By Jennifer Tuohy
Here’s how to stencil a rug, so you can turn a thrift store find or old decor piece into something totally cute and new!
I wanted a new rug for my home office space. I already had a simple rug that did its job well, but didn’t “inspire joy” in my heart, as organizational guru Marie Kondo would say. It was a good quality, sturdy, 3 x 5 inch rug that fit the space perfectly and had plenty of life left in it, so there was no way I was going to get rid of it. But what could I do to bring a little joy into my office space?
Like the balloon curtains in the image below? Get the tutorial for that right here!
It turns out my solution was as simple as a stencil. If you don’t already have an area rug that fits your space and makes you happy, hit the thrift for a plain, solid-color rug, then follow the instructions for how to stencil a rug below.
There truly is a stencil for everything, from traditional floral and geometric patterns to puppy dogs and balloons. If you can think of it, there’s a stencil for it! Once I found the perfect pattern for my rug, I bought a stencil brush. Rather than buy new paint, I used the leftover color from the walls in my office, helping tie the “new” rug into its surroundings.
How to Stencil a Rug
Step One: Find a good place to paint, then gather your supplies:
- A plain, solid-color rug
- Paint – I used regular satin latex paint, the same kind I used for the walls in my home office. This worked perfectly, because the material of the rug absorbed a lot of the paint, so I needed something thick and heavy-duty. You’ll want to adapt the type of paint you use to the rug you’re painting.
- Paintbrush – A stencil brush is key, as you need the wide, flat head to help spread the paint evenly and precisely.
Stencil – The larger the better, especially if you have a large rug to work on.
- Painter’s Tape – To hold the stencil in place while you paint.
- Paint Tray
Step Two: Attach the stencil to the rug with the painter’s tape. Secure it tightly in place, as you don’t want it to shift while you are painting.
Step Three: Apply the paint with the stencil brush, dabbing it over the stencil lines and repeating until all the color underneath is covered.
Step Four: Once you’re done with one shape, carefully peel the stencil up and place it in the next area you want to paint, creating a pattern over the rug. Remember, you don’t need to be symmetrical or geometric—whatever feels good to you is the right way. I decided to have my pattern “fall off” the rug at the corners and I really liked the way it turned out. If you need inspiration, check out some patterned rugs online.
Step Five: Once I’d finished painting, I put the rug in the garage overnight to dry, then gave it a spray with some Scotchguard to help protect it from stains and set the paint.
Here’s the finished rug in my home office. All in, it cost less than $25 for the stencil and brush to create this look, and took a little over two hours to complete. The best part is, every time I look at it there’s a little flicker of joy in my heart! The next time you’re looking for a new rug, why not get creative and transform a plain purchase into a personalized, patterned masterpiece?
Jennifer Tuohy is a talented DIY crafter who makes her home in Charleston, South Carolina. Jennifer is a longtime upcycler, and has written many articles for Home Depot. If you are researching an area rug to stencil, you can visit Home Depot’s online collection here.
Article republished with permission from Sustainablog.