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12 wall panels that look like brick and stone: I dig it!

Yesterday was like Christmas in my kitchen. After talking to Tim Clark, president of wall paneling manufacturer Decorative Panels International (DPI) a few days ago, his team sent me 10 large samples of designs that looked interesting to me. I rushed to open the box, propped the samples all over my kitchen, inspected and took photos. My mini review of the 10 samples and their potential for your Retro Renovation:

I absolutely love the paneling that is meant to mimic brick and stone. I would use it in a heartbeat in a room where I was working to create a mid-1960s and beyond vibe — one of these may even have potential for one wall in my office craft room design! The stuff is really sturdy and has a high quality feel — the whole panel is texture-pressed at DPI’s factory in Alpena, Michigan — bricks and stone “pop” out just like real bricks and stonework. The colors are great, very realistic. Overall, DPI has 5 distinct designs — a total of 12 colors — of wall panels that look like brick or stone. On these designs — I give 10 stars.

To clarify, DPI has many more wall paneling designs — wall panels that look like ceramic tile, stone tile, subway tile, marble tile, beadboard, textured wallpaper, knotty pine and wood paneling. Be sure to see their site (link below). Continuing on with a look at the other samples that I received…

Above is Honey Pine — This one, I think, is “okay”, a “maybe” depending… If I were going to do knotty pine, I would for sure do more research to find out if I could get the real deal vs. using this printed paneling. Real pine is relatively cheap. At some point, I will do more research on where to get real knotty pine (meanwhile watch craiglist and Re-Store for tear-out vintage.) Meanwhile, if you want cheap and cheerful and just-get-it-done, the Honey Pine paneling is okay. On the right is the Windworn paneling — greige, gouged with deep graining, and even though I am not a greige fan I think it is well executed — it looks just like its name, windworn wood, like driftwood and even a bit like pecky cypress.There are other washed out colors, too.

Above: Paneling that looks like white subway tile — I like it, it looks and “feels” great, however, I wish the “tiles” were 3″x6″ instead of 4″x8″ — DPI’s marketing team reports that the larger scale was a request of commercial customers — their largest market; dat’s business. In any case, I still like the subways — they seem good if you are on a tight budget and want to DIY. The Fireside Cherry paneling on the right: Not so sure. It’s sturdy enough, but I can see the difference between its rotogravure-printed surface design and the circa-1951 cherry veneer paneling in our basement man cave. I think a polished surface might help… I might try to slap some collage gloss on it and see if that *deepens* and *improves* the look; my original cherry paneling has a sort of “eggshell” finish that adds richness. I also have already talked to the two remaining manufacturers making true wood veneered paneling, and samples are on the way. I will compare and report back shortly.

Meanwhile: Lots of potential in these products from DPI. I see in the materials they sent me, they are no dinky company: They are owned by American Standard. Their brochure is also very good — ask your big box hardware store for a copy or see it online here.

  1. Retrosandie says:

    These panels are interesting. In the early 70’s, I used Decor Brick in White on the back walls behind the stove and under the cabinets. It brightened things right up! I also had that Windworn paneling in the kitchen, except it was an light avocado green, and went well with the Armstrong flooring, avocado green appliances, and avocado painted cabinets. I loved my avocado green kitchen!!!! (It was wonderful decorating for *any* holiday. All others colors went quite well with the green so it was easy to change decor from season to season!!! 🙂 Oh, and my sister-in-law had put the RED decor brick in HER kitchen.

  2. Chutti says:

    Oyouuoohhoo….I’d love to see green brick. Sounds snazzy.

    All I could think of reading this was how one of the prizes on Let’s Make a Deal was always ….”Zbrick”.
    Looks like they still make that, too.

    I’m not so sure about some of the paneling ideas or the faux tiles in a home setting, but I really like the way some of the brick and stone materials look.
    Neat find!

    1. Steve 66 says:

      Oh, yeah – Zbrick I remember that! Didn’t they give that away on other game shows too? Wasn’t there a companion product called Rough-it (wall texture)? I always thought it was a sort of odd thing to give away, I mean what if you rented an apartment, or what if your house was already brick?

      1. Chutti says:

        Yeh, I always thought that was kind of weird, too.
        Not a product that everyone absolutely needs, so not the best prize.

        But of course EVERYONE needed a year’s supply of Creamettes macaroni!

  3. Mary Tatum says:

    I am finally clear that my 1904 house was redone once in the 50’s (knotty pine wainscot in living room), and the 70’s (fake brick in the kitchen and wraps into the living room).

    1. Chutti says:

      Well, 1904 with 1950s and 1970s is one click further than our house.

      1920 with one remodel in 1957.

      Which makes it perfect for us, since that roughly covers our two main period obsessions and collections.
      But weird in general.

  4. Allen says:

    Hey Pam,
    Do you think the panels that simulate brick would work for a backsplash surrounding a cooktop? OR Would it ruin them to have to clean grease off of them?
    Thanks

    1. pam kueber says:

      I think you should ask the company… Maybe add a layer of polyurethane??? Again… ask them and see what they say.

  5. Trip H says:

    When I moved into my 1948 bungalow the wall above the fireplace has some water damage on it and the original wallpaper had peeled. Knowing I would never find the original wallpaper or anything close to I went to Home Depot and purchased one of the “brick” panel boards and had it cut to go exactly on the wall. Once done I painted it white to match the rest of the fireplace and now everyone says it looks great.

  6. nina462 says:

    So 1970’s! My neighbors had a whole wall of these. I remember from when I would babysit. Recently the house was for sale – still had the brick – but it was painted to match the rest of the room, and still looked nice.

  7. Susie says:

    Wow. The dark brick looks exactly like the panels that were in the kitchen of the house I grew up in (a 1920’s bungalow with a mod 1960s remodel.) Love it!

  8. Rebecca Reeves says:

    Pam, love this and it might be just what we are looking for to cover the cinder block around our fireplace in the basement. Can you tell me the name of the stone paneling in the second picture. I tried zooming in to read and I can’t. I will then head to Menards and get some pricing. Thanks!!

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