Sponging is one of the quicker decorative effects to apply. With sponge-on painting, you apply a wash or glaze over a base coat with a dampened sponge to create a mottled or textured look. You can apply more than one wash or glaze coat, but each coat you apply must be allowed to dry completely before the next application. Sponge-off is a variation of the technique in which you apply a uniform glaze coat over a solid colour base coat with a brush or roller. Before the glaze coat begins to dry, use the sponge to remove some of the glaze to expose the coat under it. The best effects are made with a natural sponge, which has varied holes, instead of a cellulose sponge with more uniform holes. There are many colour options to consider for various effects. Lighter colours are typically applied over darker tones to create depth. Darker colours over lighter ones create can create more definition and texture. Different values of colour in the same family can be used for a tone-on-tone damask effect.
Basic Sponge-On Technique:
1. Prepare and prime surface.
2. Apply base coat if necessary, and allow to dry.
3. Dip sponge completely into water, and squeeze out excess water, leaving the sponge damp.
4. Pour a small amount of paint for your sponged effect into a shallow container.
5. Wearing paint gloves, dip the sponge sparingly into the paint and blot excess paint from the sponge onto a paper towel.
6. Apply the sponge paint randomly to the surface, varying the angle of the sponge.
7. Wring out the sponge and rinse in clean water occasionally for clearer prints.
8. Continue sponging until the area is covered.