The Ultimate Guide to a German Smear Faux Brick Installation

A German Smear finish adds a touch of timeless sophistication and ruggedness to any home. But what if you don’t have any brick features in your home? Not to worry!

You can get the same look with faux brick panels. Once finished with German Smear, it looks like a more expensive brick finish, so it’s no wonder that a lot of homeowners can’t help but love this design!

German Smear over faux brick panels is a relatively fast, easy, and cost-effective DIY project! 

Here in this article you’ll learn the basics of how to install faux brick panels and use the German Scmear technique so you can get that coveted look almost anywhere inside your home!

How to Install Faux Brick Wall

Materials Needed for a Faux Brick Wall Installation

Here are some of the basic tools and materials you’ll need for the faux brick panel installation and the German Smear finish:

  1. Sheets of faux brick paneling
  2. Premixed drywall mud
  3. Large putty knife or trowel
  4. Painter’s tape
  5. Small nails (A brad nailer works best)
  6. Sponge
  7. Jigsaw or Circular Saw (A handsaw will work as well but it’s a lot more work)
  8. Construction adhesive

If you’re a little worried about finding these, you can easily run to your nearest home improvement store! You can find everything you need for your DIY accent wall project.

How to Do the Brick Paneling

Once you have the supplies, you need to install the panels. The right technique should help you imitate the rough-textured surface of bricks.

Follow the steps below:

How to Do the Brick Paneling German Smear Faux Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: I Pinimg

Step 1: Begin by Prepping the Area

First, be sure to mark where the studs are, either with a small pencil mark or a piece of tape. That way you’ll know where to nail once the board is placed.

Step 2: Cut the Panels to Size

Measure and cut the panels to fit your wall. Don’t forget to cut around outlets and light switches. It’s best to take your time with this step and remember that the good carpenter measures twice and cuts once.

Step 3: Time to install the panels!

Position the panels on the wall to make sure they fit before fastening them.

Once you’re sure they’ll fit, apply some construction adhesive to the back of the brick paneling and stick the paneling in place. The construction adhesive will help the panels to stick but it’s best to secure them with a few nails in the studs.

If you need some extra help with the wall panel installation, here’s a great video.

Your accent wall is almost ready. Now it’s time for the German Smear finish!

How To Apply the German Smear Finish

How to Do German Smear on Faux Brick German Smear Faux Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Withinthegrove

How to Do German Smear on Faux Brick

After you install the faux brick wall, it’s time to use the drywall mud to get the German Smear finish.

Step One: Apply the Mud

Use a large putty knife or a drywall trowel to apply the mixed drywall mud all over the faux brick panels. There are no hard and fast rules on how to do this since a lot depends on the look you’re going for.

The best thing to do is practice. If you have some panel scraps left over, use them to practice your technique until you get the look you’re going for.

There should only be a thin layer of drywall mud when you’re done. If the layer of mud is more than a quarter of an inch thick, it could crack when it dries.

So once you’ve gone over a small section of the panel, it’s a good idea to take your trowel and with a firm grip, go back over the panel to remove excess mud and smooth out any lines. Don’t wait too long to do this since the mud will dry quickly.

Once you’re satisfied… it’s time to wait. Let a day or two go by before proceeding to the next step.

How to Whitewash the Faux Bricks Surface German Smear Faux Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Lda Lowes

Step Two: Whitewash

Once you’re done spackling the entire wall, it’s time to whitewash! This method will seal the surface of your German Schmear faux brick.

It prevents the texture of the spackling from rubbing off. With real German Smear on real brick, you don’t have to do the whitewash step but don’t worry, it’s really easy!

NOTE: Anytime before you paint it’s important to cover the floor with plastic and use painter’s tape to help protect any areas you don’t want to get paint on!

Mix paint and water

Start mixing your paint and water. When mixing, use about 65% paint and 35% water. Mix it well. Mixing the paint with water will let you seal the drywall mud while still letting you see some of the brick underneath.

Then, paint the surface using a sponge instead of a brush. The sponge will add more texture and it blends better with the schmear texture. Dabbing with the sponge can help to add more texture.

Don’t worry if you accidentally got too much paint on an area, just use a damp paper towel or sponge to wipe it off before it dries.

Final Touches

Once the paint is dry, you can remove the plastic and any painters tape you used. Around the corners of the paneling, it’s a good idea to apply a small bead of acrylic painters caulk to prevent any cracks from forming in the future.

And just like that, your German Schmear faux brick project is done!


How can I hide the seams in faux brick paneling?

The most important thing to do is to make sure that you measure correctly. If you want an accent wall that is seamless, the trick is to take your time and make sure that the bricks are lined up from one panel to another.

Can you German Schmear real brick?

Of course!

The German smear technique is used to mimic irregular stones and thick mortar joints. This is usually done to upgrade outdated brick facades.

It is similar to what we described here, but instead of drywall mud, you use real mortar. Check out this article here for more info on German Smear and real brick.


The German Smear faux brick wall is a rugged yet sophisticated interior design that many homeowners are obsessed with! It offers cozy and classic elements of design at an affordable price!

Challenge yourself and try this project today! You may also check out our article about German smear gone wrong to prevent it for your project.

For additional German smear DIY Instructions? you can check out this article.

Once you try it inside, you’ll probably want to upgrade your exterior brick facade. A job like that is best left to the pros at Alexander and Xavier Masonry.

Want to see the amazing things we can do to breathe some new life into your house brick. Give us a call today for a free quote!

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