Rug Transformation Without the Math!



I’ve been wanting a black and white rug for quite awhile now but really hadn’t seen any that moved me to pay the $$$ they were asking for.

I happened upon some painted rug examples here and other sites and they all seemed to use the discontinued Erslev rug so I started looking for other options and found the Lappljung Ruta rug and I was pleased to see it was in black and white already but the design itself for me was a little too pixelated. (See pix below)


So I printed out several copies of the rug and went to work with a sharpie to see what alternative designs I could come up with and this is what I ended up with.

I really liked the lattice effect and the beauty of the entire design was that all I had to do was follow existing lines already present on the rug – i.e: no measuring/math!!

As per my research and now experience taping is definitely the most time consuming task of the entire job. As per “the almost 40 year old intern” the green masking tape for “hard to stick surfaces” is a must!! It’s made for Cement and sticks and stays stuck. It even allows for a little repositioning.

After days of on again/off again taping and then cutting out the design with an Exacto knife I was finally ready to paint.

I originally started out using flat black latex paint with fabric medium mixed 1 part fabric medium to 2 parts paint but realized pretty quick that this would cost a small fortune if I were to use it for the entire rug (9′ 10″ x 6′ 7″) as the first coat did not seem to have the coverage I needed to get rid of the original design (plus I was applying it kind of miserly because of the cost of the fabric medium).

After texting back and forth with a friend, who had just recently finished painting a rug, I asked for some advice. It turns out she went a different route just applying straight semi-gloss latex paint to her rug. In my research I’d come across this method as well but I really wanted the rug softer but after stewing overnight I decided to go with the straight from the can approach since I wasn’t really sure if this was even going to turn out (did I mention this was my first outing in rug painting) and I live in a studio apartment and it was the fifth day of this rug taking up my living area and having to navigate around the rug and my furniture. I just wanted to finish the rug and do it in the most cost effective way so I changed course but still used flat latex paint.

This seemed to do the trick. The coverage was much better on the second coat but the pixel design still ghosted through a little so I proceeded with a third coat but had to thin the paint a little (28oz paint to 4oz water) to avoid the paint getting a splotchy look (i.e.: the fibers were starting to look clumped if too much paint were applied).

The technique I found most effective was not a foam roller but a #10 stencil brush (it’s a very large stencil brush, 1-1/2 inches wide). What really helped during the last coat was to blot the brush on a paper towel before applying it to the rug. Since I’m not allowed to mention other websites just google “1-1/2″ stencil brush” and stencil rug painting tutorial for more info).

Finally the tape was ready to come off and and I must say I was VERY HAPPY!! It turned out pretty much like my initial sharpie rendering. Yes the black areas feel more like a sisal rug when compared to the non painted white areas but I’m fine with that. I’m just glad I have something to show for all my hard work!

So bottom line whether you choose to use fabric medium or straight paint out of the can the green tape for “hard to stick surfaces” is the key to your success!!!

Thank you Holly! (the almost 40 year old intern) for the green tape tip on here and your blog and for inspiring me to take a risk!!