Another Brick on the Wall

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Introduction: Another Brick on the Wall

About: I teach engineering and architectural drawing and design to high school students.

I will explain how I transformed an otherwise boring retaining wall into a faux brick wall. We had an unsightly retaining wall adjacent to our garage. It is rather long and would be expensive to have it rocked. I decided to add a faux brick pattern to dress it up.

Supplies

Pencil, painter's tape, measuring tape, level, plastic bucket, wooden spoon, mortar mix, exterior paint or concrete dye, water, concrete trowel, newspaper.

Step 1: Step 1: Create the Outline of Your Bricks

Make sure the area of the wall you are working on is relatively clean. This will help ensure that the tape and mortar mix will adhere to the original wall.

Measure and mark where you want your brick pattern to go. If the top of the wall is level and you want the brick to be horizontal, you may measure from the top of the wall. Tape off a small area at a time. You do not want to tape off an area larger than you will be able to complete in a work session. You will need to mix the mortar in small batches so it will not dry before you are able to spread it on the wall.

Step 2: Step 2: Mix the Mortar

Prepare the mortar mix using the directions on the package to get the optimal consistency. I added exterior paint in place of some of the water to create variation in color. I used a gallon bucket and mixed about 3 cups of mortar at a time. Once you get the desired consistency, spread the mortar over the taped area using a trowel . Make sure you remove the tape before the mortar mix dries. If you do not remove the tape while the mortar is still wet it will not leave a clean mortar joint line.

Step 3: Step 3: Continue

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have created the desired number of bricks. Make sure you clean your tools immediately after using them.

Step 4: Step 4: Enjoy the Transformation!

I used an exterior paint to change the color of the space between the faux bricks.

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    29 Comments

    0
    mdavids480
    mdavids480

    9 months ago

    I love this idea. Thanks!!!! I have a house with foundation showing and am going to try this. But I want it to look more like a rocked finish, rather than bricks.

    0
    Yonatan24
    Yonatan24

    1 year ago

    Looks great! In fact it looks so real, I originally thought you did the opposite!
    Maybe you should title it something like "Convert an Old/ugly Wall into Faux-Bricks!" or something like that :)

    0
    CafeChic
    CafeChic

    1 year ago

    The ONLY thing missing in some of the comments on this project is LESS CRITICISM. Most of the criticism comes from some of you NOT actually bothering to read the entire post & comments. Yet, you believe it’s your responsibility to let OP know that they didn’t do something correctly or that they should’ve done something differently. So to make snippy remarks because of your lack of reading is not nice. The world is already a harsh place in the midst of a pandemic, maybe we should do an Instructable on How to be kind to our fellow Instructioner! (I know it’s not a word)
    Happy reading........

    0
    frarugi87
    frarugi87

    Question 1 year ago on Step 4

    About the last step (you used exterior paint to change the space between the bricks), why didn't you paint it before the transformation? Was it to save color or it will limit the adhesion of the mortar?

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    No. I thought I would like it the natural color. Painting the wall first might change the adhesion properties though.

    0
    DougL56
    DougL56

    Reply 1 year ago

    You mean you hand painted all those strips between the bricks afterwards? Sounds like a hell of a huge job. How long did this whole project end up taking?

    0
    chighnote
    chighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    I spread it out over months but probably 30 hours total. I am not used to manual labor so mixing and spreading the mortar was not an easy task. Painting the space between the bricks was easy given the right size paint brush. The raised brick made it easy to stay in line.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    No. I thought I would like it the natural color. Painting the wall first might change the adhesion properties though.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    No. I thought I would like it the natural color. Painting the wall first might change the adhesion properties though.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    No. I thought I would like it the natural color. Painting the wall first might change the adhesion properties though.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    No. I thought I would like it the natural color. Painting the wall first might change the adhesion properties though.

    0
    Jamesmcardle
    Jamesmcardle

    1 year ago on Step 4

    A great transformation achieved with simple, straightforward means - very clever and effective! Can you add some close-ups of the faux bricks please...interested in doing this myself.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    I added a close-up photo of the bricks on the instructions. I will add it here also.

    20200721_094612.jpg
    0
    Jimichan
    Jimichan

    1 year ago

    It's actually very inexpensive to add colorant to your mortar before you apply it. Paint is more expensive as well as being more difficult and time consuming.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    I had some leftover paint so it did not add to my cost. I did not have colorant. I added the paint while mixing the mortar so it was not time consuming.

    0
    Jimichan
    Jimichan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Good idea. I missed that in the description of your project.

    0
    RigoC
    RigoC

    1 year ago on Step 3

    Great job.
    A little writing tip. You might want to write an intro describing what and how you are going to do. This feels like I'm missing the first page.

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    0
    kc cabinite
    kc cabinite

    1 year ago

    I love the distressed look you had going at the beginning. The color varies a bit more in that section. Great idea for a plain concrete wall. Looks like you put a cap on the wall too. What's that made of?

    0
    ConnieHighnote
    ConnieHighnote

    Reply 1 year ago

    I bought concrete pavers and placed them on top. I worked on the project for a year doing a section at a time. It was hard to get consistent results each time.