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When it comes to painting there are several techniques that can add a unique look to any room. All involve applying a base coat and then adding texture with a glaze or a different shade of paint. There are basic guidelines to be followed, but there are no limits. With a little imagination and creativity, you can create your own work of art.

Before trying any of the techniques, practice them by using a piece of cardboard. Make sure you are comfortable with each process and are happy with the final look.

Sponge painting

Begin by deciding which colors you would like to use. You will need a base color and at least one accent color, though several can be used. Apply the base coat to the walls and let dry overnight. You are now ready for the fun part of sponging.

Any sponge can be used, but a sea sponge creates a richer effect. Prepare the sponge by running it under water and wringing out any excess. Dab the sponge into the accent color and remove any excess paint on some newspaper or cardboard. Begin by pressing the sponge onto the wall while rotating your wrist to create different patterns. Continue the process until the whole area is covered. You can then follow the same process if you wish to add any more highlighting colors.


Stippling is an effect used to create texture. It is a simple process, although it can be time consuming.

Begin by painting a small section of the wall with glaze. Then using a stippling brush, or any other tool with firm bristles, dab the bristles into the wet glaze. Be sure to work in a pattern to avoid overlapping. Repeat the process while keeping the brush clean and free of excess glaze.

Rag Rolling

The rag rolling technique makes interesting patterns. It is similar to sponging, but a rolled up rag is used instead.

Apply a base coat to the wall area and let it dry thoroughly. Dampen the rags with water and roll them up leaving them slightly wrinkled to add to the effect. Using gloves, dip the rag into the paint or glaze and squeeze out the excess. Using both hands, roll the rag down the entire length of the wall. Keep the rag uniformly covered in paint and slightly overlap each roll with the next until the area is finished.

Sponging off/ Ragging off

The sponging and rag rolling methods can also be reversed. This is called sponging off or ragging off. These techniques are known as “negative”.

Reverse the process by working with a wet base coat and do not apply paint to the sponge or rag. The same patterns can be created by removing the paint or glaze with the clean sponge or rag.


Ragging is much like sponging. The main difference is that a plastic bag is used instead of a sponge. Have many different bags available and overlap to create an exciting pattern.

Apply a glaze to the wall and leave wet. Take a plastic bag, free of dirt or dust, and press it into the wet glaze. Rotate your hand so that each application looks different from the previous. When the bag becomes wet, continue the application with a new bag.


The dragging method creates a texture of lines. It can be done horizontally or vertically and is best used for smaller areas. The dragging pattern is hard to create on large areas.

In small sections, cover the area with a glaze. Then, using a dry paintbrush, drag the brush lightly down or across the glaze. Each drag of the brush creates a pattern of fine lines. Continue until the entire area is complete. Be sure to keep the brush dry and free of excess glaze.


The smooshing technique can be used to create a “fake” marble effect. Since marbling is not an easy effect to create, smooshing may be just what you are looking for.

Apply a glaze to the wall and immediately lay a large piece of plastic on the area. Bunching up the plastic while it is on the wall creates a “vein” effect similar to marbling. Remove the plastic and be careful not to disturb the pattern.

There are many possibilities. Be creative and have fun adding your own personalization to any of these techniques.