diy striped and painted rug

painted striped rugYou know when your husband goes away on a business trip.

And you’re just itching to get a project or two done around the house.

And you have about a half a dozen projects already in mid-stream.

But then you can’t seem to take your eyes off a little eye sore that’s been pulling at the back of your brain for a few months now.
striped painted rug

A not-that-old sisal rug with a few unsightly stains.  Yes, there might be some splattered black paint from the infamous back-of-the-couch-experiment-that-Joel-still-doesn’t-know-about.  I put those in the bottom right corner out of the picture.  If Joel does check the blog he’s only looking at the pictures.  #totallyhavemyhusbandfiguredout  😉

And then you think paint plus the sisal rug could be a good combination.

And you know what would be perfect?!?!  If you envision that you have neutral colored couches and an island blue coastal theme going on in the room where the rug lives so you grab paint colors for your rug accordingly.  Aqua, tan, gray and white.  Painted rug here we come.

striped painted rug

And you whip out your Frog Tape from your swag bag at Haven and you use the sisal for a straight edge because you’re too lazy to get the tape measure.  And frankly, sisal is like “Measuring for Dummies“.

It totally worked for me.

That was redundant. 😉
striped painted rugAnd you paint random colors in random widthed stripes.  (Sounds like a band.  The Random Widthed Stripes.  Haha  Now I’m reminded of Layla at Haven … who remembers why?)
striped painted rug And, because intentional imperfection is the best kind, you try something a little different.

Ok, here’s what I did.  (This third person business is confusing me.)  :)

I taped totally at random, leaving two extra wide stripes.  Only paint part of that width with one color, let the paint dry and then …
striped painted rug… run another strip of tape along the painted edge, and use a piece of cardboard when you get close to the edge to prevent over spray on the color you already finished.
striped painted rugHave rug immediately tested by the supervisor.  :)
striped painted rug

TIP!!!  The stomp technique on the Frog tape worked for perfectly straight lines.

striped painted rugstriped painted rugI have no idea what that white line on the Frog tape is in the second picture, sorry.

And here’s a close up of our new nautical rug and a random red thread.
striped painted rugAnd here’s a picture of the rug from me standing on the couches.  Because, in reality, it turns out the couches are these hideous red with gold viney flower designs and not a neutral color and your pretty new rug totally doesn’t go with them.

Who knew?!? 😉
painted striped rug

There you have it, the story of how I … or was it you … spray painted a rug when your husband was out of town and it totally doesn’t work in the room with the current couches but there is a dream that one day those couches won’t be that hideous red with gold viney flower thingys, and the new rug will be perfect.

One day.  :)

As for budget and materials, I ended up using about SEVEN cans of spray paint.  Mostly due to it being really poor quality paint I think, and using all of the different colors, I have some left over of each color.  And, it has been a few weeks and the gray paint has dried different shades giving it a nice, distressed look.  You can kind of see it in the final picture.

TIP!!!  The colors will look a little different on the sisal than their intended color … be ready.  :)

And that, my friends, is the conclusion of what has been Blogging without Borders.  I had really hoped to end the summer with a fun, full room reveal.  It would be the first on the blog.  And, honestly, I’m not sure this little breadbox is capable of the ‘full room reveal’.  But we will just continue to work towards it and see where it gets us.  K?  :)

And check in here if you want to see how we started this Blogging without Borders series,  or our new wall decor in the living room, how we made a floating shelf, and our new coffee table.

Now, don’t bypass taking a look at the awesome projects the others Blogging without Borders tackled this summer.  Sure was fun going down this road with you girls.  xo

Heidi @ Décor & More, Tisha @ Delectable Home, Kirby @ Kirb Appeal, Holly @ Life as a Thrifter, Cassie @ Primitive & Proper, Jessica @ Stay At Home-ista, Karah @ the space between, Laura @ Top This Top That and Kelly @ View Along the Way.

I am sharing this tutorial here and at: Tip JunkieBNOTPDIY Show OffHome Stories A to ZHouse of Hepworths, Redoux InteriorsPositively SplendidSavvy Southern StyleToday’s Creative, At the Picket Fence, and Sugar Bee Crafts. 


  1. says

    I tend to do some of my best work when Charles isn’t around to stop, I mean watch, me. The rug looks amazing, and I can appreciate a room still in progress. Your projects so far have been great, and I can’t wait to see the next one!

  2. says

    What a great idea, Karah! I love the pops of the neutral rug with the blues….this looks like an island masterpiece!

    Have a blessed day,

  3. says

    I love the rug! I so want to try this for myself! I love the colors you chose.

    I think I do my best damage, I mean, work when my husband is away on a business trip. Once when he was gone, I decided to surprise him with a closet makeover. Unfortunately, the laugh was on me – I found a huge nest of termites in the wall!! Not one of my better moments.

    Love your blog! Great inspiration!


    • says

      OH NO!!!! That is a terrible story. Such good intentions gone bad. :( Thank you so much for the nice comment, I’m so glad you found something you like. :)

  4. says

    I love striped rugs and I noted your rug in the coffee table “how to” post not knowing you DIY’ed it and with spray paint! Pinned and I’m pretty certain I’ll be using your clever spray paint technique myself on a rug :) BTW, I think the beachy shades in the rug tone down your not so favorite sofa, blues will always cool down a “hot” color, and I like the combo especially with the coffee table. It might not be the sofa of your dreams but I think you’ve found a way to make it cozy in the room.

    • says

      That is the nicest comment, Robin. The comfy factor has multiplied in the last month, for sure. But I will beat those couches one day … I don’t know when, and I don’t know how … but they are going down! :)

      For the rug, my other point of comment would be to paint lighter colors first, because it was really hard to try to cover a dark color with a light color. And, you maybe need to do some touch up paint after a week or just from paint absorbing into the sisal, I think. But we like the distressed look it gives the rug so we’ve just left them. :)

  5. says

    Karah I love it!! The color scheme is so pretty and nautical! Don’t worry, you’ll get where you want to be! Question for you…is the paint stiff on the rug? I’ve thought about painting one of mine that is gross but I was afraid the paint would make it stiff feeling.

    • says

      Surprisingly, no. Our rug is sisal, so not particularly “soft” anyway, but I can’t tell the different between painted and unpainted with my bare feet. I’m really happy with it. There are spots that in the last couple have weeks I think have seeped more into the sisal and could use more paint … but I like the distressed look it creates so I’m cool with it. :)

  6. Lisa@ before meets after says

    Love it! I have a rug that needs the stains covered up too! I’ve debated trying to paint it and then use it as an outdoor rug on our porch.

  7. says

    Karah…love, love the rug…and I really like the “tapping down the tape technique”…:)…so the paint does not make it stiff?…I aways thought it would…The rug turned out the colors and thanks for the terrific tutorial…

  8. says

    Karah, that is so fantastic. What a great project! Thanks for the tips and instructions. I have two of these rugs and was just thinking the other day how boring the one in my Florida room is. Hmmm…I will have to see if I can work up some bravery to attempt something painting like this.

  9. says

    Karah that is one amazing rug! Since it totally doesn’t go with your couches – my solution is to ship it to me. Yup – brilliant solution me thinks xx Nat

  10. says

    I love the coastal look to your rug, how long did it take to dry?

    Nothing like getting the husband out of the way for a project. I once secretly painted our dining room bright red while Mr Chicago House ( actually it was Mr St Louis house then!) was away on a trip. It was quite a transformation.

  11. says

    The hubs is away and the wife will … paint a rug?!

    It looks amazing – and goes perfectly with that amazing door coffee table. Who cares that it doesn’t match to sofas – just give everyone a cerveza when they come over and nobody will notice!

  12. says

    You are funny and what a pretty rug–I’d like to try that out on a smaller rug, like a doormat. I have a really beat-up but comfortable old couch, and just put a big drop cloth on it to cover it, and then I wrap a pretty sheet around the cushions and use the pillow cases that come in the sheet set on the pillows. Cheap and easy until we can replace it. Something like that might give you a chance to play with colors that you like better. I so enjoy your blog!

  13. says

    Hi Karah! Wow girl, this is amazing! I am working on something on a MUCH smaller scale and sans spraypaint… I hope you are doing well… love your blog as always!

  14. says

    I have been searching for a striped rug for my kitchen forever. I think I may just have to make my own now, thanks so much for the inspiration! You’re awesome.

  15. says

    Love it, Karah! And I think you seriously just saved my half painted rug. I was rolling on the paint and it just wasn’t working and I gave up. Yep, a DIY fail and I think your idea of spraying may have rescued it. Thanks for sharing! (Love the stomp technique!)

  16. says

    Laughed out loud at the “random red thread.”
    And, the inspector.
    Heck, when don’t I laugh out loud at your posts…

    We have a sisal rug that has seen better days. I think we’ll be flipping it over this holiday season. Read: tonight cuz I thought of it. But, I really like the idea of painting it.

    BTW, I think that would have been second person, not third – third being he, she, it, one – but seriously you were, or should I say, one was only off 1 person. And, heck that extra person just means more people around the table for board games. :)

    Pass the dice…and the Margaritas.
    ~ Dana

    P.S. No commas were harmed in the making of this post.


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