DIY Tips for a Beautifully Sponge Painted Room

Young woman painting wall with sponge
P.E. Reed / Getty Images

Getting a little color on your walls is always a great idea when you're looking to bring a new sense of life to a room. But somewhere between the clean white wall and the full paint job, there is yet another option, one which can be just as easy or easier than painting, and which can give you the most stunning results. That option is sponge painting.

Sponge painting is a technique that can create a beautiful array of ombre color effects.

It is an especially effective approach for creating an eye-catching feature wall that can easily be the star attraction of your room. And if you choose to go even further with the color in your space, enveloping the room in a fluctuating ombre tone, the effects can be nothing short of amazing. However you choose to approach it, one thing is sure: using this simple sponge paint technique, you can quickly transform an otherwise boring, white-walled space into one of the most exciting areas in your home. Best of all, sponge painting is one of the simplest and easiest house painting techniques that a home decorator can employ. That makes sponge painting one decorator look that we can all achieve even without a great deal of house painting experience or technical know-how.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Varies

What You Need:

  • Paint tray and liner, and paint roller
  • Natural sea sponge, bucket, stirring stick, and rubber gloves
  • Base paint to cover all the walls
  • Top coat paint and faux glaze

Here's How:

  1. Because sponging adds the look of texture and depth to the walls, this is a good technique for walls that have some irregularities in the finish. Prepare your walls for painting and select your paint. Be sure to practice this technique with your color choices on a piece of a board before applying it to the walls.
  1. Paint the walls in your room with the base paint color of your choice. Choose a flat, eggshell, satin or semi-gloss interior paint.
  2. Thoroughly mix 1 part of your second (top) color of paint with 4 parts of faux glaze in a big bucket. The more glaze you add, the more transparent the top coat will be. If you want the top coat to be darker or denser, use less faux glaze.
  3. Using a damp, natural sea sponge, dip into the bucket of glaze and blot or wipe the excess off.
  4. Start by lightly pressing the sponge into the corners. Tap the sponge onto the wall in a random pattern, leaving a thin coat of glaze on the surface of the undercoat of paint.
  5. As you work do not press down too hard, or you will get too much glaze on the surface.
  6. Roll the sponge over the surface to achieve a random appearance.
  7. When the glaze is depleted on the sponge, re-dip it and continue working around the room. Work on a small area at a time, always keeping the edge of the painted area wet.
  8. A small piece of sponge can be used to touch up small areas, get into corners, and help create a consistent and random finish.
  9. Stand back from the wall to and make sure that the whole area has the same portion of undercoat and glaze showing.


  1. If you choose a light color for the base coat, the glaze of a darker tone will darken the look of the room.
  1. To achieve a lighter look, choose a glaze color which is lighter than the base coat.
  2. Choose a base coat and glaze color that is close in intensity and tone. Too much contrast will produce a splotchy, spotted look.
  3. Be sure to use a natural sea sponge, not a synthetic sponge. Don't forget to wear plastic or rubber gloves, as you'll get the glaze all over your hands.
  4. Begin sponging in the corners and work out. Always keep the wall and the sponge damp.

With these simple steps and a little bit of practice, you'll quickly find yourself creating the most beautiful ombre effects that are sure to transform your room. This is an excellent way to move past paint as a simple wallcovering to turn painting your walls into an artistic statement that will take your decor to new heights.