Weekend Painting: Chevron Rug

As if painting a magnet board and making a piece of art wasn’t enough, I decided this was the perfect weekend to start mission rug redo.  I bought a jute rug from a local thrift store recently and decided this would be the perfect chance to paint a rug.  Martha Stewart did a segment on painting stripes on a sisal rug, so I used that as a starting point.

First, I created a template to use as a guide for my design.  Starting in the dead center of the rug, I used painters tape to mask off a chevron design, placing my template down and taping around it.  I also made a second template to use as a spacing guide.  After I had my design completely taped off, I used the handle end of a screwdriver to rub the edge of the tape down.

I sent Ben off to the hardware store to get a quart of white oil based paint.  He came back with this:

I started by ‘pouncing’ along the taped lines, just like stencling, to prevent the paint from seeping under the tape.  Then Ev started crying, so I took a break to feed him.  I let my first area of paint dry and peeled back part of the tape to check my lines.

Happily, the paint didn’t bleed under!  So, I painted, and painted, and painted.

Then, I ran out of paint, so I bought a gallon.  I returned home, full gallon in hand and painted some more.  This was by no means a speedy process.  It took about 4 hours to get everything painted.  I let everything dry for 24 hours before removing the tape.  Definitely do this outside, as the dry paint flakes off the tape, making one big mess.

I like the bold pattern.  I think it’s just what this room needed.

In all honesty, I love the look of the painted rug, but not the feel. The paint does dry crunchy, BUT, a jute rug is never squishy and cushy, so it’s not that different than the unpainted rug.  This would be much better in an outdoor setting, like a doormat or ourdoor living area.  Until I can find a plush rug I can afford, this will stay in the boys’ room.  I do think it will make an appearance outside at a later date.

39 thoughts on “Weekend Painting: Chevron Rug

  1. I’ve been thinking about painting a rug for my hallway, and this just sealed the deal.
    Now all I have to do is find a plain inexpensive rug, some time and the motivation and it’ll be all set 🙂

    1. You’ll definitely need the motivation, and a fair amount of paint depending on the size of the rug. Just be prepared to spend some time making your pattern and painting.

  2. Hi! I found you on ABP blog.

    This project turned out really well, but thanks for the warning about the texture. I might have to file this away for when our screen porch rug bites the dust. ~ Kylie

    1. Hi Kylie,

      We’re glad you found us, and thanks for the kind words! This would definitely work well for a porch rug! I’d love to see it if you decide to give it a try!


  3. Good to know about the texture, always wondered whether people with painted rugs regreted the texture of the paint, but with jute it seems like it doesn’t matter as much.

    1. Hi Cait,

      The jute really isn’t nice and soft, so I don’t find a huge difference, although the painted areas are slightly colder. Oh well!


    1. Hi Kasey,

      Thanks! It definitely wasn’t super soft to begin with, so I think it’s fine. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing this on an expensive or cushy rug because the texture might be off. That’s why I used my cheap thrift store rug 🙂


  4. This looks fantastic! Would have never thought to use Killz. It turned out really nice.

    I also painted an area run not too long ago. I posted the story on my blog. I’m loving the chevron look.

    1. Hi Heather,

      Thanks so much! I found that rug at a local thrift shop, but it was originally from Pier 1. You can also look online, just google jute rug and a bunch will pop up. Hope it helps!


  5. I’ve been perusing your web site tonight and love the many inexpensive ideas you’ve shared, several of which I’m going to try. Thanks for the tips. You have a beautiful home.

  6. A painted chevron rug has been on my to-do list, but I haven’t found a 6 x 9 in my price range. Thanks for the insight about the texture. I’m thinking mine will go under a dining room table, so it might not matter too much.

  7. What a fabulous project! Your chevron stripes are too awesome!

    I’m wondering if it’s because of the Kilz that it seems stiffer. Kilz has different binders & polymers than regular ol’ paint – but then, you probably got better coverage with Kilz too.

    I just read where a gal painted an upholstered chair. Yep, a CHAIR! She used latex paint and mixed it with textile medium. I wouldn’t think you’d need medium for a jute rug, though.

    Just thinking out loud while I totally admire your project!

  8. Wow this came out awesome! I just went and bought all the supplies needed to do this project… I’m actually hoping to get it done by the end of this weekend! I’m recreating my spare bedroom into a walk-in dressing room for myself and I thought a pink and white chevron rug would be the perfect POP for the room! 🙂

    I’ve seen alot of peoples version of this rug project, but I prefer the stripe size and spacing that you used. Most of the others came out too busy (really small zigzags) I’m curious…. what exactly did you do and how many inches did you measure the tape pieces to get this size chevron stripe?

    I’m sure you can remember how challenging it is to figure this out! Lol. Any advice appreciated!

    Thanks – Tanya 🙂

    1. Hi Tanya,

      That’s awesome that you’re going to make a version! I’d love to see pics on our Facebook page when you’re done.

      As for sizing, from peak to trough (the lowest point), is 12 inches and the stripes are 7 inches wide, from the peak. The negative spaces are the same width. I made two paper templates that I used to tape around and the other to use as a spacer. Then, I placed my template in the middle and worked toward the edges. Let me know if you have other questions or need further explanation. Sometimes pictures are so much easier.


  9. Hey Amanda,
    I’m getting ready to recommend this project to a friend who needs a budget-friendly fun rug. Just a quick question – now that it’s been a while, do you feel the paint is holding up well?

    1. Hi Jane!

      Thanks so much for sharing with your friend! Actually, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the paint has held up. I think because I used oil based paint, it seeped in more, so it’s not just on the surface. But, it’s not in a high traffic area. If your friend wanted to do this, she could seal it with a clear, low gloss finish, just to make it a little more durable. I’ve also seen people use fabric dye (like Rit) to dye a design on a plain white carpet rug. Just an idea…

      Let me know how it goes. I’d love to see pics on our Facebook page, too. 🙂


  10. Wow!! The rug looks amazing! I’ve been thinking on painting a blue chevron rug for the dining room, but my husband is afraid it is going to be too stiff… is it uncomfortable under your feet?

    1. Hello Kristin! Thank you so much for your kind words! The rug I used is sisal, so it’s not very cushy to begin with. Because the rug has a very low profile, it really doesn’t feel too different from the painted part. The biggest difference it how it feels when you’re not wearing socks. Your feet kind of ‘stick’ to it. It’s hard to explain but basically because the rug has a coat of paint on it, it just sounds different when you walk on the painted parts versus the original parts. Does that make sense? Overall, if you’re hubby wants a soft, cushy rug, it is going to be uncomfortable. i think it would be just fine in a dining room though because it’s not a place where you’re really on the floor much. And a lower nap rug is better for a higher traffic/spill area, in my opinion. Here’s a link to an affordable unpainted chevron rug: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Alexa-Chevron-Vibe-Zebra-Rug-53-x-76/5712087/product.html Hope that helps!

      Good luck!

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