Before & After: Brick Veneer

This week’s reader submission is from a very creative Stylish Patina customer who decided she wanted the look of exposed brick in her Shirlington, VA condo. No one tells the story quite like Elizabeth does, so take it away Elizabeth!

“Once upon a time a little girl from The Plains, Virginia and a little boy from Turin, Italy got married and eventually bought a condo in Shirlington. The little girl wandered into Stylish Patina one day, where she fell in love with a piece of furniture. She decided that a plain drywall backdrop just wouldn’t do for this marvel. The little boy doesn’t care for messes and had a business trip to go on anyway, so the little girl went a little crazy, ordered a few thousand pounds of brick veneer, found a handy and crafty family friend with vision to help her out. The rest is history.”

Here are the before shots of Elizabeth’s dining room and living room.Dining-Before Living-BeforeElizabeth hilariously called her project “Project Fingers Crossed”. Here’s here supply list and step by step instructions.

Project “Fingers Crossed” Supply List
-Measuring tape
-Brick veneer
-Tile adhesive/mastic
-Mortar mix
-Wet saw
-Notched trowel
-Grout piping bag
-Concrete finishing trowel
-Drill with cement mixing attachment
-Something to cover your floors
-Extender screws for outlet covers
-Masonry sealer (optional)
-Grout colored caulk (optional)
-Patience, patience, patience, patience

“The string, screw and pencil are helpful in creating the arch. You can also forego that and just use the level to draw level lines to follow as you put up your brick. I think herringbone would look cool, too. Be creative. 

No prep was done to the walls other than drawing some guidelines. We removed trim and outlet covers, and put down some plastic to protect the floors. Our mastic bead was about 1/2″. We went with the bigger bead with the idea that too much mastic was better than not enough. The thick bead caused some slippage of the bricks (hello, gravity), which is where the hammer and nails come in handy. There was at least one central nail under each flat brick at the bottom, and up to three on the angled bricks in the arch. 

We eyeballed the distance between the bricks for the most part. You will have a total mess on your hands, so be prepared for major clean up. I sealed the kitchen bricks with a low luster glaze after a few days to make sure the grout was dry (brick is extremely absorbent so you don’t want stains on your backsplash). The seal also keeps the excess grout pieces from detaching (bonus). The dining room and living room walls are not sealed as I prefer the matte look. I still need to caulk around the frame where bricks and wall come together. Patience, my friends. 

I had a tight timeline and was working a few hours at the office in the mornings, but the total project time was about 6, 12 hour days.”

Here are the after photos of Elizabeth’s project.

Dining-Room Ta-Da

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing transformation, Elizabeth!

Submit your DIY projects here!


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8 Responses to Before & After: Brick Veneer

  1. Wow, this really is amazing. I love how it turned out.

  2. Holy cow! This looks GORGEOUS!

  3. Stephanie Sever says:

    Wow, amazing! Elizabeth could start a side business in brick work / design!

  4. Beth says:

    That is so amazing I can’t believe it! What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

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