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Revamp With a Stamp

Take a blank wall in a new direction with this easy DIY technique

Paint Ideas Office
Photo by Andrew Mccaul

Say the words sponge painting and most people think of the faux finish that was popular in the 1980s. Back then, homeowners sponged walls and even whole rooms to resemble peachy Tuscan villas, but the same basic technique can be used to deliver a fresh new look. Here, inexpensive sponges are cleverly deployed as stamps. Cut into triangles in two sizes, dipped in paint, and applied to the wall, they leave an imprint that suggests a primitive arrowhead. Stacked in vertical rows, they create a pattern with movement and energy.

While methodical painters can map out a perfectly repeating pattern, freer spirits can wing it, as we did here. It’s a foolproof paint method—even for the shaky-handed. Varying the pressure masks mistakes and lends an appealing block-printed look. In other words, imperfections become part of the charm. Think of it as a quick fix for plain walls when you don’t have the patience for stencils or the budget for wallpaper—an idea that gets our stamp of approval.

Shown: Behr’s Tate Olive and Rainforest Dew.


Steps // Revamp With a Stamp
1 ×

Make the Stamps

 
Step One // Revamp With a Stamp

Make the Stamps

Cutting a sponge with scissors
Photo by Kolin Smith

Use scissors to carefully cut triangles out of a large grouting sponge. We made one 4 inches high and 7 inches wide, and a smaller one 2½ inches high and 3½ inches wide.

 
2 ×

Determine Spacing

 
Step Two // Revamp With a Stamp

Determine Spacing

man measuring a wall with a ruler
Photo by Kolin Smith

Starting in the middle of the wall, use a yardstick to plot your pattern. Make pencil marks where the centers of your vertical rows will be. Ours are 8 inches apart.

 
3 ×

Draw Lines to Guide You

 
Step Three // Revamp With a Stamp

Draw Lines to Guide You

Drawing the lines for placement
Photo by Kolin Smith

Using a level, make a vertical dashed line above and below each pencil mark, extending up to the ceiling and down to the floor. This will guide where you place the stamps and help keep your rows straight.

 

 
4 ×

Apply Paint

 
Step Four // Revamp With a Stamp

Apply Paint

making a pattern on a wall using a cut sponge with paint on it
Photo by Kolin Smith

Dip a stamp in paint, and scrape off excess on the pan’s edge. Using light, even pressure, center the stamp over a vertical line. Continue up and down, alternating between large and small stamps. Repeat on the next row, reversing the direction of points. 

 
 
 

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