Creativity 521 #108 - A brick wall made of paint {Introducing Nippon Momento Travertino}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 6.3.17
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So this is something that has fascinated almost every visitor who has been to our house. Since I had been so blown away by how ingeniously and creatively it was done, I thought it would be great to share it with you in this week's Creativity 521 and maybe it will come in handy if you are intending to move or revamp your place in the near future.

Today, I'll be talking about the Nippon Momento Travertino wall that we have up in our dining room (see the tour of the dining room here), which is also what you may call the 'brick' wall.

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Now, the story behind it is that I initially opted for a craftstone brick wall, you know, those thin slabs of stone that imitate the look of real bricks. We made our way to a supplier in Ubi to take a look at the showroom, decided on our choice of craftstone and bought a total of five boxes.

It was all supposed to go well when the contractor came over and he started to use some super glue mixture to stick the bricks onto the wall one by one. Well, what happened was that the bricks kept falling off one by one, no matter how much glue he used or how hard he pressed and how he tried to keep them in place.

Not only did they fall off, they also removed the paint from the freshly painted wall and even created holes in the partition wall. Right, the partition. That was precisely why the contractor couldn't use cement and why the glue didn't work - the wall was hollow. Plus, the bricks we chose happened to be a little thicker and uneven at the back.

This meant we had to eventually give up on the idea after a whole day of trying and I was feeling disappointed and dismayed. What happened then was that I was speaking to Jen, who helped me to paint all the Nippon Momento Special Effect walls in my house (take a look at the walls here), and she told me that there is a designer series called Travertino in the Momento collection. With it, you can create brick, block or weave line designs using the special textured paint.

Yup, so I decided that we should go for this instead when the first job failed and I think everything was meant to be. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I really, really love the final outcome. Take a look at how it's done!
 

Our Travertino wall measures 2m by 2.5m and though it is considered very small, the construction still took nearly a day. What happens first is that the workers will have to mark out the borders and then start to create lines in between - using nothing else but masking tape.

At first, I had totally no clue of what they were doing or how they intend to create the 'brick' look. I mean, do they do it slab by slab by painting onto the wall, do they get the blocks ready first and then stick it onto the wall, just how? Their method was so clever that I was really very impressed. Read on and you'll see.

The measuring and marking took up the whole morning because they had to ensure that the dimensions were correct. Each horizontal layer had to be of the same thickness so it could be a challenge trying to fit them neatly into the allocated area.

Once the horizontal layers were done, they stuck short vertical strips onto the wall to create the 'brick' look. Using a cardboard cutout as a template, they made sure that every rectangular block was more of less the same size.

Here's the Travertino paint - which is by default grey when wet and turns to white when dry. Actually, it just seemed like clay or cement to me and once you paint it onto a surface, it slowly dries up.

With the help of trowels, the workers started to spread a layer of paint over the wall, concealing the masking tape. They deliberately left lines on the surface instead of smoothing them out so that there will be a more natural 'brick' look. Then, the wall was left to dry for a hour or so.

Next comes the fun part! So how to we create a brick wall look from a layer of paint? Well, you just remove the masking tape! How simple yet so very smart, right? The worker who stayed back to do this was incredibly cautious and meticulous in doing this because if you exert too much strength, the paint will crack and you will have touching up to do. Strip by strip, he lifted the ends of the masking tape and pulled them out slowly.

This was how the wall looked like after all the tape was removed.

I took a few steps back to take this picture and you can see that the feature wall took up less than half of the entire wall. Well, we needed to fix storage cupboards above and on the left so this was the best arrangement we could come up with.

Once the paint started to dry, it faded to a white colour.



This essentially means that unless you have a coloured wall, if not your Travertino wall will just blend in with the white wall and be barely visible. How can, right? After spending a bomb on it, the least is to make sure it stands out and is prominent.

So, not only did we added LED spotlights in the cupboard so that they can shine on the wall, we also painted the wall using Reflections MS144 in the Nippon Momento series. I have to tell you how lucky we were because while the carpenter didn't know the colour of the feature wall and the Nippon folks also didn't know the colour of the cupboard. It was purely a coincidence that they matched so perfectly - the gold colour of the MS144 turned out to be a perfect match for the wooden laminates of the cupboard - and I am very thankful for that.


At first, I did think that the Travertino wall looked a little too dark and dull. It wasn't till it dried up over the next few days and became a more consistent shade that I began to love it more and more. While it is still 3-dimensional and not flat like wallpaper, it is also not thick so there is minimal cleaning or dusting needed. Yup, like I said, things happen for a reason and I am just happy with how everything turned out eventually.


So, here's how our Travertino wall looks like now and it is definitely one of the highlights in our House of LOVE. It's going to make an awesome photo backdrop (that's precisely why I wanted a brick wall) and you bet you'll be seeing plenty of it in future! To see a video of how the wall was done, check out my Instagram post below.

A post shared by Summer Goh 🌞 (@ahappymum) on

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. We paid out of our own pockets for the Nippon Momento Travertino wall and we love it so much that we just had to share with you. All photographs and opinions are our own.

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This post is part of the "A Happy Home" series where I share all about our new Scandinavian-themed house, the renovation process and some tips and thoughts. Moving is never easy but it comes with an indescribable sense of joy in building up the house of your dreams. Remember, home is where the heart is and nothing is more important than being able to build memories with the people you love.

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