One of my good friends lives in the cutest 3rd floor apartment in an old Charleston house downtown.  She has had a blast making it her own after college, and I love the colors and furniture that she put together.  She’s done quite a few different DIY projects, and I bugged her to write about one of them.  Today is your lucky day to hear about the painted rugs she made — without further ado, here’s Catherine…

When I moved into my first apartment after college, I wanted to create a space that felt entirely my own. However, my shoestring budget wouldn’t allow for many expensive purchases so I turned to the ultimate place for inspiration, Pinterest! I knew I wanted a couple of rugs to warm up the space and provide some comfort underneath the hardwood floors throughout my apartment – but, man are rugs expensive!  So, with my first big DIY project in mind, I dove into the black hole that is Pinterest and came out on the other side with a few ideas of how best to tackle this project.

My sights were set on a rug for the kitchen since the floor was ugly, yellowed linoleum, and a rug would go a long way in the small space. After debating between stripes, chevron or another pattern, I was ultimately drawn to the stripes (shocker, my closet is full of stripes too!). While there are some awesome DIY versions out there involving stencil and patterns, stripes seemed the most foolproof for my first project. Ready to tackle your own painted rug? All you need are a couple of hours and a few supplies.

DIY Painted Rug

What you’ll need:

  • Flat woven rug or low nap rug (I ordered this indoor/outdoor version because it was inexpensive and could take the wear and tear of the kitchen.
  • Paint (at least a quart, depending on the size of your rug)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Foam roller
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloth

Start by laying out your rug on a flat surface with a drop cloth underneath. Since rugs are woven, some of the paint may seep through to the other side. Measure the rug and then use a piece of paper to sketch out the pattern before getting started. After deciding how many stripes I wanted across (six), I adjusted the thickness based on the dimensions of the rug. I didn’t realize going into it that this would be the hardest part! Take your time and measure again.

Once the width of the stripes is set, it’s time to start outlining them with painter’s tape. Again, not as easy as it looks! I had a hard time getting the tape to stick. Make sure you go over all of the edges of the tape with your hands and push down to seal as best you can. Eventually, I had six stripes taped off and was ready to get started.


Set up your the paint tray with paint and roll the roller into it, taking care not to oversaturate with paint. The first stripe I painted from top to bottom but as I moved along to the second stripe, I found it was easier to go side to side between the edges of the tape rather than up and down. That way, I didn’t have to worry about paint seeping underneath the tape that wasn’t sealed down.


Make sure you press down on the roller for maximum application. Three coats of paint later and my rug was ready for it’s debut!


Considering this project could have gone very wrong, I was extremely pleased with how it turned out. So much so that I even painted a second rug in a different pattern for my bedroom! It’s such a fun, inexpensive way to add personality to a space and I would definitely do it again.

I love the stripes design on the rug!  Plus, if you wear it down, then you can freshen it up with another coat of paint – my kind of project. Thanks for sharing, Catherine!  Now feel free to share some of yall’s recipes…

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