If you’re planning on painting a room, a little experimentation can give you a look that goes way beyond a simple color change. A technique such as sponge painting is known as faux finishing because it seems to add texture to walls. Best of all, it’s pretty easy.
In a nutshell, you apply a base coat of flat or eggshell latex, then add one or two or more accent colors using anything but rollers or brushes.
Start as you would with a regular paint job: prime your plaster, drywall or wood, then add your base color. When it’s completely dry, you can add your first layer.
Use latex (unless you want alkyd’s longer-drying time for fine-tuning), and thin it slightly with water (1:8).
For sponge painting, use natural sea sponge for a more organic, random effect. Buy at least one for each color, and cut strips for use in the corners. Pour your paint into a roller tray, and insert the sponge, flat side down, to soak. After a moment take it out and get rid of excess paint by blotting it on newspaper or cardboard. Now, lightly press the sponge against the wall in a number of places, making a random pattern of vertical, horizontal and angled sponge-prints, overlapping occasionally, but without filling in the whole wall. Keep dipping and applying as necessary, and work your way across the wall. Step back every few minutes to make sure you’re not accidentally creating a pattern.
When the first accent color dries, repeat with a second color. This time, you can fill in the spaces over the base coat more fully. Then, if you like, apply another layer. The end result should be a random mixture of all your colors, with no definite sponge marks.