Faux Finishes: Sponging Faux Finishes: Sponging

A sponged wall adds color, interest, depth and texture to a room. A quick, easy on the pocket technique, sponging the walls takes less time than hassling with wallpapering. The word "faux" is French, meaning "to fool" or "make believe." So grab a sea sponge and start making believe today by sponging a faux finish in a room.

Faux finishing is about painting surfaces to look like something that they really aren't, or just creating a creative look. When it comes to painting walls, there is one elementary truth: The walls must be ready to receive paint.

Preparing the Walls:
  1. The walls must be clean. Paint adheres better to a clean wall over a grimy one, and it's just easier to paint on a smooth, clean wall. Wash with a mild soapy solution with clean cloths. If mold or mildew is present, using bleach on the walls at a ratio of one part bleach to 3 parts water should do the trick.
  2. Remove all furniture from the area. Take off door knobs, handles and switch plates, or cover with masking tape.
  3. Lay plastic on the floor to catch any drips.
  4. Sand flaking paint and patch holes.
  5. Repair gaps in baseboards and moldings with caulking.
  6. Fill in nail holes with spackle.
  7. Allow all spackle to dry and then sand.
  8. Add primer to newly filled areas.

Now you're ready to begin the fun, and indeed, after getting the look you want, it's about being creative and enjoying the procedure. When it comes to faux finishes, there are no hard fast rules. Personal taste rules the day. Experiment on a large piece of cardboard or board before you begin, if you,re concerned about how it will look.

You'll need:
  • Primer: Choose a color in either oil or latex with an eggshell or satin sheen
  • Glaze
  • Top coats such as varnishes or stains
  • Paint tray, brushes and rollers
  • Depending on what finish you choose, you may need sponges, feathers, rags, or wood graining tools
  • Have a bucket of water handy
  • Clean up water with soap for water based paints and mineral spirits for glazes
  • Rubber gloves

Faux Finishing: Sponging Using Latex Paint and a Six-Inch Sea Sponge

  1. Begin by painting the walls in the background color. This first coat of paint will be the dominant color seen.
  2. Pour the complimentary color into a paint pan. Wet your sponge in the bucket of water and squeeze all the water out. Lightly tap the sponge into the paint to load it and then tap on newspaper or cardboard to equally distribute the paint around the sponge.
  3. Working in a three foot area at a time, always use the same pressure if possible. At the beginning the sponge is loaded with paint, so tap in different places within the three foot area. This gives a more uniform look rather than the paint all globbed in one area. Keep in mind the harder you press, the more paint is left on the wall. Be creative - give your wrist a twist once in a while or turn the sponge to create different looks.
  4. Don’t worry about corners until the end of the project when you cut the sponge to fit the corners.
  5. Stand back and look at your work within the three foot space. Are you satisfied or do you need to go back and sponge on a bit in empty places?
  6. Begin your next three foot space while finishing the preceding one to give an overall look rather than a wall sectioned off into three foot blocks.

That's it! Continue until the entire wall or room is covered. Sponging is a great solution for walls that are less than perfect. Hide dents, dimples, bumps, and blemishes beneath a creative application of sponging. After the fun of sponging is over, begin the fun times in an interesting atmosphere that you created.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!