Instructions for a Subtle, Barely There Sponge Painting Technique

Light-handed sponge painting technique

Light-handed sponge painting technique

Question: I want to create a subtle, barely there sponge painting finish on my kitchen walls.

I've already selected the colors, and I'm practicing the technique on sample boards right now. But it's not coming out the way I want it; it's still too heavy for my liking!

What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Without actually seeing what you are doing, I can't tell where exactly you are making a mistake.

But here are a few things to pay attention to, if you want to create a really subtle sponged finish:

  • Use a very light touch when gently dabbing the wall - let your hand feel like a butterfly.

  • Make sure your sponge is the right shape. While usually it's better to use a flat sponge (or the flat side of the sponge), in this case you want to use the rounded side (the one that has "tips" sticking out).

    Use different sides of the sponge and see the effect they create. And if yours doesn't work no matter which side you try, go buy a new one (look specifically for one with lots of fine "tips").

  • Don't pounce too densely - if you want a delicate finish, you should cover only about 40% of the base coat, and leave the remaining 60% to show through.

  • See if it's the overlay color that is making your end result look too harsh. And if you don't want to change the color for a less contrasting one, then dilute it with more glaze - to make it more transparent and light-weight.


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