How to Sponge Paint a Bathroom

faux paint finish on wall behind a towel rack
What You'll Need
Paint, 2 colors
Paint tray
Sea sponge
Bucket of clean water
Painters tape

The process of how to sponge paint is simple and can be fun for the whole family. A bathroom is a perfect room for this process, creating an interesting texture and look to a small room that can otherwise be bland. It provides decoration that doesn't take up any space.

Step 1 - Choose Your Colors

Sponge painting requires two colors, one for the base layer and one for the sponge layer. Don't be afraid to choose colors beyond the standard pale off whites of old. Be creative.

The layering of sponging allows you to use darker colors on either layer without creating a dreary effect. Using a lighter color on the other layer provides contrast and a lightening effect. Just make sure you like the effect of the two colors together before you start. Practice different layering techniques on a sample board.

Two colors in very close shades can also create a subtle and soothing effect. Vary the two paints by at least two shades to create a visible difference to the observer. Do not choose dark shades for this effect as the room will just feel dark.

Choose water-resistant paints from the paint place of your choice, as this is for a bathroom.

Step 2 - Prepare

taping off baseboard in preparation to paint

Tape around doorways, windows, mirrors, and at the ceiling. Cover the floor with the tarp to protect from splatters.

Step 3 - Apply the First Layer of Paint

Place the first color paint in the paint tray. Use the roller to apply the paint to the wall in a smooth layer. If, once dry, the color is spotty then apply a second layer to even things out. The whole layer won’t be visible once you start sponging, but you want to create the best base possible.

Step 4 - Add the Sponge Layer

sea sponge

Once the first layer of paint is dry, get out the second color. Dampen your sea sponge before adding or removing paint. To get a more variable and random look, you can rotate the sponge with each press to the wall, or cut it into variable shaped pieces.

Use one of the two following techniques to apply the second layer of paint.

Sponging On - Dip the sponge into the paint, getting only a thin layer of paint on the sponge so that the texture will come through. Too much paint will just leave blotches of paint. Lightly dab the sponge against the wall. Work on a small section at a time, keeping the edges wet so that the overlap will be smooth. When the paint layer applied gets too light, add more paint to the sponge. If the core of the sponge gets too full of paint, rinse it out in a clean bucket of water before continuing.

Sponging Off - Place the second color of paint in the roller tray. Using a clean roller, roll it onto the wall in a smooth layer. Work in sections. While the paint is wet, take a damp sponge and press it to the wall, removing a small amount of paint in the texture of the sponge. Repeat to expand the pattern across the wall. When the sponge becomes loaded with paint, rinse it in a bucket of clean water. Move quickly to keep the edges of the painted section wet to prevent seaming and allow the sponge to pick up paint.

One way to speed the process and keep the paint wet is to get help. The kids can do the lower levels while the adults work higher and make it a family bathroom.