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How To Paint a Rug on Your Floor

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How to use craft paints and water-based sealer to stencil paint a rug on a floor in your home.

How to paint or stencil a rug on a floor

I painted this rug on my mudroom floor about 14 years ago.  I call it my antique rug nowadays as as it is getting a little shabby.  The hardwood floor in this room is going to be re -done soon and the rug will have to be sanded off  for refinishing.  I will miss it, but I am eager for the look of darker hardwood – all shiny and new.

I previously painted a rug on a friend’s porch as a project for my book, Instant Decorating.  When we moved into this house, I didn’t want a rug in this room because it would just get in the way.  There are three exit doors and it would have been a hazard with people and little kids in and out all the time, so I decided a painted rug would be a good alternative.

Most friends and family come through our garage and into this room when coming to visit.  Many of them have actually wiped their feet on it, myself included.   It  does look real, even though there are no shadows painted on as you would see in a trompe l’oeil painting.   It is always a topic of conversation when somebody new comes to visit.
Rug painted on floor
When we moved into our house the hardwood floor on the first floor was laid uneven and the hardwood manufacturer came to re-do it.   The workman came and sanded the floor during the day, leaving the floor bare until the next day when they were coming back to put the polyurethane on it.  I stayed up all night and painted the rug so when they came the next morning , they could poly right over it, saving me a step.     
Painted floor rug

The stencil is is just a repeat of the same block of little squares, a circle of leaves, a flower, and the center of the flower.  I used 5 different colors of craft paint and  latex eggshell for the base color(green).

How to paint a rug on a floor

I drew the bound edge and tassels free-hand with craft paint and a fine-tipped brush.

You can copy and enlarge the actual design and tassels (below) to paint a rug on your floor, as well as the instructions from the pages of my book for you to download and print out.

Free Painted rug stencil pattern

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  1. Hi Ann and Cha Cha-

    Thnaks for the comments. Don’t be afraid to do it, you can always paint over it if you are unhappy with your efforts, or in the case of your steps, re-carpet. I think doing something on your stairs would be great and easier, as you can do one step at a time. The real key to making it last is a few coats of polyurethane. Go for it!!

  2. You have been holding out on me. I love this and almost did a huge one in my Dining room, But more of an outline with some details. But toally chickened out. We have since ripped up the carpet on our stairs going to the basement and they are pretty ruff and I am thinking of painting them and doing something simalar. Thanks for sharing and hopefully giving me the guts to try this. You inspire me.

    Cha Cha