Dry Sponge Painting Techniques

Dry sponge painting is one of many different painting techniques that can add texture to walls or other household items. You can experiment with latex paint, making complementary or contrasting colors, depending on the effect you want to create. Don’t use any type of glazes with sponge painting. The great advantage with sponge painting is that it remains maintenance-free, and most household activities won't cause any lasting damage.

Preparing the Wall

Put masking tape around window frames and remove all switch and outlet plates before starting. Don't forget to add spackling to holes in the wall.

Before you can apply sponges and color to the wall, you will need a base coat on the surface. It can be any color you desire, although bear in mind that some colors will show through in parts. Brush or roll it on to cover the wall entirely. You can have a sheen on the surface by using an eggshell finish for the best results.

Applying the First Color

Your sponges need to be dry before you apply the first color. Put the paint in a roller tray and dip the sponge into it, but don’t soak it entirely. Have some old newspaper at hand and blot the paint on the sponge to remove any excess material.

To apply the paint, press the sponge gently on the wall. You don’t have to cover every square inch. Let some of the base coat show through for a rustic effect. Don’t apply the same way each time and move your wrist around so different parts of the sponge touch the wall. This will create a spotted effect that looks ideal on most walls and furnishings.

When you’ve finished the wall and the paint has dried, you’ll be ready for the second color.

Applying the Second Color

Put paint on the sponge in the same way you did the first color, and then start to apply to the wall. You can create the best effects when you put the second color in place where the base coat shows through from the first color.

You will need to regularly step back and take a look at the effect, altering the pressure and movement of your wrist to change the look of the paint. Cover the wall until you have the effect you want.

Marbling Color

You can create a marble effect by applying the first color very lightly over the base coat. Use a repeated pattern or make all the strokes go the same way, and allow the base coat show through. Let the paint dry completely, and then apply the second color lightly so the first color and base show through.

Creating Texture

Your first dabs of paint with a sponge will be heavy and puts lots of color on the wall. By using a part of the sponge with no paint, and dabbing that on the spot, you can create textures on the surface you are painting.

Added Effect

You can sponge more than two colors on the surface to create more interesting effects. Try a final metallic color to make the surface look especially interesting. Apply very lightly, however, or it can become overpowering.