How to Create a Faux Finish Using Sponges How to Create a Faux Finish Using Sponges

What You'll Need
Latex paint (if base color needs to be changed)
Latex paint (secondary color)
Faux technique glaze
Poster board
Natural sea sponge
3/8-inch Nap roller cover
Roller frame
Paint brush
Masking tape
Lint-Free rags

Faux finish on walls is a great option because it creates dramatic effects, making them interesting and unique. This cost effective method also hides imperfections on your walls, giving them beautiful and different effects including clouds, color wash, muted, sand scapes, soft suede, jean or dungaree and wood grain.

The most popular method of faux painting is done with the natural sea sponges since they have a unique texture and are very easy to work with. Follow these directions:

Step 1 – Choosing your Colors

The first step is to decide what colors you wish to have on the walls. Calculate the required amount for the whole project. Minimum you need will be two tones of colors, one as base and the other color to be sponged on the wall for the effect. To do this project with fewer expenses, you can use the existing wall color as base and purchase the second color for the faux effect. You can choose to make the sponge effect with more than one color but it will cost more.

Step 2 – Practice the Design

To acquire an idea of how the end design will look, you can practice the design intended for the walls by applying the colors on a poster board first. This is to make sure that you are comfortable with your colors and technique. On the poster board use a small amount of paint and start by painting the base wall color on it. Create your faux finish with the sponge by dabbing it on the board in different areas and angles, overlapping as you go. Keep practicing until you are satisfied with the effect created.

Step 3 – Preparation

Clean any dirt and webs on the wall. Protect with a masking tape the areas you don’t want to apply paint to. Go around the ceiling, windows, doors, trims and any other woodwork you have. Buy a large sponge so you can cut it in smaller pieces to use while working near the corners and in small areas of the wall.

Step 4 – Applying the Base Color

Before you start your sponge technique you might decide to change the base color on your wall. Start by using 3/8 of an inch roller to apply semi-gloss base coat. Wait for six hours before doing a second coat. Then let it dry completely for at least 24 hours.

Step 5 – Sponge Painting

Dampen the sea sponge with water and wring out thoroughly. Using a paint brush, apply a small amount of glaze to the sponge. Remove any excess with a rag. Dip the sponge lightly into the accent color and remove the excess paint with a paper towel. Start dabbing the sponge on the wall with the same technique used on the practice board. The color fades as the sponge has less paint on it. This random pattern creates the three-dimensional look you want. If you are using more than one color, let the first one dry before going on to the next one. Periodically wash and wring the sponge during this process. When finished, remove the masking tape.

The key for a beautiful faux finish is to overlap the sponge marks. Work slowly and take breaks to move slightly away from the wall to look at the effects you are creating.

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