What Paint Color Combinations Are Best for Sponging Techniques?

Light to dark paint color gradation effect

Light to dark paint color gradation effect

Light to dark paint color gradation effect Dark to light paint color gradation effect

Question: What paint color combinations are best for sponge painting techniques?

Answer: The most harmonious and eye-pleasing sponged finishes consist of 2 or 3 colors from the same paint strip (for example, a cream base with gold and brown overlay coats).
This approach is very easy and virtually foolproof - all you have to do is pick the lightest, medium and deepest colors on the paint deck strip, and your sponging color scheme will be guaranteed to look right.

Another way to create organic and well-coordinated color combinations for sponging is to choose all the colors from the same family (or from related color groups).

Just look at the color wheel and pick any 2 or 3 adjoining hues. For example, you can successfully combine yellow with orange and red (as in a soft yellow base coat sponged over with coral and brick red).

Avoid combining un-related colors such as orange and blue, or red and green - the end result will look very dated (a la 1980s).

Also, when layering colors, go from light to dark - in other words, use the lightest color on the base coat, then apply a medium color coat, and finally top it off with the deepest color of the three (if you are doing a 3-color application).

In reverse (when you use the lightest color on top), the final result will look as if the last color is floating off the surface. So unless that's the effect you are deliberately trying to create, follow the light to dark guideline above.

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Paint Color Cheat Sheets
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