What is Sponge Painting?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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Sponge painting is a painting technique that is frequently used on interior walls and furniture to give them a textured appearance. It is a decorative finish technique, applied on top of walls that are already painted, even if they are just painted white or another neutral color. The benefits of sponge painting are that it is easy to do, can be fun for kids to help participate in, and gives the room or piece of furniture a whole new look without spending a great deal of money, except the cost of paint, glaze, and natural sponges.

A great deal of skill is not required for Sponge painting. Once the walls or furniture are already painted with a base coat, and it has dried completely, the sponge painting technique may be applied. It is best to pour some paint and glaze into a painting tray, then dip a damp sponge lightly in the paint so only a little bit sticks to the sponge. Dab a bit of it off on the side of the tray or on a scrap of cardboard, for example, and then dab the sponge on the wall a few times in a random pattern, rolling the sponge slightly with each application. This is the most basic technique for using a sponge to get a more interesting, textured look on the wall.


If there is not enough paint, it may be necessary to go over the area a few times to get the desired look. It is best to always put a minimal amount of paint on the sponge; otherwise, it will simply smear on the wall rather than giving it a bumpy, textured appearance. Specific sponge painting instructions, as well as more challenging techniques, can be found online. It is difficult to make a mistake with this technique, however, as long as painting only occurs in small areas at a time, and the sponge is rinsed and wrung out when it becomes too saturated with glaze.

This painting technique is a great way to try out different paint colors. Some people choose a lighter base coat with a darker color for sponge painting, while others do the opposite. Some use multiple colors while sponge painting to make the room look even more colorful. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and any mistakes can simply be painted over and then covered again with new paint.


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