Sponge painting should be illegal.

7 08 2009

There. I said it (okay, typed it). I know I will offend some DIY’s out there who beg to differ. With the myriad painting treatments you can do to a wall, why on earth would you ever sponge paint one again? Ugh. There’s a reason that treatment didn’t stay around long. It’s U-G-L-Y. And no, it doesn’t matter if a master painter does it, either. Karen rented her lake house out last year and the tenants got creative in two of the bedrooms—the results were rather disastrous. This Exorcist-pea-soup green sponged room was actually the more tame of the two, if you can imagine that. I’ll share the worst room in a future post! I want to reiterate—while this is Karen’s lake house, she is not responsible for the “before” room treatments. She has much better taste, trust me.

If you ever hear a friend mention the word “sponge painting” when referencing what she envisions for a room in her home—remember—friends don’t let friends sponge paint! Color wash, yes. Stucco texture, if style appropriate and well done, have at it. Glazing, sure. Anything but sponge painting. I’ve never seen it done well. Ever. No need to send me photos or links or any other proof that it can be done well. I am my father’s daughter and I am stubborn. I cannot be swayed, at least not on this subject!

Karen and I painted the walls a seafoam blue and Joe painted the ceiling a bright white. Karen and I made padded headboards with MDF board, cotton batting, and upholstery fabric—very simple: we had Home Depot cut the sheet in half so we wouldn’t have to do any cutting at the lake. We wrapped the front with batting, then used a staple gun to tack on the fabric. It doesn’t get any easier than that! I bought the funky abstract rose-patterned fabric years ago and never had an occasion to use it until now.

I whitewashed the nightstand to give it a more rustic, shabby chic look. Karen already had the curtains. We raided our respective closets for some excess linens and bought the rest to tie the whole thing together. I’m envisioning a handmade something-or-another spanning the large wall behind the beds—perhaps a school of whimsical fish cut from wood or metal (Hey—Michael has a plasma cutter somewhere!)—something light and airy and floaty, perhaps?

This is the room Karen and Joe let me sleep one night this past February. It was the first time I stayed with them at the lake. This room was still sponged painted, unfortunately. Fortunately, you don’t notice it in the dark! They wanted me experience a sunrise on the lake. It was so beautiful! I photographed  and blogged about that first sunrise in a posting titled, “Room with a view.” I’ve been down there many times since and I always lay claim to this room—sure hope they don’t mind!

The room isn’t completely done yet, but it’s on its way!

More of our lake house makeovers to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Lakehouse seafoam room