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wall design

How to Create an Exposed Stone Wall Look

How to Create an Exposed Stone Wall Look

Using our brick and stone style panels to create an 'exposed wall' look is a powerful and affordable design technique.

I used to work for a company that restored historic homes, and one of the most common jobs they did was to hack away at decades-old plaster to expose the stone and brick that lay beneath. Fireplaces and accent walls looked amazing when you revealed the building materials beneath them.

Fire-rated panels behind a wood stove cut to look like a real exposed stone wall.

This is a desirable look for a lot of people - but, of course, isn't possible in modern homes. Most houses built after World War 2 don't have hidden brick or stone beneath the drywall - it's just stud work and framing.

But some enterprising customers have come up with way to get that desirable look using our panels. They cut them into shape and add segments of them to the wall, to give a look as if there is real stone or brick poking out from underneath.

An exposed stone wall look created on a home's exterior with a few panel pieces and a ledger.

The most common way to do this is the simplest, and looks very stylistic. It involves taking a panel and using a jigsaw to cut out the desired shape, before installing them on the wall.

Because our panels are made from lightweight polyurethane foam, it's simple to cut out the shape of the bricks or stone, and the result is quite impressive. By installing the panels on the bottom and top corners of the wall, it looks like real exposed stone or brick that has been 'finished' in the middle with drywall.

Of course, the truth is the exact opposite!

We have a lot of projects that use this technique and they look great.

Design purists sometimes complain, though, because as good as this look is, it's not very realistic. In a real home with stone or brick, you have to remove plaster to expose the building materials underneath. That means that the flat surface of a wall will be higher than the exposed brick or stone.

When you're simply attaching panels to the wall, the opposite is true - the texture of the panels are higher than the flat surface of the wall.

That looks great - but for design purists, another alternative is to use the panels to create a false wall covering that you can then 'expose' what lies beneath with.

Just what do I mean? Well, take a look at this stunning bathroom project. In this instance, the homeowners wanted to mimic the look of exposed stacked stone. They achieved this by installing the panels in the traditional way, but then completely covering them in plaster.

Fake exposed stone wall in a farmhouse bathroom created with wall panels and plaster.

Once the spackle and plaster was dry, they chipped away at it to reveal the 'stone' beneath.

It's a really neat trick, and the result is vividly authentic. That being said, it's a lot more in-depth to do than simply cutting sections of the panels out; and arguably there's something beautifully clean about the first method; even if it's not quite as 'realistic' as the second.

In any event, both are a great way to get an exposed stone look; and with the first method you can use just one or two panels to add the look to an entire wall. In that respect, it's one of the most cost-effective techniques available, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

What do you think? And have you done any projects similar to this? If so we'd love to see them. Share the pictures with us, and we might even feature them on this blog!