Sponge Painting Walls

Lead Image
  • 3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
1 paint roller
1x3 inch paintbrush
1 paint tray
Several natural sea sponges
1 bucket
1 stirrer or wooden spoon
Rubber gloves
Base paint
Top coat paint
Faux glaze

Sponge painting walls is an easy way to add a unique look to any room at very little cost. No particular skills are required, just patience. Sponge painting allows you to experiment with your creativity and to add a bold statement or a little personality to any room in your home. One of the main advantages of a sponge-painted finish is that it's a great cover-up for walls with irregularities.

Fixer-uppers and old house in need of a good flipping can really benefit from sponge painting. Use contrasting color combinations for a look that pops, or pick shades a little closer on the color wheel for a subtle wall with lots of personality.

Step 1 - Test Your Color Combination

Before you begin painting your walls, try out your color choices on a small section of the wall to make sure you're happy with the expected results. After you test your color combo, wait a day or two and see if you like how those colors look in the room at any given time of day. The amount of sun coming into your room will change the look and feel of the colors, so they need to function well at any given time of day.

Also remember that if you opt for a light base color with a dark topcoat glaze, it'll make the room appear darker. If you want to lighten the area, choose a darker base and apply a lighter color on top. It’s the top color that will be prominent, so keep this in mind when choosing your colors.

If you're painting over a colored wall, make sure you do the right prep work first.

dark orange sponge painted wall

Step 2 - Apply the Base Color

First, paint the walls with a base coat. For this step, you can use a roller or brush. A matte or satin finish emulsion paint is ideal—anything with too much shine is a no-go. When all the walls have been covered and the first coat is completely dry, apply another coat of the same paint. You want a really solid base with even coverage before you move on to the topcoat. It’s important to allow this coat of paint to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next layer.

Step 3 - Mix it Up

Make a mixture of one part of your top color of paint to four parts of faux glaze in a large bucket. Bear in mind that adding more glaze will give more of a transparent effect to your topcoat. Use your stirrer or wooden spoon to make sure the paint and the glaze are well mixed.

blue sponge painted wall

Step 4 - Coating the Sponge with Top Coat

Dip your natural sea sponge into the bucket of topcoat. Be careful to wipe off any excess. You don’t want the sponge to be dripping but try to make sure that the surface of the sponge is well covered in paint. You may want to give it the old college try and test your sponging skills on a cardboard box or piece of paper before you attack the walls. Using a sponge isn't too difficult, but if this is your first go around, you may want to get comfortable with it first.

Step 5 - Sponge the Walls

Similar to texture painting walls, you will need to use light pressure to press the paint-coated sponge onto the wall. You can do this randomly. Don’t worry about trying to be too uniform. Keep applying light to moderate pressure and try rolling the sponge over the wall to give a more textured impression.

Continue to reload the sponge with glaze and apply it to the walls until the whole room is done. Pay particular attention to corners and edges. Depending on the size of the room you are painting, you may need to use more than one sponge. Sea sponges can get a little worn when used in this way, so keep spares on hand.