How to Sponge Paint a Wall
Colored glaze layered on in a random pattern can do wonders for a flat wall
"Sponging additional color on a painted wall is a classic technique, with an effect that depends on the colors you choose," says decorative painter Ingrid Leess. "Here, I wanted to mimic a steel wall that had started to rust." To start, she put down a medium-gray base coat. Then she mixed equal parts rust-color satin latex with clear glaze, which lightens the color. Leess wrung out a wet sea sponge, dipped it in the colored glaze, squeezed out the excess, and patted this way and that. When the pattern was dry, she patted on a mix of clear glaze and dark gray, making sure the base and rust colors peeked through. "Colors that come together naturally work well—moss green and garden-urn gray, for example, plus yellow if you like—and layering them creates this interesting look," says Leess. Experiment on poster board and get a feel for it. Then check the effect while you work on the wall as color and texture interact.