Use natural sea sponges (not synthetic) to achieve a soft, mottled look. Vary the sizes for interesting effects. Wet your sponge with water, wringing it out thoroughly. This makes the paint adhere better to the sponge. Pour a small amount of paint into an old plate or pie tin and dip the sponge into it. Cover the sponge with a small amount of paint-too much will weigh it down. Use a newspaper to blot excess. Cup the sponge in your hand and push lightly onto the surface. Practice first. Space the patches of color evenly, but change the position of the sponge for an irregular, mottled effect. Close, overlapping marks have a sleek look; widely spaced sponging with little or no overlap produces a casual appearance. Try spacing first, then fill in as you prefer. To apply several layers of color, dab the first color over the base coat. Let it dry completely. Apply the second and third layers, drying in between. SPECIAL CASES: PAINTING WOOD PANELING Sandpaper and tack cloths Liquid sandpaper Shellac or clear lacquer Alkyd primer Latex paint Sand paneling to remove the gloss and wipe with tack cloths. Or apply liquid sandpaper, a deglossing agent. Seal knots in paneling with shellac or clear lacquer. Let dry completely.