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This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Acer
Date: November 17, 2023 09:11AM
Poll
Remodeling a faux brick interior wall
Only registered users are allowed to vote for this poll.
21 votes were received.
Chip off the brick, cover the result with a thin drywall 0
 
0%
Take it down to the studs, then drywall 15
 
71%
Drywall over the bricks in place 4
 
19%
Go full MAVIC on that sucker, whatever that is. 2
 
10%



Our 1950s ticky-tacky cape cod has this Leave It To Beaver era wall. It is plaster of paris brick faces cemented on top of a plaster wall. It's very dated, and perhaps the last major element of tastes gone by in this house. We're finally coming around to it.

A test brick removal reveals there's a hard cement-like product sticking each one down. Just whittling it down to the original plaster looks like a non-starter, it's going to need some sort of significant refinishing.

What would your approach be?

....
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: gadje
Date: November 17, 2023 09:13AM
I'd just leave it be. It does not bother me.

Now don't ask my wife. she would probably do something about it.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 17, 2023 09:13AM
If you want it gone, just take it down to the studs.

When I've avoided removing drywall it hasn't been worthwhile.



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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: November 17, 2023 09:17AM
Go 70’s ! Put up paneling !! Or 2020! Shiplap!

Or just plaster over the whole thing and paint.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: John B.
Date: November 17, 2023 09:20AM
Agree with mattkime - down to the studs and new drywall. Possible exception if you're intending to replace the fake brick with fake something-else that doesn't require a smooth backing.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Acer
Date: November 17, 2023 09:26AM
Quote
cbelt3
Go 70’s ! Put up paneling !! Or 2020! Shiplap!

I thought about just painting the bricks red and opening a stand-up comedy club.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Cary
Date: November 17, 2023 10:07AM
If it were mine, I'd take it down to the studs.

One thing to consider - the mastic or the brick or the backer may contain asbestos.. Before doing anything, I'd figure out how to test, and then decide if it's worth screwing with...
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 17, 2023 10:08AM
Quote
Acer
Quote
cbelt3
Go 70’s ! Put up paneling !! Or 2020! Shiplap!

I thought about just painting the bricks red and opening a stand-up comedy club.

Or a pizzeria.

I'd paint it creatively.



Hurts like a bastid...
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: November 17, 2023 10:10AM
If it easily comes off I’d do that and either skin the rock underneath or possibly add a new 1/4 or maybe 3/8 layer over the existing rock. Otherwise do what others suggest and take it down to the studs.



JoeM
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: MikeF
Date: November 17, 2023 10:11AM
How much pain do you want to endure? Probably the only way to remove it (as said previously) is to go down to the studs and re-drywall. You'll need to seriously mask off the rest of the house as the dust in doing the demo will be intense. After that's done, you might need to repaint the entire room and attached doorways as damage to the wall edges (adjacent walls/ceilings/etc.) may occur. Possibly floor edge also depending on baseboard, etc.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 17, 2023 10:23AM
Honestly, it's not the faux brick look that bugs me about this wall, it's those stupid archway designs.



Hurts like a bastid...
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: chopper
Date: November 17, 2023 10:50AM
Park a motorcycle in front of it.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: November 17, 2023 11:07AM
Fill any gaps and paint it.

Interior brick is still in.

I'd consider making it a week-long family project, everybody pick up a brush and paint random bricks slightly different colors, then do a "wash" across it.



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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: rgG
Date: November 17, 2023 11:17AM
If you want smooth drywall, I would put 1/4” over top of it.
I do not like finding out what might be behind the drywall that is already there. Lol





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: gadje
Date: November 17, 2023 11:57AM
Quote
rgG
If you want smooth drywall, I would put 1/4” over top of it.
I do not like finding out what might be behind the drywall that is already there. Lol

but if you take it down, you get a chance to fix what's wrong, especially if you have plumbing or electric stuff behind it, and you can also run CAT6/7 or HDMI/SPEAKER cables if needed.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: November 17, 2023 12:11PM
Personally, I would take it down to the studs. I hate putting stuff on top of stuff to change a look.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Bernie
Date: November 17, 2023 12:22PM
Adhesive sucks. I got rid of the tile in a bathroom.

The arches Scream Stucco and dark woods. Maybe some Marble accents.





Staunton, Virginia
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Acer
Date: November 17, 2023 12:47PM
Quote
Bernie
Adhesive sucks. I got rid of the tile in a bathroom.

The arches Scream Stucco and dark woods. Maybe some Marble accents.

That is very much not my house ;). The arch is the sole decorative original architectural conceit in the entire place. Steel workers in the 1950s didn't have the budget or interest for much more.

I have spared you all the fake fireplace that was against this wall when we bought the place, with the same faux brick. I tore that out before the ink was dry on the closing. I still have the electric logs, though.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: November 17, 2023 01:49PM
Quote
macphanatic
Personally, I would take it down to the studs. I hate putting stuff on top of stuff to change a look.

Same for me. If the faux bricks were applied over drywall, removal is going to leave it very rough. Putting thin drywall over it will be hard to make level. The same if the wall is actual plaster over lathe, but paster repairs might come out smoother with an overall skim coat.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 17, 2023 01:50PM
…..wall of silence….



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: JPK
Date: November 17, 2023 04:21PM
I'd save the $$ and spend it on hookers and booze!

JPK
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: November 17, 2023 04:28PM
Folks who are suggesting demoing the wall: the OP said it's a plaster wall, not drywall. From painful experience, demoing plaster is painful and amazingly messy. I'd put thin drywall on top, or leave it be.
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: November 17, 2023 05:48PM
Quote
Tiangou
I'd consider making it a week-long family project, everybody pick up a brush and paint random bricks slightly different colors, then do a "wash" across it.

That sound very cool. Now I wish I had a brick interior wall to try it on.



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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 17, 2023 06:10PM
.....if you can find a good mime......he/she will show you a really good....'wall'......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: November 17, 2023 06:55PM
Quote
Cary
If it were mine, I'd take it down to the studs.

One thing to consider - the mastic or the brick or the backer may contain asbestos.. Before doing anything, I'd figure out how to test, and then decide if it's worth screwing with...

     agree smiley

PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS ! ! !

odds are pretty high that a house from the 1950's has asbestos in it....
==
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Re: This Old House on MRF: What would you do with this wall?
Posted by: Diana
Date: November 17, 2023 09:03PM
Quote
Buzz
Quote
Cary
If it were mine, I'd take it down to the studs.

One thing to consider - the mastic or the brick or the backer may contain asbestos.. Before doing anything, I'd figure out how to test, and then decide if it's worth screwing with...

     agree smiley

PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS ! ! !

odds are pretty high that a house from the 1950's has asbestos in it....
==

This may well be the reason why it hasn’t been torn out yet. Doing the paint treatment as described (various shades, followed by a wash) makes the most sense in this case; if you are wanting a smooth finish, plaster over it. If asbestos is present, then it becomes much more involved if demoing it. With an increase of work comes an increase in cost.
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