Sponge Painting

Want to try a decorative painting technique, but have little experience? Try sponge painting. Sponging is quick, impossible to mess up, and looks terrific. Change a wall from boring to wow with this easy technique. Even if you do mess up just a bit, it isn't at all difficult to fix those little imperfections. Start with a shopping list:

*Two contrasting paints in a satin sheen or as a second choice, semi-gloss. If you want a warm, Autumnal look, try a rich pumpkin and a leafy brown.

*High quality clear latex glaze.

Painter's Tape

*Paint roller for applying the base coat.

*Wide painter's tape

*Two plastic paint buckets

Natural Sponges

*Paint stirrer

*Paper plates

*Two natural sponges

Trim Brush

*Old newspaper


*Sponge roller or trim brush

How To

Here's how:

*Apply a base coat to your clean wall (make sure it's dry if you've just finished the cleaning part) with a paint roller, using the pumpkin-colored paint. Allow to dry and apply a second coat if necessary.

*Mask-off doors, windows, ceiling, and floor with painter's tape.

*Mix one part of the brown paint with four parts of the clear glaze in one bucket.

Clear Water

*Fill the other bucket halfway full with water for rinsing your sponges.

*Pour just a bit of the glaze/paint mixture onto a paper plate.

*Dip a sponge in water and wring it out as best you can.

Blot Excess

*Dip the sponge into the glaze/paint mixture on the plate, blotting any excess onto the newspaper.

*Take a practice run on the cardboard. Dab lightly at the cardboard with your sponge, overlap edges, and turn the sponge to get a natural, random-looking effect. Once you find a color depth and texture you like, you can begin to sponge the walls of the room, starting with a high corner.

*Aim to cover an 8' sq. section, dipping the sponge into the glaze/paint mixture as often as needed.

Wring Out

*If the sponge becomes heavily saturated with color, rinse it in the water bucket and wring it out before you continue.

*After completing an 8' sq. section, take the second, clean sponge, dip it in the water and wring it out. Use the damp sponge to dab at the glaze/paint sponge marks. This should help the pumpkin base color to just peek through the brown sponged areas. Rinse your sponge and repeat as desired.

*Begin to sponge with the glaze/paint mixture the next 8' sq. section, and repeat sponging off with the damp sponge, moving on to the next section of the wall as needed.