DIY Network

How To Create a Focal Wall

To create faux limestone bricks on a wall as a focal point, use the trompe l'oeil painting technique.

More in Decorating

apply shading to corners with stencil brush
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prepare the Space

Measure and mark the wall for the 9-1/2" by 16" limestone squares (Image 1). Snap a chalk line for the height and length of the blocks (Image 2). Perfectly straight lines are necessary to create the limestone bricks. Tape the chalk lines with grout tape (Image 3) -- 1/4" painter's tape provides the perfect grout line for this project.

Step 2: Apply the Paint

Sponge the first coat onto the bricks, using a shade lighter than the base coat. Work in small areas to keep the paint from drying too quickly. Apply the second coat onto the bricks with a darker shade. It's not necessary to allow drying time between the two sets of paint colors: the colors should blend together to create added dimension to the bricks.

work in small areas to keep paint from drying

Step 3: Add the Shading

After the two sponged coats have dried for about 2 hours, apply a coat of dark shading to the corners of the bricks with a stencil brush. Gently remove the painter's tape. It may be necessary to apply more shading to the grout lines after removing the tape.