete. Now it was time to tackle the rest of the room.


In Between My Dreams and My Nightmare

Months after completing the backsplash, we were finally able to have the walls and the cupboards painted as well. It all pulled together and brightened up the room dramatically. Is it the kitchen of my dreams? No. If I had extra money lying around, I am sure that I would splurge for some real tile, updated counter tops and all that stuff. However, it is far from the nightmare kitchen that I bought into. I have been very pleased with the transformation and I truly enjoy my kitchen now. I do not need to have the best of the best, but I do need to be comfortable in my surroundings. Thanks to this inexpensive makeover, I have found my permanent place in our new home. I truly appreciate the fruits of our hard work. If I never ever find myself in a position to truly update my kitchen, I will not waste a minute on regret. I love my kitchen and my house and I am grateful to God for every inch of it.

My newly painted kitchen
My newly painted kitchen

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      Krista 2 years ago

      Love this look! Definitely going to use your tips to paint my faux brick.