This week I worked on a rustic plaster finish with exposed bricks on a home in Arlington heights. This finish definitely requires a bit of artistic talent and a lot of patience, especially when the work area is 900 square feet.
The nice thing about this finish is that there is no wall preparation at all because we will be applying ¼ inch of ready mixed Sheetrock joint compound upon the entire surface area. The first thing we must do is draw out where our exposed bricks will go. We are putting subtle decorative patches of brick on the wall in places where you may suspect damage to occur like corners and near edges. We will also place a few patches in areas that will be aesthetically pleasing. To make the brick, I apply a ¼ inch thick layer of mud upon the penciled in areas. This may seem rudimentary but I then draw mortar lines into the mud that are four fingers +/- apart. This will create a channel with a raised edge that can be combed over with a 5 inch putty knife away from the mortar line that adds to the irregular surface of the brick. After the bricks are done, I apply mud with a 6 inch putty knife around the edges of the brick patch in a way that mimics cracks. I then start applying patches to the wall with the same 6 inch knife as large as possible, slightly overlapping, and avoiding hard lines so that it looks more organic.
After I let the plaster dry for 24 hours, I apply a single coat of Benjamin Moore regal select eggshell finish. To finish, I apply a coat of modern masters glaze tinted with Alexandria beige. The glaze is sponged off and left in the gaps and recessions to highlight the brick mortar lines and irregularities in the plaster. This is a fun finish to create and can look great in a large open space. This is what I call a hundred year finish though. Removing it would require an insane amount of sanding so make sure you are ready to live with it!