DIY Painted Rug

This is a quick way to revive an old sisal rug and add colour underfoot. A variegated stripe is stylish and simple to do. (Watch the video as Michael Penney demonstrates how to make this painted rug and a personalised sisal doormat.)


  • Edged, flatwoven sisal rug
  • Quart of latex paint (use outdoor paint if you plan to use the rug on a deck outdoors)
  • Small foam roller
  • Painter’s tape
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk

Step 1: Map out a pattern

To start, map out lines with chalk, then mark them with painter’s tape. I made groupings of painted lines — 1″ and 6″ wide — and spaced them about 1 3/4″ apart. For best results, the lines should follow the rug’s natural grain.

Step 2: Paint on stripes with a small roller

Before painting, make sure the tape is securely stuck to the rug. If the rug has a fabric border, cover it with tape to ensure a crisp, clean edge. Using a small foam roller, paint the rug between the strips of tape. I considered using sorbet shades but ultimately fell for Sherwin-Williams High Strung (SW6705), a fresh, summery green.

3. Let dry and remove tape

Apply three to five coats of paint, allowing rug to dry between coats. Dry overnight and remove tape in the morning. I love this look for a cottage bedroom, a screened-in porch or a casual living room that needs a bit of colour. Keep in mind that sun, rain and heavy foot traffic may eventually cause the paint to chip or fade.

Rug (unpainted), Ikea; chair, Windsor Workshop.

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Stacy Begg
John Cullen

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