Add visual punch to a plain-color wall with sponging. It's a quick and easy way to achieve a subtle texture and add depth to your walls. And if you mess up, it's easy to fix less-than-perfect spots. Just follow our no-fail steps and study the how-to photos for can-do confidence.
- Benjamin Moore paints: We use Jack o' Lantern 2156-30 and Harvest Brown 2104-30. Satin sheen is preferred but semigloss works too; flat is not recommended.
- Benjamin Moore Studio Finish latex glaze in Clear
- Paint roller for base coat
- Wide painter's tape
- 2 plastic paint buckets
- Paint stir stick
- Paper plates
- 2 natural sponges
- Trim brush or sponge roller
Using a paint roller, base-coat a clean, dry wall with a Jack o' Lantern; let dry. Apply a second coat if needed and allow to dry. Use wide painter's tape to mask around doors, windows, the ceiling, and the floor.
In a paint bucket, mix 1 part Harvest Brown and 4 parts Studio Finish latex glaze. Fill another bucket half full of water for rinsing sponges.
1. Pour a small amount of glaze mixture onto a paper plate.
2. Dampen a sponge with water and wring it out thoroughly. Dip the sponge into the glaze mixture and blot excess onto newspaper. Practicing on a piece of cardboard, dab the sponge lightly, overlapping edges of color and rotating the sponge for a random effect. When comfortable with the color intensity and texture, apply the sponging technique to the wall, beginning in an upper corner.
3. Cover 8-foot-square sections at a time, dipping sponge into glaze mixture as needed.
4. When the sponge becomes saturated with glaze mixture, rinse it in the bucket of water and wring it out thoroughly before continuing.
5. After sponging 8 square feet, dampen a clean sponge in clean water; wring it out thoroughly. Using the damp sponge, dab the wet glaze mixture to remove some of it from the wall so the base coat peeks through; rinse and wring the sponge as needed.
6. When finished removing glaze mixture from one area, continue the technique until the entire wall is finished, then move to an adjacent wall.
Painting Tips & Tricks
Hi, I'm Wendy. A fresh coat of paint can instantly give a room a new feel but before you try to open that can, there's a little leg work fittings to be done to make sure your paint project goes smoothly. You should take down all artwork, curtains, and switch plates so you don't have to paint around any obstacles and be sure to cover your floor with a drop cloth to catch any drips or spills. After all objects are removed, the walls need a little prep work as well. Examine your walls for any dense, holes, or cracks. Nail holes can quickly be filled-in with a little spackling paste. If you have any dried ridges or lumps, you can smooth them down with some sandpaper. After you fix any problem areas, be sure to wipe away any dust and wash your walls with Tri-sodium Phosphate. This will remove any dirt on your walls, giving you an extremely clean surface to start painting. When using TSP solution, be sure to wear goggles, gloves, and long sleeves. Now that the walls are ready, you need to mask off windows, doors, and any other trim in the room. The best tool for this is painter's tape. It has a waxy coating that keeps paint from soaking through. It will not pull up the paint on the surface it step to. In addition, it also helps give you a smooth edge. Another tip to keep paint from sipping through is to varnish the tape. Varnishing is basically rubbing down the tape to make sure it's adhered properly. You can do this with a piece of plastic like a credit card. It's recommended to not apply the tape more than a few days ahead of painting and to be sure to remove it within a few days after you've painted. A little extra work on the front end will ensure your painting project will be perfect. For more painting tips, visit BHG.com.
Continued on page 2: More Color Combos and Tips