Faux Brick Panels - using the German Schmear technique tutorial

Hi beautiful friends..  I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

I am loving my new office space that I created doing a few different techniques.  One being a faux brick wall with a German Schmear technique.  The first time I saw the process being done was on Upper Fixer.  I had read about it, but had never seen it done.  It looked simple enough that I thought I'd give it a go.

I love the look of a rustic/industrial space, and knew I wanted to include faux brick panels!

Office Makeover with German Schmear

My friend Pam of From My Front Porch to Yours did a faux brick wall last year that I fell in love with.  It inspired me to do this in my house!!

The first thing we did was purchase our panels from Home Depot.  The panels come in 48" x 96".  We measured out the room to know how many brick panels we needed.  

Red Brick Panel

My husband attached them to the wall by using liquid nails and also using drywall screws.  In the areas that needed to be cut, he was able to easily do so by using our circular saw.  To cut out where the light switches and wall outlets are, we used our Dremel saw.  It worked perfect.  The panels are made out of a material like particle board/hardboard so cutting it to fit isn't hard to do.

Faux Red Brick Panel Installation

We wanted to make sure that all the panels were level as we were putting them up. 

Red Brick Panels from Home Depot

Even before I started doing any painting on the panels, I stood back & would stare at the red brick panels.  I loved the look the room was taking on, but it wasn't the look I was going for...plus I really wanted to do the German Schmear techinique.

Red Brick Panels

Once it was all up and secured to the walls, I mixed up a couple of paint colors I had on hand to create a "mud" color look.  I wanted a grayish color.. I used a cocoa color, randolph gray and a tiny bit of antique white.  It was the perfect color I was looking for.  I was then ready to paint over my bricks.  I also added just a little bit of joint compound to the paint to thicken it up.

Painted faux brick panel

Remember there are joints where the panels are put together...  I thought my husband did a great job at getting the bricks matched up.  The seams need to be sealed together though.

I covered them with a tiny bit of paint added to the joint compound.  Again remember they are going to be covered up as well later, but since there's a large seam you want to blend it as well as you can.

Keep in mind that since I will be going over the entire brick to create the German Schmear, it doesn't need to be perfect.  

The paint dried pretty quick and by the time I had my way around the entire room I was ready to start putting the joint compound over the entire panels to create the look.

Joint compound is easy to work with, and if you get too much in an area you can easily sand it back.  And, if you don't get enough on you can add more.  It's easily fixable even the next day.  I did the first pass over the entire room one day, and then let it sit over night.  I came back the next day & made my touch ups.  This is a large room so it was much easier to do it this way rather than working it in sections.  I tried that & I was overworking areas.

To show you my technique I did a video on facebook.  It's so much easier to show you then trying to explain it to you.

German Schmear Technique on faux brick panels

Before I sealed, I went over the entire room and lightly sanded any places that needed it.  Joint compound is very dusty so when you sand, please make sure to wear a dusk mask.

To seal I used a white wash & once it was dry I went over it with wipe on poly.  I use an automotive sponge and wet it slightly..damp is all you need, and then I put my poly on the sponge to wipe the entire wall down.  It was fast and easy!

I loved doing the German Schmear technique!  The whole process didn't take that long.  It's not about it being perfect & you want it to have that imperfection look.  I love the way it turned out!

German Schmear on faux brick


  1. that looks like a ton of work. i love the treatment you did on those panels!

  2. Love how it turned out! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

  3. I am in total love with the faux brick and German Schmear technique! You did an awesome job! Love it!!


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