Faux Finishes...Sponging Technique
The process of sponging is perhaps one of the easiest and a good way to become introduced to faux finishing.
This finish is great for walls that are in fair to poor condition. Sponging will camouflage dents, bumps, or other surface blemishes.
For the sake of this tutorial we will assume you are going to use latex materials so all reference to thinning, cleaning up etc is with water. If you are using oil base of course you will use mineral spirits.
You you need for this technique your two or three colors in wall paint, a good size natural sea sponge, it should be a 6" or so in dia., a bucket of water (if using latex) and some scrap newspaper or cardboard.
Start by painting the wall the background color,this is the dominate color,the one you will see the most of.
Note: If you need help selecting the colors, see our Tips on colors.
Pour a small amount of the lighter, or darker, complimentary color into a roller pan, prepare your sponge by wetting and squeezing dry and tap it into the paint (loading).
Now take your newspaper or cardboard and tap the sponge several times to evenly distribute the paint. You are ready to go, don't be scared,if you don't like it simply take a clean sponge and remove it.
We only want to do an area appx 3' square,three things to remember at this point.
1. The sponge is fully loaded so we don't want to apply all the paint in one area of our imaginary 3' sq. so the first 3-4 taps should be spread out.
2. Always use the same amount of light pressure thruout the entire job.
The harder you pounce the sponge the more material you deposit. Practice on your scrap cardboard.
3. As you are pouncing,give your hand a little twist from time to time so that the pattern is more random.
Now fill in your imaginary 3' square, if your pattern starts looking all the same, twist your hand more,if it starts becomming too lite, load your sponge. You should be able to get about 5-6 pounces per "load".
Stay away from the corners, you can cut off a small section of sponge and fill in those areas later.
Tips: Fill in about 2/3 of the area then stop and look for empty spaces,fill them in, as you near the end of your work area go ahead and wander over into the next section trying to prevent a line around your imaginary 3' square.
Make sure when you are quitting for the day to wash everything out well, its a good idea to store your sponge in a plastic bag overnite.
When choosing your colors try to stay within the same color group, don't mix red with blue, yellow with green etc. the paint strips at most all stores today have the colors graduated from strong to very lite. This is a good way to start. If you are feeling daring go ahead and combine complimentary color schemes. You can play around with color combinations on our Color Page.