Sponge Painting: How to Sponge off Paint

What You'll Need
Latex enamel paint (base color, sponge off color, and color washing color)
Latex glaze
Paint roller
Paint brush
Natural sea sponge
1 inch roll masking tape
1 1/2 inch roll masking tape
12 inch roll of masking paper
Masking machine
Drop cloth or plastic sheeting

Sponge Painting is a very fun and creative way to give your home style and elegance. But if done by a professional, it can be a costly home improvement. This guide will help you to better understand the basics of sponge painting and will give you some helpful instructions so you can create your own specialty faux finishes.

Masking and Protecting

Spread out a drop cloth onto the floor in the work area. Using your masking machine (loaded with masking tape) and paper, mask off your baseboards, ceiling, and any walls that butt up against the wall you are working on. Sometimes it makes it easier to do this to keep paint from getting onto the other walls until you are ready to apply color to them.

Sponging Off with Color Washing

Color washing is a technique done by using a brush and a small amount of paint mixture of 4 parts paint and 2 parts glaze. When applying the color, you will move your brush in various directions. When the brush dries out, reload it sparingly with the paint/glaze mixture, about one inch up the tip. Dry time should take approximately twenty minutes.

The sponge off technique, also known as sponge painting-negative effect, is done by applying latex enamel as the base coat using the color of your choice. Roll your base coat evenly to completely cover the surface. Two coats must be applied for adequate coverage. You need to allow your base coat to dry overnight or a minimum of 8 hours before continuing on to the next step. Wash out the roller and allow it to dry. Once your base coat is dry, you need to begin by mixing your top color paint and latex glaze together in a bucket. Stir them together thoroughly. The ratio of paint to glaze is 4 parts paint to 1 part glaze. Roll on in 4 foot by 4 foot sections at a time to ensure your paint does not dry while you are sponging off the paint. Using your sponge and dab it onto the wet paint section you just painted to create a uniform pattern. Continue applying and working in 4 foot by 4 foot sections and dabbing your sponge into the wet paint to remove small amounts allowing the base coat to come through slightly. You may apply a third color over the top of the second color after the first top coat has dried. You will follow the same mixture ratio as you did before, 4 parts paint and 1 part glaze.

Faux painting is a unique way to add character and value to your home. Doing it yourself will save you a great deal of money because specialty finishes are costly when hiring a professional to do it for you.