View Full Version : Brick

05-21-2012, 01:24 PM
Fake brick, brick behind cement, etc...how do you do it? What's the best way to create brick without carving it out of foam?

05-21-2012, 01:30 PM
If you aren't using foam what medium are you gonna use?

05-21-2012, 06:57 PM
A way I have done it in the past is to spread monster mud (Light weight joint compound and latex house paint mixed 5 to 1) on the wall like a layer of cake icing. Then use a straight edge to help you draw/carve out your mortar lines for the bricks in the monster mud. I just use my finger to make the lines cause it is just about the right size for a mortar line. Once its dry paint it like bricks. The stuff is very resilient. the bricks in this picture were created that way.

Greg Chrise
05-21-2012, 08:44 PM
You can also tape out the brick pattern with 3/8 inch nylon strapping tape, put the over lay on then pull the tape. The over lay can be colored a red brick color with either universal liquid tints or powdered tint from a concrete contractors store. I use various concrete formulas for overlays as sometimes the stuff becomes outdoor capable facades. If you want grey mortar lines, you float out the board first with grey or paint it grey. Then tape the pattern, over lay it and when you pull the tape you reviel grey lines. All of it then gets antiqued with washes of paint and lots of water to make it subtle.

I also have done the styrofoam thing. The way I do it is not carving, I tape out the pattern, overlay it, pull the tape and then hit it with a heat gun after the styrofoam has been lightly scratched with a wire brush. It shrinks back deep as I want and then it gets painted. The over lay acts as an insulator and the foam that is covered does not shrink back with the heat gun. No carving, no pile of pink dust on the floor.

Lurkers picture looks pretty impressive.

I you want the plaster look with chunks out and bricks showing it is easiest to put little panels behind some other sheet of stuff rather than coat a whole panel thicker to give that brick look. Less materials and less end problem with thick overlays possibly popping off. One more step is to add hinges to some of these places and you have a brick window.

Cement overlays that stick to anything are portland cement and sand, mixed with an Ez Bond product. For outdoor use it gets a clear sealer in matt or low satin finish. The Ez Bond is not acrylic as sold at Lowes or Home Depot and is really industrial quantities of Elmers glue. I have heard people use exterior wood glue watered down but, this has a brown tint to it and is not worth the cost if it is going to be sealed. Around the Dallas area spray deck additive would work for industrial quantities of several hundred square feet per 5 gallons. It will have a smell of Elmers Glue but there are actually a few other mysterious chemicals that handle the calcium reaction in portland cement and the heavy water in the region.

Part of getting artistic is having the time to work the stuff. People use stucco product base coats as they have polymers and such are designed to have a mesh to hold it all together over time. Too expensive for what they do and how hard they are to color or paint over.

05-22-2012, 01:42 AM
Louis, thanks alot! I really like the way yours came out, very neat!

Greg, I really appreciate the input. My only hesitation when it came to using foam was it's price, and the cost of the foam carving tools, right now, I'm just doing the facade with it, if I was making brick walls for the haunt than it would be worth the investment, but due to time and money constraints for this year, I want to take it easy on the expensive stuff. We're young and will be our first year going full blown professional, we want to leave room for growth while providing an entertaining experience. So I think I'm going to experiment with all the ways that were suggested so far on a smaller scale here at home, I should have some pink foam laying around, a heat gun, and i can get the stuff to make monster mud fairly cheap, so I might as well play around and see what works best on the cost vs quality scale.

If anyone else knows of another way, feel free to share! I'm always looking for new things to try and learn, I really appreciate the input so far guys! :)

Greg Chrise
05-22-2012, 08:46 AM
You can add a watered down solution of elmers glue to the drywall and paint solution, monster mud for adhesion purposes if putting that on foam. It is possible to draw the pattern, only put it where a brick would be without tape, sort of take it off with a putty knife or screw driver and then do the heat gun thing.

Generally we rough up the surface of the foam first so what ever the over lay does stay there. We have done great numbers of large 4x8 panels and successfully moved them across the south and covered the front of an 80 by 24 high building.

I can't stress how important a facade is for even a fledgling event. If it is open enough days in the month of October to have people looking at it in line it will increase how many show up by maybe 30% and that calculates into money from customers. We have pulled off some large impressive facades that when it got right down to it cost under $1200 in materials. I'm still waiting for that big labor pay off though. One that sort of became famous really only cost $200 and some of that was helper labor. The actual structure was all used materials left over from some remodel. 16 foot high 24 foot wide entry with our embellishments and antiquing.

I lost pictures of things when computers died. But damn it I know I did a good job. What kind of pudding are we having tonight?

Greg Chrise
05-22-2012, 09:02 AM
I think of all the places we did a facade for and some had stagnant numbers after several years then when it looked better on the outside they immediately got an increase in one case another 10,000 customers were now willing to try this event. What if they had spent this attention all along and been doing those higher percentages every year they were open. They wouldn't be looking for losers like me to solve their problems.

You can have a wonderful facade and all black walls and get by. If you just have a vinyl sign on the outside and super detailed hundreds of thousands of hours in the interior walls, people won't notice it because everywhere they go and spend money there are walls and someone painted them and put trim on them. SO what is the big deal is what is in the customers mind.

Depending on the location, the facade is like having a billboard only it ony cost $200 in materials instead of paying $300 a month for a billboard plus the $3,000 to put a picture on it somewhere away from your location telling them to go 5 or 10 miles somewhere else.

Greg Chrise
05-22-2012, 09:16 AM
And another thing.

When you walk up to some attraction, you can just easily avert your eyes and move along or come up with an excuse not to go inside. But, if you have been standing there cheching out all the crazy things being presented on a large area on the front of the building if someone asked you to go in, you are already intrested and it would be hard to say no, I'm not going in there unless it was you really only have $3 and realy have no idea where your next $20 is coming from.

Or once pictures of the outside of the building have made you drive 45 minutes you know you are going in. No one really appreciates "we have 200 walls!" "we have 12 whole masks" "We have a porta potie!" "we have an off duty mall security guard" "we have two fire extinquishers"

Basically so what. You need something that doesn't give away what happens inside but you can say check this out! A giant skull on a building! The international symbol for crazy fun!

Fine, I'm going to work now.

freak 'n' stein
05-22-2012, 11:32 AM
I too did bricks like Louis' a few years back in our sewer. I did patches where the bricks were "exposed".

05-24-2012, 01:39 PM
What would this forum be like without you Greg lol, thank you buddy!

Yeah we don't necessarily want to do an all brick building, more or less a lot of exposed brick. =)

Allen H
05-25-2012, 12:31 AM
I normally carve them from foam panels. The haunters life series did a brick panel that way recently, look for them on youtube.
I normally use 1/2" foam and cut my holes in the outside piece that carve my brick into the back piece. It is a really nice layered look.
Electrical tape is also the same thickness as grout lines, so you can also paint the wall the grout color, then tape the grout lines, then paint the brick color. Then remove the tape and tape off that parts you want to be "exposed". then paint the wall color. that will also give you nice results. I can do a quick video tutorial if you like. Let me know if you think that will help. It will be a few weeks before I get to it.
Allen H

05-25-2012, 07:46 AM
That would be an incredible video tutorial!! I'd love to see a brick piece made start to finish on a youtube wednesday :)

And thanks for the electrical tape hint, it'll be a few weeks before I actually get to start trying these techniques out, so the timings perfect!