2 disposable paint roller trays
3 - 2.5 quart buckets 
(2 liter)
Latex based paint
Universal tinters
2 Sea sponges or coarse textured sponges
Disposable gloves
Water based paint color -any sheen
Drop Cloths
Painters tape

Symphony Natural
Sea Sponge

Excellent natural product provides random patterns used for applying either positive or negative glaze/paint techniques. Packaged 3. Small sponges are 3" to 4" and large sponges are 4" to 5"


More techniques
Color washing
Glazing techniques 
Rag rolling 
Wood graining 
Striee glazing
Dragging techniques 
Pouncing techniques
Style archives
Preparation of surfaces
Know your materials




Sponging: water based


Rating 1 to 2 - easy to moderate

Color mixing recipes
Parchment color recipe
artSparx Color Learning Center
More about glazing...
More decorative paint and glazing techniques

Use on walls, furniture, objects - child friendly

This technique is best suited for latex paints

This technique is best performed without the use of glazes. Commercial latex paint, such as Latex paint is recommended.

Sponging creates a variety of textured effects. Using contrasting colors will create a bold, striking effect. Using tones similar in color and value will create subtle textures suitable for most interior environments.

This easily mastered technique can be produced quickly with excellent results by using commercial paint colors, as glazes are not required to produce this effect. The low cost of materials and easy clean-up make sponging a quick treatment with pleasing results. It is also a very easy finish to maintain over time. By blotting on fresh color over scuffmarks and damaged areas, the finish is easily refreshed, making it excellent for residences with young, mischievous children.

For color mixes, combinations and recipes refer to the artSparx color palette.

Sponging is most effective using a 3-color process. Color 1 is the base coat (any sheen desired. For walls, flat latex or eggshell is recommended). Color 2 is the first sponge color (same sheen as base coat) and color 3 is sponge color 2 (same sheen as base coat).

Preparing the surface

Step 1: Remove all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Prime as needed. Refer to the artSparx basic preparation resource for tips and techniques.

Step 2: Tape off all baseboard edges, ceiling edge, trim, window and door frames. Remove all electrical and light switch cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with drop cloths.

apply base color

Base colors and your sponge colors

Step 3: Choose and apply the appropriate finish base color in sheen of your choice. Allow to fully dry ( 4-8 hrs).

Step 4: Put sponge color 1 in a paint roller tray. Put sponge color 2 in other paint roller tray. 

dip sponge in paint

blot on paper to remove excess

Start sponging

Step 5: Dip first sponge into color 1 and blot on newspaper to remove excess paint. Do not over-saturate sponge: porous holes of the sponge should not be filled with color. With gentle pressure dab onto surface in a random manner, twisting your hand to vary the sponge texture. Evenly work over the wall or surface being treated, allowing the base color to show through.

When sponging a surface, the spottiness created by the sponge is desirable. Keep a light touch during application.

sponging surface

Step 6: After sponge color has been applied over the entire wall surface, apply color 2 with second sponge in same manner. This time pay more attention to ‘bald’ spots or uneven areas. Work consistently, stepping back occasionally to get a general feeling of the look that you are creating on the whole wall surface. 

Advanced Method

To create a more interesting surface on the wall, apply sponge color 1 in a pattern or in a direction: for example, at a slightly irregular angle across the wall. Finish the wall by applying sponge color 2 evenly over the surface allowing some base color and sponge color 1 to show through. This can create a marbleized effect with the angular movement of sponge color 1 simulating the veining found in real marble.

Step 7: Clean up with warm, soapy water.

Sponges may be rinsed clean. If you are unable to complete the sponged effect in one sitting, rinse and store in ziplock bags to retain freshness for the next day’s continuation.

Step 8: Record the paint color numbers for future reference in the event that touch-ups are needed.

Step 9: Dispose of excess paints properly.


artSparx Book special

Paint Effects for
a Timeless Home



Achieving Classic,
Rustic & Romantic Styles With Paint Effects

Written by Tobias Freccia, the founder of!

Special - Limited Edition. Each book signed by the author.

more information and purchase



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