A lot of people have dabbled with sponge painting, but making it look like a professional job is a little more work, but it’s worth the extra effort. The trick is not to make the sponge so obvious – here’s the method:
Using thin layers of latex paint, start out with a color that would be slightly darker than the value of the major color effect you’re aiming for. Visualize several positions to install small areas of the darker color. This does not need to be symmetrical or exact, but keep the color range coordinated at first.
With an old four inch paint brush create roughly circular darker areas in a consistent pattern across the wall. The placement of the darker areas can go in a horizontal direction, or vertical, or an alternating combination of both. Remember to keep your brush strokes light, and design a vaguely circular area fanning it out to leave soft edges. These areas can be 18 to 36 inches depending on whether it’s a small or large room.
Give about fifteen minutes dry time between each step.
Now you have a guide to keep some consistency in your design. You can dab, or stroke scribble lines of accent colors around and through the circular dark underpainting following the pattern you just applied. No more than three accent colors is necessary – too many could have the reverse effect of becoming dull. The brush strokes should be a little on the dry side, so keep plenty of rags handy for wiping paint off of your brush.
At this point, you can go into it with a roller, again, not too much paint, and begin to join the dark areas together with your predominant color. The roller doesn’t need to go in any particular direction. I like to roll a big asterisk. But at this point, anything still goes. Use your imagination.
The trick here is to feather the edges of the darks with the color on your roller, applying less pressure at the end of a stroke. Don’t be afraid to overlap the darker areas, they will still be there.
Now you can get out your sponges, and paint a final wash of overall color. Stand back and take a look before this final step. Decide if you think it needs lightening, or a few more accents with a small detail brush.
Sponge as rhythmically as you can, going across the whole wall. At this point, you should begin striving for a little uniformity overall. If you are working in a bathroom, you may want to add a final wash of watered down fabric paint with a few luminescent colors that coordinate with your color scheme. This gives the walls an incredibly water resistant finish. Also use a watered down fabric paint color for a final tint on your color theme.
Afterwards, you may decide to stencil a border into it, or add a coordinating wall paper border. Then simply sit back and enjoy your creation, and the compliments you’ll get from your friends!