Sponging On and Sponging Off in Sponge Painting
Sponging on is an effect where you apply glaze with a sponge to a base coat. Sponging off is an effect where you take off some of the wet paint to make the base coat show through. Here are some tips and techniques for sponging.
Apply your base coat and let it dry. Preferable drying time is over night, but you can start sponging as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. For tips on how to paint a room, click here.
Gather everything you need for sponging. To see the list of supplies for sponge painting, click here. Wet the sponge with water, then squeeze the water out. The sponge should be damp, not wet. Dip the sponge in glaze, then pout it out, so that the sponge absorbs the glaze.
Press the sponge lightly on the surface, rotating it often. You should have a spontaneous, but evenly repeated effect. In corners and small areas use smaller size sponge.
To achieve a spontaneous, but evenly distributed effect, load the sponge with glaze at consistent intervals and apply consistent light pressure to the surface. Avoid pressing too hard with the sponge, because you might end up covering the base coat too much, and that will ruin the effect.
Sea sponge is the best type of sponge to use for sponge painting. You can also use kitchen sponge or any other kind, but sea sponge will have the best effect. Sea sponges come in many sizes and shapes. For sponge painting, use a flat sponge about the size of your hand. If the sponge that you purchased is too big, just cut it with scissors. Smaller pores on the sponge will leave smaller pattern, larger pores will create a larger pattern. Keep this in mind when purchasing sea sponges.
Try to keep your body still when sponge painting. Just move the hand. Dragging or sliding the sponge on the surface can ruin your pattern or make it inconsistent. Sponge on a small area at a time, like one foot by one foot, or two feet by two feet. Once you have chosen a size of an area you want to cover at a time, use that area size consistently to cover the whole wall.
When sponging on more than one color, sponge on first color, then the second one. Working with both colors simultaneously can be too difficult and can result in more mess then progress. Sponge on one color though out the wall, then sponge on the second color after the first one dries.
If you accidentally put too much glaze in one spot or make a mistake, wipe the glaze off immediately while the glaze is still wet. You can use a small sponge or paper towel or just your finger dipped in water for this.
To begin preparation for sponging off, paint on a base coat on the wall. Let the paint dry over night or at least to the touch.
Take the roller and roll on the glaze. Cover a medium area, like 2 feet by 2 feet, or a little bigger. I would not go bigger than 4 feet by 4 feet. You have to sponge off the glaze before it dries, so pick area size that you are comfortable with sponging relatively fast.
Take the sea sponge and soak it with water, then squeeze the water out. Press the sponge lightly to the surface to take away some of the wet glaze. Keep rotating the sponge to create a nice pattern. Avoid pressing too hard with the sponge, because you might end up taking off too much glaze off the wall and the pattern will disappear. When the sponge gets soaked with glaze, rinse it out in water and squeeze out excess water.
Try working quickly, because water based glaze dries quickly. Do small areas at a time to keep the glaze wet and workable. Extra heat and breeze will make the glaze dry faster. Close the windows, turn off the air conditioner or a heater. You can open the windows to air out the room as soon as you are done sponging.