HOW TO SPONGE TEXTURE WALLS AND CEILINGS
Applying a sponge texture to your walls and ceilings can be done in a couple of different ways. Using a faux finish like
is the most common method of course.
The other method is to use a large sized natural sea sponge
to dab a mudded surfaces with.
By sponging on some drywall compound (or plaster) you can hide a number of unsightly blemishes that your walls or ceilings may have.
Sponge texturing can also add a unique or distinctive look if that's what your going for.
Below I discuss the step by step process for applying your mud then enhancing the mud with a sponging technique.
SPONGE TEXTURE TOOLS & MATERIALS
Each sponge texture project may require a different set of tools and materials for the job at hand. You will need to choose items that will best suit your specific situation.
- Sea sponge (or sponge of your liking)
- Painters plastic
- Painters tape
- Drop cloths
- Good quality 2.5" sash paint brush
- Roller/cover/paint tray/extension handle
- All purpose mud (or other type of compound)
- Drywall taping knifes & mud pan
- Very clean (or new) 5 gallon buckets or pails
- Electric drill with mud mixer
- Old close (or coveralls), hat, gloves, & goggles, etc.
Amazon,com is an on-line retailer that most people know and trust. Due to Amazon's size they can, at times, offer better prices on tools and materials than your local home improvement center. Just be sure to use the free or low cost shipping options that are available to you.Amazons selection
is quite large (just use their search box) and includes top quality brand name painting and decorating materials along with a five star rating system.
SETTING UP THE ROOM
All types of sponge texture projects are messy especially if your doing the ceiling. You'll want your room empty and completely covered for the best results.
Wash surfaces if needed and fill or caulk holes and cracks.
Remove items from the area and cover the floors (drop cloths) and other un-movable furniture (painters plastic) etc. Use plastic, tape and masking paper to protect surfaces that you do not want mud on.
If your texturing a ceiling you might want to protect the walls with painters plastic or you could gently scrape or wipe the mud splatter away if you prefer.
PREPARING THE TEXTURE COMPOUND
Scoop out a gallon or so of pre-mixed drywall compound into a five gallon pail then add a 1/2 cup of mud. Using an electric drill and paddle to stir your mud into a milk shake or thick paint like consistency.
Keep slowly adding water (as needed) until your mixed compound looks the way you want it to. Powdered mud might require different instructions so be sure to follow the label.
How thick your mud is will determine the amount of detail (or bumpiness) in the finished surface.
Once the compound is nice and smooth pour it into your paint tray.
You can use pre-mixed or powdered compound you will need to decide what will work best for your specific situation. Talk to your local drywall supplier regarding sponge texture techniques, tools and materials.
EDGING OR CUTTING THE ROOM IN
Painting a room requires brushing or what is commonly called cutting in or edging. When applying a sponge texture one may need to implement a small piece of sponge, as oppose to a brush, for the cutting in process.
Use the sponge to dab at corners, above baseboards and where the ceilings meet the walls. As you dab don't go to far. Instead, work in the same size sections that you will be rolling. Not doing so will cause the dabbed on compound to dry before you begin rolling the surface.
If your skilled with a paint roller you can skip the sponge edging or cutting in step.
ROLLING THE TEXTURE ON
Dress for the messiness as your mixed compound can tend to fly around the room.
While rolling your mud should be about 1/8'th of an inch thick or so. Work in 3' or 4' wide x 4" to 8' (foot) sections (depending on the surface).
For the best results your heavy piled roller cover or texture roller cover needs to be saturated with mud. With that said, the mud shouldn't be so thick that it sags down walls or drips excessively onto your floors.
Roll nice and tight at the ceiling, into corners and along baseboards. Do so by cross-rolling (side ways or horizontally) then rolling up and down (vertically) by filling in and overlapping your top and bottom cross-rolled sections.
As you roll don't apply to much pressure unless that's the look your going for. The lighter you push on your roller the more textured the surface will be.
Keep rolling (and using the texture sponging technique below) while at the same time overlapping previous sections until your surface/s are completed.
For an added effect try knocking down or
your sponged mud with a knock down effect.
You will need to decide on what works best for your particular situation.
SPRAYING ON THE MUD
You can spray on your mud then sponge it out if you prefer. A sprayed texture or
will give you a more consistent finish. Whatever way you mud your surface use the sponge texture instructions that follow.
SPONGING THE TEXTURE
I like to use a sea sponge because it has crevices that cause a more enhanced or defined look. You can use what ever type of sponge you feel works best for your project.
Start at the corner of the wall or ceiling where you rolled on your mixed compound. Begin by lightly dabbing, slapping, stamping, shaking, twisting or sweeping the mud with your sponge. Each type of technique you use will give a different design in the wet compound.
Before tackling your main areas test each technique on a surface or wall that no one will see.
No matter what design or sponging style you use, do the process in a rhythmic, consistent fashion.
Apply compound to your next section dabbing the mud with your sponge while overlapping each sponged section until your entire wall, room or ceiling is completed.
SPONGE TEXTURE SUMMARY
You can applying your drywall compound by dipping the sponge directly into the mud then dabbing it onto your surfaces if you wish but rolling the compound on (in small sections) first then sponging the wet mud tends to work the best.
Ceilings need to be done in manageable sections (3'x3', 4'x4' to 6'x6' depending on the surface). Furthermore be sure to overlap each section while blending completed sections together.
Always test your mud mixture and sponging techniques on chunks of drywall or in a room that's seldom seen by others.
Extra hands always make the job go faster as one person can roll while the other sponges.
Sponged on drywall compound or plaster will require priming and two top coats of paint. You can buy texturing products that do not need painting but they are more expensive.
Top quality sea sponges along with other painting and decorating tools and materials can be purchased form Amazon.com or your local home improvement retailer. When you do buy a sponge (or two) be sure that it's of good quality (or it will fall apart). Size matters too as smaller chunks can be used for dabbing corners and larger sponges will make the job go that much faster.
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