Masking a Cell Tower with Faux Brick Painting


Have you ever seen those not-so-convincing cell towers made to look like pine trees?  I recently learned there is an entire industry of companies who provide ways to hide cell towers – and unlike the pine trees, the results can be extremely convincing.

 

My experience in this space started when an old colleague from the print world forwarded me an email from a friend of hers who was looking for scenic painters.  While my actual “scenic” work is limited to a few small projects I did for the drama group in college, I reached out to see if my mural/artist/house-painter skills would be applicable.

 

After an introductory phone-call, I made a trip up to visit Atlantic Concealment in Maine where they produce many different styles of enclosures.  The project they were working on at the time was a brick enclosure that was going on the roof of a building in Connecticut.  They do this by creating panels out of special dense foam and then stamp a brick pattern on the surface that gets painted uniform “mortar” and “brick” colors.  In this case, the building was older and had a lot of variation in the brick colors, so the uniform brick color was not a natural enough match to blend with the existing structure.

 

My task was to go on-site in Connecticut so I could see the existing brick first hand and mix colors to match.  After some challenges with rain (of course), I was able to dig in.  It turned out to be a fun challenge not only to match all of the colors, but also to figure out how to replicate the patterns of color variation, stains and wear that were on the building itself.   

 

Following are some pictures from the job – including the “before” shot of the pre-painted panels, an “after” shot of a panel, and the final installed result.  For more on this – Google images for “cell tower concealment” to see some of the ways cell towers all around you are hidden!

 An example of the panels before my retouching

An example of the panels before my retouching

 After the matching process!

After the matching process!

 The panels installed

The panels installed