A Perfect Guide on How to Hide a Bad Wall Without Paint

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When decorating a wall, the first thing most people think of is usually grabbing a paintbrush. This can make a room look fresher and cleaner, but if the wall you are covering is too flawed for paint alone to do the trick, you may need to use something else to cover the wall. There might be holes in the wall, or it was made of brick that is old and needs to be replaced, or something else.

bad wall
How to Hide a Bad Wall Without Paint

One excellent option for covering a bad wall is to use faux stone and brick veneer, which is a significantly lower cost than installing real stone or brick, and you can install it in just a weekend. This guide will show you how to install GenStone’s faux stone and brick veneer.

Necessary Tools

You will need some tools to install your GenStone. This list has recommended and optional tools for installing GenStone on any type of surface and some tools for specific surface types.

Recommended tools

  • Hand Saw
  • Screwdriver Bits
  • Utility Knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Tape Measure
  • Caulking Gun for a 10 oz Tube
  • Framing Square
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Marker
  • Safety Goggles/Glasses
  • Gloves

Optional tools

  • Table Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Power Sander

Additional recommended tools:
Tools for applying to brick or concrete:

  • Tapcon Screws
  • Masonry Screwdriver Bits

Tools for applying to wood:

  • 1.625” Non-Corrosive Deck Screws
  • 2.5” Non-Corrosive Deck Screw (for Ledger)Tools for applying to gypsum board:
  • 6” x 1.25” Drywall Screws

Step One: How much do you need?

You need to determine how much GenStone you will need for your installation. Here are the formulas to determine how much faux stone or brick veneer you need.

Formula to Measure Stacked Stone

This is the formula for stacked stone in a 65′ long by 4’ tall wainscot:

  • “65 x 12 = 780 inches long
  • “Each panel provides 41″ of width coverage so 780 / 41 = 19.02 panels.
    • “Each panel delivers 11″ of height coverage, so 19.02 x 4 = 76.08 panels.
    • “Always add 5% and round up! 76.08 x 1.05 = 80 total panels needed.
  • “Each ledger provides 42″ of width and 3.5″ of height.
    • “780 / 42 = 18.57 ledgers.
    • “Always add 5% and round up! 18.57 x 1.05 = 20 total ledgers needed
  • “For a 90º corner, there are both inside and outside corner panels available. Each one is 18″ of width per row. The corners are the height of two panels stacked. For every three corners, subtract one full panel.”

Formula to Measure Brick Veneer

Here is the formula for brick veneer in a 65′ long by 4’ tall wainscot:

  • “65 x 12 = 780 inches long
    • “Each panel provides 22.25″ of width coverage so 780 / 22.25 = 35.05 panels
    • “Each panel delivers 22.25″ of height coverage so 35.05 x 2 = 70.01 panels
    • “Always add 5% and round up! 70.01 x 1.05 = 74 total panels needed
  • “Each ledger provides 47″ of width and 3.75″ of height.
    • “780 / 47 = 17.42 ledgers
    • “Always add 5% and round up! 17.42 x 1.05 = 19 total ledgers needed
  • “For a 90º corner, there are both inside and outside corner panels available. Each one is 18″ of width per row. The corners are the height of two panels stacked. For every three corners, subtract one full panel.”

Step Two: Layout the panels

Before you begin applying your GenStone panels to your wall, lay the panels out in the pattern you would like to. This allows you to put them in a pattern that looks natural.

Step Three: Measure your GenStone

You will probably need to cut some holes into the panels for light switches and electrical outlets. Hold your panels up to the areas you need to cut out and mark them out on the panels. To ensure accuracy, measure the area, and compare it to your marked-out section.

Step Four: Cutting

After everything is measured, it is time to cut the panels. The best method for smaller pieces is using a compound miter saw, though a jigsaw or hand saw can be used instead.

For cutting out pieces to make space for outlets or light switches, a jigsaw, drill hole saw, or keyhole saw will work.

Step Five: Attaching the panels

Before you start attaching the panels, the surface they are being put on needs to be completely clean and dry. If you are applying it to brick, you should sand any uneven spots to give you a more even surface to apply your GenStone to.

Now you can start installing your GenStone. Start with the corner pieces. Draw a vertical line on both sides of the corner that will be visible when you test fit the corners. You might need to trim the corner piece down to make sure it fits perfectly. Use a level to make sure the panels are even.

The panels have shiplap edges, so they easily interlock. Secure each panel with screws as you go, spacing them about eight inches apart and wherever you feel any flex in the panels. Put the screws in the shadows of the stone to camouflage them.

There are some differences in the exact installation method that depends on the material you affix it to.

Installing GenStone on wood

If you are putting your GenStone on wood, apply a moisture barrier before you start to protect the wood. You will need 2.5″ non-corrosive deck screws that are graded for an exterior. The rest of the instructions in this guide can be followed from here.

Installing GenStone on brick or concrete

For concrete or brick, you will need a polyurethane safe construction adhesive, preferably PL-200 or PL-300, and apply it in a 3/8″ bead to the back of the panel in an “S” pattern.

Make a pilot hole before you screw in the concrete anchors and use Tapcons – concrete screws – to attach your GenStone. The rest of the instructions in this guide can be followed from here.

Installing GenStone on gypsum board

If you are installing your GenStone on the gypsum board, using adhesive is not recommended. Use drywall screws to attach it. The rest of the instructions in this guide can be followed from here.

Step Six: Caulking

You will need to do a lot of caulking when installing GenStone. Put caulking on every visible screw and to the positive shiplap edges and finger tabs.

This can take up to two weeks to cure; make sure alcohol and solvents are kept away from it during that time.

Step Seven: Touch-ups

You can use touch up paint that matches your panels to cover the screws after the caulking is dry and cured. You can also use it to cover any cosmetic damage and any exposed foam from cutting the panels.

Step Eight: Finished!

You have finished installing your faux stone or brick veneer wall, successfully hiding your bad wall without painting! Now, you can give the wall your own personal touch and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

How to Hide a Bad Wall Without Paint

About the Author

Auz Burger is a freelance writer who specializes in ​faux stone and brick veneer​, home décor, and DIY projects. She has a BA from Washington State University and has been writing and editing professionally for ten years. Connect with her on Twitter at ​@AuzBurger​.