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by Sandra Kiss-London
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Sponging is one of the easiest faux finish techniques used to give any wall textured beauty. It involves more than one shade of paint, letting you create tonal effects not possible with a single flat color. If your walls are in less-than-perfect condition, sponging will camouflage dents, bumps, or other surface blemishes that flat paint only accentuates.

Any room in your home, from the kitchen and bathroom to a hallway or bedroom, is a good candidate for a sponging makeover.

Listed below are a few tricks and tips that will allow you to Faux like a Pro™!

Great Tips When Sponging

1.Choosing a good hardy sea sponge with lots of texture will help you produce the best results. They cost between $8.00 and $30.00 and can be found at your local paint / wallpaper or art supply store, as well as hardware and automotive stores.

2.If you buy a sponge that is too large, cut it in half allowing a comfortable grip when sponging. These sponges can be used over and over again. To preserve its use clean the sponge in either water or thinner depending on what medium you use, latex or oil. (Latex is water soluble while oil is mineral spirits soluble)

3.After dipping sponge into paint always off load your sponge onto a paper plate or towel to remove excess paint. You don't want pronounced paint blobs on the wall. You should be able to make between five and ten prints with each load of paint.

4.Your goal when sponging is to achieve a constant random texture. This is done by rotating your sponge in your hand and twisting your wrist from left to right after a few imprints, producing a clean understated pattern. Use a light touch when pressing the sponge to the wall. Keep in mind the harder you press, the darker the print and the lighter you press, the more delicate the print. You shouldn't be able to count the number of times the sponge hit the surface nor see heavy prints from using too much paint.

5.Sponging corners and ceiling lines are difficult. You want to avoid the heavy build up of paint that forms around the frames of your walls due to an overly large sponge that cannot fit in these difficult areas. Cut a small piece of sponge to a shape and size that is comfortable for you to maneuver in the corners. I recommend a using a 2-3 in. size sponge and rotate it to a different position each time you make an imprint. This technique will produce clean, professional looking corners.

Apply base coat in color of choice and allow to dry. Mix glaze in another color and apply to wall with a damp sea sponge. Remember to turn the sponge in your hand as you blot it along the wall to give a random pattern. You can sponge on another layer of color once the first dries. For a simplified faux granite effect use a black base and sponge on first a layer of brown glaze, then ivory glaze, then a taupe glaze. Allow to dry.

Other Wall Paint Techniques


Apply base coat in color of choice and allow to dry. Mix glaze and apply to wall with a dampened rag. I like to use thin 100% cotton washcloths that you can buy in a bundle of 12 at stores. The glaze should be applied in a random pattern. To create this effect you need to consistently turn and reposition the rag while gently applying glaze in either a blotting motion or rubbing motion. Try both and see which effect you prefer. Its best to stop at a corner so that you don't have a buildup of glaze where you stopped and where you begin. Allow to dry.

Feather Duster

Apply base coat in color of choice and allow to dry. Mix glaze and apply to wall with a roller in areas no larger than 4' x 8'. Once you have applied a coat of glaze, take a feather duster and randomly "dust" surface. If glaze accumulates on the feathers, rub them off on a paper towel occasionally. Allow to dry.

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