Use natural sea sponges (not synthetic) to achieve a soft, mottled look. Vary the sizes for interesting effects. â€¢ Wet your sponge with water, wringing it out thoroughly. This makes the paint adhere better to the sponge. â€¢ Pour a small amount of paint into an old plate or pie tin and dip the sponge into it. â€¢ Cover the sponge with a small amount of paint-too much will weigh it down. Use a newspaper to blot excess. â€¢ Cup the sponge in your hand and push lightly onto the surface. Practice first. â€¢ 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. â€¢ 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 â€¢ Sand paneling to remove the gloss and wipe with tack cloths. Or apply liquid sandpaper, a deglossing agent. â€¢ Seal knots in paneling with shellac or clear lacquer. Let dry completely.