DIY Painted Area Rug

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diy painted rug

DIY Painted Rug

Have you been faced with a design dilemma where you wanted something stylish, yet you’re on a tight budget?

I think we all have been there.

I have been wrestling with our most recent design dilemma for about 2 weeks.

We really wanted an area rug that was stylish and affordable. We looked at Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, you name it.  We either found the perfect pattern and it didn’t come in the size we wanted, or it was well outside of our budget.

We currently have this snazzy little number from Walmart:

painted diy rug

You can’t beat $19.97 for a 5’ X 7” area rug.  It’s a low-pile rug, that reminds me of carpet you would find in an office.  And that’s okay.  It’s easy to vacuum, and the little’s Cheerios don’t get stuck in it.  It’s not a rug that we lay on, and we didn’t plan on laying on a new rug.  It’s pretty much a buffer for the toys that hit the floor, that keeps our toes warm in the winter.

But we want style AND functionality!

While shopping around we realized that a “stylish” rug just wasn’t in the budget. So, when faced with the budget versus style challenge, I figured it was best to figure out how to DIY this project.

We already had leftover paint and paint brushes.  The only item I had to buy was painter’s tape.

I’ll take $6.00 for painter’s tape over $100.00-$200.00 for a rug ANY DAY.

Here’s how I did it:


White latex satin-finish paint that we had left over from a previous project.

1 ½” paint brush.


I chose not to use fabric medium.  Again, this isn’t a rug that we are going to be laying on, so the texture wasn’t a huge priority.

There is quite a bit of testosterone in this house, so any rug we chose had to have some masculine qualities.  Our rug is a navy blue color; and since our floors are dark, we really wanted some contrast on the floor.   I chose a diamond-ish pattern, with a light background.

*Thin coats, water, and patience are the key to making this work.

1st, I vacuumed the rug thoroughly.

DIY painted area rug by

Then, I measured where I wanted my lines to be.  You could also use a stencil and do any pattern you wish.

For my rug, I made a mark every 1′, on the 5′ side.  On the 7′ side, I made a mark at 10 1/2″, 21″, 42″, 63″ and 73 1/2″.  I then played connect the dots, to make this pattern:

diy painted rug

I wanted a mottled look to the painted areas.  To create that, I first dipped my brush into water, then dipped it into the paint JUST ENOUGH TO COVER THE TIP.  Remember, you not painting a wall.  You will be blotting the brush onto the rug, and you must repeatedly dip the brush into the water, then paint.

diy painted rug

Note:  If you do not want the “mottled” look, and wish to have an evenly painted area, I would wet the carpet down by using a spray bottle filled with water, and then using a roller to roll the paint on.

Next, I blotted the brush onto my 1st section making sure it was evenly coated, yet still a thin layer. (Remember, thin coats are the key to making this look amazing)  The color will not be totally even until you complete that second coat.  Here is my starting area, with only 1 coat of paint:

diy painted rug

By the time you reach the end of the rug, that 1st section you started at should be dry enough that you can start your 2nd coat.  For the look I wanted, I needed 2 coats.

It took about 4 hours to paint a 5’ X 7’ rug.

Finally, I peeled the tape off, and let it dry completely overnight.  The next day, I vacuumed it and laid it out.  It looks great!

diy painted rug


diy painted rug
diy painted rug

There is a bit of “crust” as one of my littles noticed.  When you paint a rug, there is always going to be some degree of “crust”.  I have noticed with other rugs I have painted, that the crusty feel does go away after a while; and I have not noticed a difference between using fabric medium versus water.

Would I suggest this on a thick rug?  Probably not.

If I hadn’t have had most of the supplies on hand, this project would have cost me about $20.00.  That includes the cost of a quart of white paint, a brush, and painter’s tape.  That’s STILL a huge saving compared to a brand-new rug!

Go on, try it!  When your rug is complete, post it onto our Facebook group, or post it on our Facebook page!

diy painted rug

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