How To Paint Bricks to Look Like Books
If I’m not reading, I’m crafting.
I especially love painting things like stones and bricks. So, today I thought I would share the method I used to paint some bricks to look just like books.
These bricks can be used as bookends, doorstops, or decor. Or they can be sealed with a clear, weather-proof coating and used outdoors in the garden or around your Little Free Library.
Find Some Old Bricks or Buy New Ones
Old bricks are great for this project since the corners are usually chipped. This adds to the look of the final product, in my opinion. Since I didn’t have any old bricks laying around, I opted to go to a local home improvement store and buy some new ones.
Clean The Bricks Up
Even if they’re brand new, the bricks will still be dusty. I threw them in my laundry sink and gave them a good scrubbing with some dish soap and an old scrub brush. Then, rinse and dry them off with a rag. Make sure they’re completely dry before you begin painting.
Prime The Bricks With White Paint
I bought a can of white primer spray paint, placed the bricks on an old piece of cardboard outside, and sprayed each side lightly with the primer. You don’t need to do more than one coat of primer. It’s just enough to give you something to start working on. I find priming the bricks first seals it somewhat so that you’re not doing too many coats of paint later when you begin decorating. Make sure you do all sides and edges.
Choose An Image and Start Sketching
Once the coat of primer is fully dry, select the book cover you would like to replicate and begin sketching directly onto your brick. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just do your best interpretation of the cover! Don’t worry about the lettering too much yet. Just remember approximately where you plan on putting it once your image is complete.
Begin Painting the Design
I used acrylic paints like these ones to paint my bricks. I begin with a wider brush to paint the background. Once it’s dry, I go ahead and use some brushes with finer tips to paint the details onto the rock. In this example I painted the whole front of the brick with white acrylic paint before sketching and painting the caterpillar.
Add Book Titles for a Realistic Look
Once the image is done, I used a pencil and a ruler to draw guidelines and write on book titles. I sometimes add the author’s name too if I can fit it on the brick. Then, using a really fine paintbrush and a steady hand, slowly begin tracing over your pencil lettering. I find this takes a couple of coats to get it to look just right.
Finishing Touches to Your Brick Books
Don’t forget to paint the spine and the back of the cover. I just left these blank, but you could definitely add the book title down the spine. For a finishing touch, I like to paint the pages on the book as well. I also used black and white paint on sponge brushes to just to dust around the edges of the brick. This adds some weathering, highlighting, and ‘wear-and-tear’ that I personally like the look of. From here you can also add a sealer, like this one by Krylon, with a clear finish to protect the design.
Try Some Other Designs Too
The possibilities are endless! If children’s picture books aren’t your thing, try making some vintage-style fiction books. These would look fantastic in a book-lovers garden or could be used as bookends. I painted these for my mom with a few of her favourite book titles.
Have Fun and Happy Painting!
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