If you have a plain wall or concrete floor, indoor or out, that is in need of a makeover, faux brickwork can be the ideal solution. Using readily available reusable stencils, you can transform a surface into an eye-catching feature. It's a quick and easy faux painting technique that is ideal for beginners.
The Brickwork Look
Brick finishes can complement many styles of decor. They can look trendy and modern, adding warmth and color to a room. Old brickwork has a soft and time-worn quality that is attractive indoors and out. In the garden or on the patio, plain walling or an ugly concrete slab floor can be transformed into an appealing feature of your living space.
Using brick stencils is useful if you want to extend existing brickwork without the effort, expense and mess of actual construction. (And you may not be able to find bricks that match.) Brick stenciling is also an alternative to restoring existing brickwork. Brickwork that has been damaged or previously painted is notoriously difficult to restore but can be rejuvenated with clever use of paint.
Brick Stencils - Pluses and Minuses
With brick stencils you can cover large areas quickly and efficiently. The only time where you are likely to encounter difficulties is with corners or if you have curved features, such as doors or windows; fixed size stencils can be awkward to use in some spaces. You may even have to finish off these problem areas by hand. If you are matching your design to existing brickwork, you may have to make your own stencil or in some cases, manually mark out your pattern.
Brick stencils vary according to the pattern of brickwork or paving, and brick size, producing different effects. Some may be more suitable for your space than others, so plan carefully.
Different brick sizes and patterns create different textural effects. Choose a scale and degree of texture that fits your room or surface. Large and small brick patterns will be most suitable for different spaces. Some stencils are available from retailers in custom sizes.
You will also need to consider how a design will complement your room and its architectural and decorative style. Swirling or irregular patterns can create a soft effect and may go well in older or cottage-like homes and traditional-style gardens. Plain rows or geometric designs, including herringbone patterns, may suit a more modern house.
Sometimes the best effects are produced by breaking the rules. You can play with colors other than browns and reds, exploiting brickwork patterns and texture, rather than slavishly simulating the real thing. Faux bricks can be made to look clean and new or you can go for the aged and distressed look, enhanced with the use of faux painting techniques. Stencils are the basic method but there is plenty of scope for experimentation and innovation.
By: Debra That Painter Lady Conrad
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