How to Make a Brick Wall Look Distressed

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If you'd like, you can make your wall look even this distressed.
If you'd like, you can make your wall look even this distressed. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A brick wall can complement any design scheme, from traditional to modern to eclectic. Having a brick wall inside your home gives your domestic interiors a touch of urban grit while offering a sense of stability and strength. However, this edgy effect can sometimes feel minimized if the bricks look too new or too pristine. Luckily, you don't need to be a professional designer or mason to age and distress a brick wall as this situation is easily correctable.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup trisodium phosphate
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrub brush
  • Paper plate
  • Gray and cream acrylic paint
  • Sponge
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Electric sander
  • Hammer

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Combine 1/4 cup trisodium phosphate with 1 gallon warm water in a bucket. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and submerge a scrub brush in the liquid. Scrub down the brick wall, allowing it to air dry.

Squeeze out gray and white acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Dip a sponge into these paint colors. Press the sponge onto portions of the brick wall, covering the bricks with cream or gray paint here and there. When finished, a combined total of one third of the brick wall should have paint on it. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Attach a piece of 80-grit sandpaper to an electric sander. Run the sander across the surface area of the wall, rubbing off the parts of brick and paint. Continue in this manner until you've created a rough, distressed look.

Run a vacuum cleaner around the wall, sucking up all the dust from sanding.

Take a hammer and knock off edges and corners of the brick here and there. Work slowly and methodically. You decide how distressed you want the wall to look.

References

  • "Helen Van Wyk's Favorite Color Recipes"; Helen Van Wyk; 2000
  • "Popular Mechanics Weatherproofing & Insulation"; Albert Jackson, et asl; 2006
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