As a photographer of my own tutorials, I always search for variations in photography props including backdrops, tables or floors, light compositions and other related decorations to make a pleasant scene just like those pictures shown in the magazine. One of my favorite backdrops and also the hardest one to find in my area is painted old brick wall.
Some times, in order to make my photos more impressive, I will bring my handmad to other places for photography, such as beach, restaurant, park, jetty etc… That’s why you may notice that I need more time to prepare my tutorial which is normally 1 or 2 weeks of lagging. But, if I have a choice, I prefer to do the photography in the comfort of my home. With that in practice, that means I need some portable backdrops… fabrics and wooden backdrops came easily, but real brick is impossible to be “portable” due to it’s weight.
I have put off the idea of having brick wall in my home till I renovated my new condominium to purposely make a painted old brick wall at one of the corners…. until… I shop in my local Ace Hardware Store…… I was searching for some aerosol paints for repainting my old wicker basket when I saw the “make it stone!” texture paint on the shelf. I was so impressed with the effect shown on the cap of the aerosol can. I bought it back and thinking of “stoning” my old plastic wall-hung planter. That night on my bed, just before I fell asleep, I suddenly came out with the idea of making a faux brick wall panel with this paint after recalling that I saw a video using polystyrene foam panel to make similar backdrops for the stage. Guess what? I was insomnia that night because the processes of making this faux brick wall panel kept me awake, I was very excited and can’t wait till the next morning!!!!
I am glad that I had a sudden inspiration of making it and see how I did it after the jump….. There after, you will see it appears in my photos more often too.
DIY Faux Brick Wall Panel
Tools & Materials:
1. Polystyrene Foam / Styrofoam, 1/2″ thick, 2′ x 4′
2. Wooden panel, 2 1/2′ x 4′
3. Primer (aerosol), Brand: Krylon, color: Gray [buy at Amazon.com]
4. “Make It Stone!” texture paint, Brand: Krylon, color: Black Granite [buy at Amazon.com]
5. Polystyrene Foam cutter
6. Wood glue / PV Glue / White Glue
7. Sponge applicator
8. Soldering iron/soldering gun (removable tip)
9. Pen & ruler
10. Old newspapers
Choose similar primer coat to suit your texture paint topcoat.
Please read instructions on the can/tin before using paint spraying.
When the brick foams have securely adhered to the panel, take out the soldering tip and switch on the soldering iron and let it heat up.
[Remark: I used my workshop’s soldering station with temperature control (I was an Electronic Engineer with lots of hands-on experience)… but you can just use a normal one with a removable tip.]
Melt the brick foams edges with the soldering iron and make them rounded. Lightly touch the foam to make dented holes to faux an aged brick.
Do light damage on the first round, repeat if you want more serious damage.
Warning: the fume generated could be toxic, please do this at well-ventilated room or wear a mask.
Spray a layer of primer onto the brick foam in a well-ventilated space / outdoor. Remember to place some old newspaper to prevent the paint from staining your floor or table.
See some white spots on the brick foam? They were in fact melted spots due to the primer’s solvent, I didn’t shake it well in the first place. So, do remember to shake the primer well and get them mixed up to prevent this from happening. Luckily the brick was meant to have a damaged look, so I am safe even with the roughness appeared on the melted spots!!! Phew!
Leave the primer to dry for a few minutes to 1/2 hour or as per the instruction on the label.
Topcoat it with the “Make It Stone!” texture paint. This texture paint is really awesome and works like magic. A quick thin layer makes such a big difference.
The instruction said that it only covers 6 square feet, it actually covers more than that. I used 1 can for 3 coats.
After 3 coats and the faux brick wall panel is completed, leave it to dry until it is safe to handle.
I am more than happy with the result. Perhaps when I get bored of gray, I will repaint it to white using the same “make it stone!” texture paint.