Paint A Rug

I recently painted our Master Bathroom a really fun Gray color {Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray} and was looking for a rug that I could put in there to add some color and match some towels I had purchased.  I did a lot of shopping around online and found a lot of great rugs that I would have loved to have…but the price tags were a bit too much for me to justify.  So I decided to make my own and paint a rug.  I have seen several of these DIY tutorials floating around, but the very first one to inspire me was this painted rug that Jen and Shelley made.  They have great step by step instructions so I won’t take the time to give you a step by step process, but will share with you a couple of things I did to make mine.

painted rug 4wm

I am REALLY happy with how it turned out.  I have to tell you, that I was really nervous about how well it was going to work.  The rug I used was a lot more “plush” than the rug that Jen and Shelley used and I was worried that the carpet fibers would move quite a bit in the stenciling process which would then prevent me from getting really crisp and clean paint lines.  But I am so happy with how it turned out.  So happy in fact that I turned around and made me a second one the very next day!!  I have been known to do crazy things like that once in a while!

painted rug 1wm

When I first finished the rug, my bathroom cabinets were an old outdated oak color that we never loved.  I loved the rug, but next to the cabinets it didn’t have the “pop” I had hoped for…so….I knew I had another project on my hands.  Really…it never ends.  We had been wanting to paint them forever, but they had been at the bottom of the “to do” list.  Suddenly they found themselves at the top of the list.  I will share more about that process in a later post.  Painting them totally changed the entire look of our Master Bathroom.  It is so light and fresh looking now.  I feel happy spending time in there!  It is amazing how your surroundings can make you feel.

painted rug 8wm

The rug I used was simply a Memory Foam Runner that I found at COSTCO for $22 and some change.  A huge price difference from the $400 dollar rugs I had been eyeing on line.  COSTCO still has these rugs in stock people!  And the rug is really soft, perfect for cold bathroom tiles on freshly showered feet.

painted rug 9wm

I used the same stencil that I used for this Antique Acid Mirror that I shared with you back in the spring.  The stencil is from Cutting Edge Stencils and is their Anna Damask stencil.  Then I used some leftover wall paint from our Master Bathroom.

painted rug 11wm 

I simply placed the stencil on the rug after planning out how I wanted the pattern to be on the rug, so that it would be even, and then used a sponge paint tool to sponge the paint onto the rug.  It worked really well for me and even though the carpet fibers moved a little bit in the process, I just made sure to hold the stencil firmly in place and check the alignment of it often to make sure it had not accidently slid to one side.  Then I let it dry for about 20 minutes between each process so that the paint did not smudge.  Be sure to check the bottom of the stencil for any leaked paint so as not to get it on your rug as you lay down the stencil each time.

painted rug 7wm

What do you think?

painted rug 5wm

I am loving it in the yellow color as well. 

painted rug wm

I ended up placing the yellow rug in my bathroom since it made it feel so fresh and happy!  The gray rug I placed in our Master Bedroom which we also recently painted Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray.

master bedroom wm

And if you are wondering about how the rug feels with the paint?  Truthfully, it is a little stiff…but not as much as I thought it would be.  It feels just fine on your bare feet.  It also softened up a bit with use and even more so when I threw it in the washer for a test.  Now I am trying to think of other places to put a rug!  What do you think?  Do you have a spot in your home that you could use one of these?

master bedroom 1wm

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Amy Huntley is the owner/author of The Idea Room. A mother of five, who enjoys sharing her love of all things creative in hopes of inspiring other women and families. Connect with her on Google+, or read more of her posts.


  1. 1

    I can’t believe how easy this looks. I was just looking at rugs online for my playroom. Maybe I’ll paint one!!

  2. 2

    These rugs are gorgeous. You mentioned washing these. Did they fade or anything? Get rid of the stiffness?


    • 3

      The stiffness faded a bit, but the color was just fine. Other paints may be different so you may want to test a small area before totally committing.

      • 4

        I love this! I have been trying to figure out something neat to do in our bathroom to add some color. This is perfect as we too have dark grey walls! Thanks for the how-to and tips!

      • 5

        Do you think it would be okay to use as a bath mat, stepped on when getting out of the shower? We have a small apartment and that would be the only place for a rug in our bathroom!

        • 6

          We use ours in the bathroom and it had been fine. Just dry off before stepping in it so you are not dripping and it should be fine.

  3. 7

    Love the rugs! It’s nice to know the paint isn’t too stiff for bare feet. Thanks for sharing.

  4. 8

    Love it!

  5. 9

    that’s beautiful! what a great idea!

  6. 10

    I have the same anthro towels and CAN NOT find a rug to match! What is the yellow paint color called? Does it fade with washing? Thanks! LOVE this!

  7. 13

    I love this idea! I am needing a few new rugs, and man they can be really expensive!

  8. 14

    I love it! I need one in front of my kitchen sink.

  9. 15

    I just picked up a sample of the Rockport Gray, I think it was from Ethan Allen the other day. It covered one of their walls and I just had to know how to get the same look at home. Your room looks beautiful! Love the rugs and the burst of color. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  10. 17

    your rugs turned out fantastic! along with the rest of your master bath and bedroom! i’m sure you and your husband just love it :)

    • 18

      Thanks Haley! It is so nice to have it almost finished. It has been a long time coming! How are you feeling with that sweet baby a brewing??

  11. 19

    Gorgeous! How clever! The yellow is beautiful and cheerful! ;)

  12. 21

    WOW! Amazing~! Just beautiful!

  13. 23

    You might try adding Textile Medium to your paint the next time you do a rug–it will help the paint be softer and will also help set the paint so it can be washed (although it sounds like that’s no a problem!). Your rugs look GREAT!

    Saw this on Pinterest!

    • 24

      Great tip Deb! I will definitely do that! The paint I used is fine to wash…but I imagine others may not be! Thanks so much for stopping by to share that and to leave such a sweet comment. I really appreciate that!

      • 25

        I loved what you did. What kind of paint did you use? I want to do something similar in my bathroom, but abstract – I want to use a paint that will handle the washing! Thank you. I love the gray bedroom – I love gray too, but used mine in the kitchen (black, gray, red and white)! Oh gosh now I just got an idea for a carpet in the kitchen!!! You’ve created a monster!!

      • 26

        I loved what you did. What kind of paint did you use? I want to do something similar in my bathroom, but abstract – I want to use a paint that will handle the washing! Thank you. I love the gray bedroom – I love gray too, but used mine in the kitchen (black, gray, red and white)! Oh gosh now I just got an idea for a carpet in the kitchen!!! You’ve created a monster!!

  14. 27

    The rugs look awesome as does your room/bathroom! You have given me such great ideas!! :-)

  15. 28

    I love your decor, the rug is amazing, gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing such exciting tips and ideas.

  16. 29

    LOVE IT! Great Job :) Those rugs are dang comfy! Do you think its washable with that paint on it?

  17. 30

    That is gorgeous! I painted one of those canvas mats, but I’ve been a little nervous to actually try a rug. Maybe I should give it a go. It looks fantastic.

  18. 31

    I really love it! So clever, Miss Amy!!! How does it feel under your feet? Is it hard where you painted, I’ve always wondered and have never done it myself. Might just have to try it now!
    xo Tara

  19. 32

    I love these rugs. I want to make one, too. I have bit a leery. I’m afraid to make a mess that looks awful. Maybe I’ll just jump in and do it and see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing. I really love the yellow one in your bathroom. Gorgeous!!


  20. 33

    I LOVE that look. I am going to try it soon, great idea.

  21. 34

    Gorgeous! I saw this posted on TCB and had to come see how you did it. I like that you used 2 light colors, yellow and white…for me anyway, it would help hide the bloopers.

  22. 35

    That is just stunning! Love the cost of the carpet and the AMAZING transformation. You can personalize this in so many ways. I am stumbling this post. I am a new FB and GFC follower visiting from Today’s Creative Blog. Vicky from Mess For Less

  23. 36

    awesome, aswesome, I am a teacher and always need rugs to set apart centers plus love rugs at home. I am so going to try this during my Christmas Holidays! Beautiful!!!

  24. 37

    The rug is amazing! I am redoing our bedroom and have been looking for the perfect yellow bedding and i am in LOVE with yours!! Where did you get it?

  25. 38

    AMAZING!!!! LOVE IT!!!!

  26. 39

    I didn’t read all the comments but you can buy a textile medium in the craft department to mix with your paint so it has a softer touch. It turned out beautifully, I will definitely be trying it. I paint on other things (fabric related) that I have used the textile medium and it works really well.

  27. 40

    I love the yellow! And I love the bedding too! BUT you HAVE to do something about that gold light fixture! Maybe spray paint it to match the curtain rods?

  28. 41

    Nice! Found your tutorial on pinterest! I’ve done this with outdoor rugs and spray paint. It works best with graphics and not typography, but I still thought this worked out pretty well:

  29. 42

    Just found your blog and love it! I also just pinned this to Pinterest. I must make one of these~so cute…XoXo

  30. 43

    How much was the stencil? And where can the stencil be found? I really like both rugs you made. Very classy! Well done

  31. 44

    LOVE that rug! So creative!

    Jen (just started blogging in November and had my blog redesigned at the beginning of the month. You’ll have to pop over and see it!)

  32. 45

    Did you use latex or oil based paint?

  33. 46
    Stephanie says:

    I know these rugs! THEY ARE IN ALL MY BATHROOMS AND I LOVE ‘EM! They are so cushy when you step out of the shower, and to paint them is brilliant! I especially love the yellow one!

  34. 47

    Beautiful Room!!!!!!!! Love the gray & yellow.

  35. 48

    I was super curious to see the steps you took on refinishing your master bathroom cabinets!! I really wanna do the same thing, but I’m not sure how to go about it!!! Would love your feedback! :)

  36. 49

    LOVE this! I’m loving the towel as well – where did you find it?

  37. 50

    Love it!! What shade of yellow did you use? And may I ask where u got your georgeous yellow bedding? Thanks!!

    • 51

      The yellow is a warm yellow with some brown tones in it. I wish I could remember the paint color. That is one that I did not write down…. The bedding I found at a place called The Village White Shoppe.

  38. 52

    I was wondering what type of paint you used for the rug?

    • 53

      I just used my wall paint. It is a water based paint for walls in a semi-gloss. I just used it so that it would match my color theme. The yellow is also a wall paint.

  39. 54
    Laurie sigle says:

    I was wondering what kind of paint you use to stencil? Did you seal it in any way after painting? I saw you washed it? What temp for the water & what cycle? Thanks laurie

  40. 55

    Where did you find the comforter/ duvet on your bed?? I love the light and airy look.

  41. 56

    Are you making these to sell?

  42. 57
    Marie B. says:

    I love it! I need one in my kitchen! Thanks for the tip regarding the rug!

  43. 58
    Gina Ohler says:

    Love did use fabric paint or use a medium

  44. 59

    Love love love!! Your rugs turned out great! Love your decor as well!

  45. 60
    Heather says:

    Wow! That looks amazing! I need a new rug so bad in my kitchen, the one I have now is a shaggy stained up yellow bathroom rug! I will definatly be doing this…. I wonder if jut craft paint would work… :/ hmm will have to experiment!!!

  46. 61

    How does the paint not flake off onto your feet?

  47. 62
    Leigh Ann says:

    Have you tried fabric paint? This might be softer….just a thought. LOVE the idea!

  48. 63

    I love these rugs. I actually have a small one that is used by the sink for drying dishes. I don’t want to take away too much of the ability to soak water, but I’m definitely going to paint “something” on it. A monogram perhaps? The possibilities are endless.

  49. 64
    Jessica says:

    Exactly what paint did you use that outlasted the washing machine??? Please be specific because I absolutely love this idea but the question regarding “washing this item” was the first thing that came to mind.

  50. 65

    Hi! I love the tutorial for the rugs. I have a super gray master bath and I just realized that adding a fresh contrast color would work wonders!! Thanks. I would like to know what paint did you use? Anything specific? What would you recommend? Please let me know & thanks so much!

  51. 67

    Where did you get the beautiful stencil? The rug is fabulous even terrific for a gift!!

  52. 69

    So pretty!! I love this. I have been looking for nice rugs for the bathroom, but found these to be….not the cutest – until now! Thanks for the inspiration. Love your blog!

  53. 71

    You could make another one for in front of the sink in the kitchen. My mother-in-law has been looking for something like this, but has been too expensive. Maybe I’ll be able to try this out for a christmas present. Thanks for the idea!

  54. 72

    Wondering how well your rugs have held up over the course of time since this post. Any paint cracking, peeling, or coming off on your feet/shoes? And what kind of paint did you use (not color, but finish & base)? Thanks!

  55. 73

    Amazing idea! Beautiful room, I love it!

  56. 74

    Did the paint make the rug crunchy and clumpy?? Its gorgeous!!!!! I so wanna do it for my bathmat but I wanna know if the moisture n the water will ruin it.

  57. 75

    Love this look, Amy! Will you please post where your bed linens are from – exactly what I’ve been looking for! Just finished our w/e lake house with aqua & yellow decor — I NEED those linens!! :)

  58. 76

    I love how this turned out! I have been searching for the perfect rug for our bathroom and can’t find the right color. I’m going to have to give this a try!

  59. 77

    What kind of paint do you recommend for the rug?

  60. 78

    So after reading through all of these comments, it seems that the paint is holding up quite well (you’ve washed it and the color stays). Did you apply any sort of sealant or just the paint? I love it, and I am ready to do one of my own – just want to make sure that when I’m walking over the rug the color doesn’t wear off on my feet! let me know- thanks!

  61. 79
    Roman the REALTOR says:

    where did you find the stencil?!!!

  62. 80

    I just found a bathroom rug for 1,99 euros online. Surely going to try this out!

  63. 81
    Jill Butler says:

    would you make more to sell?

  64. 82

    I just found you thru Pinterest! What an awesome idea! I may have to try this one out sometime. I am about ready for new rugs in our bathroom too. Did you have trouble picking up the stencil and moving it? Doid you have to wash the stencil each time?

    • 83

      Thank you so much! I stenciled it outside so it helped to dry the paint quickly. I used regular wall latex based paint. I waited a few minutes after I had finished each section and then carefully moved the stencil. As long as you are careful you shouldn’t have trouble unless you squeeze the paint on hard enough to bleed under your stencil. I did not wash the stencil each time. Just at the end and then most of the paint just peeled off the plastic surface. The rest mostly came off with washing in water. Hope that helps! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  65. 84

    googled “cutting edge stencils” and their site is not working properly. did they go out of business? I want to get this stencil. i love it!

  66. 85

    Simply lovely! It looks great! I may have to have add that to my Costco shopping list!!


  67. 86

    About ten years ago, I went to a carpet store and purchased their remanant samples for $2.00 each. I purchased different stencils like, “Welcome Home” and put family names on them. They were doormats. I used acrylic paint with sponge brushes. After they dried, I sprayed them with a setting spray. To prevent the rugs from sliding, I purchased spray rubber to put on the back. Made ~16 for Christmas gifts that year!

  68. 87

    If you mix a textile medium with the paint next time the rug won’t be stiff after the first time you wash it and the paint will sink in a bit better :) It also makes your paint go further because it waters it down a bit

  69. 88

    LOVE the rugs and I’ve been wanting to try the same thing in black and white for my kitchen…. and total side note – I have a very similar bedroom set and have been wanting to paint the room gray but afraid it wouldn’t look right with the furniture – your bedroom looks gorgeous!! when we ever get around to redoing our bedroom I’ll be going with gray without fear :)

  70. 89

    This would be so much fun as a hallway or stair runner, or as a welcome mat! Ooh or a kitchen mat!

  71. 90

    What is the brand of the rug?

  72. 91

    OOOO I see the question was asked and answered re: the type of paint – sorry!! I didn’t read though far enough.

  73. 92
    Priscilla says:

    I’ve been looking for a long rug to fit my bathroom & seen the one at Costco but it was too plain but after seeing what you’ve done with it, Im definitely going back to Costco to buy it & try your tuturiol thank you!!!!!

  74. 93

    One idea for any of you wanting to do this and have the rug stay soft where the paint is —add Textile Medium to the paint….I paint on clothing and use this. It stays soft and washes well too. You can get it at Michaels or Hobby Lobby —Just a suggestion.

  75. 94
    Brittanie says:

    What paint did you use in your master BEDROOM?? Looking for a nice grey to paint our walls.

  76. 96

    The question I have is does the paint dry hard and crusty? I want to to this for kitchen rugs but am afraid the paint won’t dry soft. Thoughts??


    PS> This is so cute and I really want to do it!! Thanks for giving me an idea that can give me cute rugs without paying too much! :)

    • 97

      I was worried about the same thing. It is a little stiff at first…but with wear it is totally soft now. I don’t even notice it when I step on it with bare feet. I was pleasantly surprised. It washes well too. I have washed mine several times now. If you are worried there is a additive you can add to paint to make it softer for fabric. Not sure what it is called though.

  77. 98

    awesome idea thanks for sharing i love the grey and yellow in a bedroom makes it seem peaceful the frame on the wall above your bed caught my eye i have a thing for picture frames would love to know where you got that and what size it is thanks for all of your awesome idea’s

  78. 100

    your project came out very well….but i thought that only ‘upholstery spray paint’ should be used?

    i would love to paint my ugly worn-down stairs’ plush rug with this design! not sure i have the nerve
    to try….what if i botch it up? lol

    any advice? thanks…

    • 101

      You could always practice on something similar. Mine is still holding up and still looks great after almost two years! I get the worry about messing up! Good luck!

  79. 102


    I really liked the idea of adding design to the bath mats. I am looking to buy this mat. Is it still available in Costco? Could you please let me know if any other stores carry it for a reasonable price.


  80. 103

    I adore this! My favorite pattern in the stencil and grey is the new color in my guest bath. LOVE,LOVE,LOVE IT!

  81. 105

    This is so beautiful and I was SO hoping that it was the anti-fatigue kitchen mat…I have one that I love, it is my saving grace on my back and knees in t the kitchen, but it is tan and not as pretty as I would like.
    Pretty project though! Thanks for sharing.

    • 106

      Sometimes you have to take comfort over beauty…especially if you do a lot of standing in the kitchen!! Could you stencil that one with white paint??

  82. 107

    I wonder if stamping it with dye would look as good?

  83. 108

    I was looking for a rug like this..I saw the costco ones but wanted a darker color. i love the paint idea. going to try it this week . what do you think about a nice towel sewn to this mat for high traffic areas?

  84. 109

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  85. 110
    Erin Oltchick says:

    I’m just wondering about the care of the rug. Have you tried washing it and did it hold up? It’s beautiful and I’d love to do this but it has to be washable, especially in a bathroom!
    Thank you!

  86. 112

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  88. 114

    I am wondering, instead of paint, if you can use fabric dye. That would get rid of the stiffness and it should do well with stencils (apologies if this has already been posted. I didn’t read all of the replies)

  89. 115

    Fabric Dye would probably work fine. I have not used it much…though I would be afraid of it bleeding a bit.

  90. 116
    Jill Butler says:

    would you sell?


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