Learn the best technique for sponge painting your walls
Sponging off gives your wall depth and complexity. Lay down a base coat then the decorative glaze is applied with a genuine sea sponge for the most diverse and interesting result. Rolling on a layer of glaze to the base coat and then sponging to remove some of the glaze provides a striking effect.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT
While sponging techniques give texture to a wall, they do not eliminate the need for proper room prep. Remove furniture by moving to the center of the room and protect the floors with a drop cloth. Prepare the walls by scrubbing thoroughly and repair any surface mars. Now you are ready to apply the base coat with a 9-inch roller cover with a 3/8-inch nap. Allow the base coat to dry 24 hours.
• Mix the glaze in a ratio of 1 part paint and 4 parts glaze. Practice on test panels to determine the recipe. Time is critical in sponging off because you are removing glaze. The process stops when the glaze dries. Also make sure your glaze recipe allows enough time to work. You can slow drying by adding gel retarder to the glaze.
• Before you begin, soak the sponge with water. Squeeze out the excess water so the wetness of the sponge will be consistent from start to finish. This is important in maintaining the same effect from section to section. Have a pile of clean dry cloths or lint-free paper towels handy to blot the sponge when it loads up with paint. Between sections rinse the sponge in a bucket to remove glaze, which tends to thicken inside the pores.
• Carry the plate or bucket of glaze in your other hand, or keep it nearby on a chair or stepladder. Extend your working time. The glaze may dry faster than you can sponge it off. If so, mist the glaze with a spray bottle of water to reactivate it. If this happens more than once, thin the glaze consistency with a little water or add more gel retarder.
• If you find you have removed too much of the glaze in a certain spot, you can come back later and sponge on a little bit more.
Apply the first glaze using a 9-inch roller cover with a 3/8-inch nap. Roll an area of wall about 3 square feet or as much as you can sponge off in 10 to 15 minutes. Roll as close to the corner as you can. For corners, tear off a small piece of sponge and use it to squeeze the glaze into the corners. Press the sponge on and off the wall, working from top to bottom. Rotate the sponge frequently, rubbing the sponge on a rag occasionally and rinse out the glaze before starting each new section.
Step away from the wall and look at the result after completing each section. Begin the next section before the previous section dries. Always maintain a wet edge.