Friday, June 11, 2010

How to Make Faux Brick

Waiting on the results of this Greenleaf contest is driving me batty so I thought I'd write up a tutorial for making realistic brick. My Orange Blossom is built on "brick" posts. Rather than create individual bricks and mortar them together, I created solid posts that looked like brick. This technique could work really well for making a brick chimney too! I wanted it to look weathered and like bits of mortar were falling out: First, I started with blocks of balsa. I usually prefer basswood for realistic minis, but balsa has won me over for many things because it is so soft and lightweight. This makes it easy to cut curves and do applications like this. I grabbed my handy metal ruler and a fine hand saw and scored lines that were the height of bricks. You could use a regular craft knife too. I matched up the rest of my blocks and continued making the horizontal lines across each of them, on all sides.
Next, I wanted to deepen the grooves I had just scored so I took an emory board and sanded each line.
Here's a close up on how it looked after sanding with the emory board. My nails got a good sanding too :)
The next step was to cut in the vertical spaces between each individual brick. I had to experiment a bit at this point because I wanted it rustic. I tried a craft knife but I eventually found a bamboo stick that was just the right height to "punch" in those notches between the bricks. I was working with the grain so they often came out a little irregular. Good thing that was what I was going for!
I then base painted each block with shades of grey and a little white to become the color for the mortar. I was careful to get in all the cracks. At this stage I found that the paint softened the wood a bit. I took my handy bamboo stick from earlier and punched some of the holes deeper while the wood was still soft. After the grey paint dried, I brushed on red and terra cotta paint over all of the raised areas. This let the mottled grey paint show through as the mortar in all the scored areas.
Here's a picture of the brick posts in its various stages:
I hope you found this tutorial helpful!


  1. Thanks for the fab tutorial, your brick work looks amazingly real :) Have to try it soon :)

    Have a great weekend,


  2. Daisy, it really looks like brick! Great idea and a simpler process than some of the others.

  3. Your bricks look so real and balsa wood is so easy to work with, I must use that somewhere. Thanks for showing it:)

  4. Thanks for the explanation: a superb job and convincing!

  5. Thanks for sharing this inspiring tut!

  6. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  7. on my blog, I have an award for you!

  8. Thank you for sharing. I will cetainly have a go at this.

  9. Thanks for showing, I love this idea.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...