Thursday, February 28, 2013

How NOT to Paint a Rug

You know what I love about the whole DIY movement? I love that people are trying to use the old things they find around the house to update them and reuse them before just going out and buying something brand new. It's a little like the depression era mantra of "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without." That's what I'd like to think at least. Right now our decorating style is "Early Married." You know...grandma's dresser, your cousin's tv, your neighbors leftover rug, etc. We just don't have the means to decorate really, and we know we'll probably move within the next few years so we don't want to go overboard and then just have to take it all down and move it. Thus is the life of the young married post college couple. We love it, but it does mean that we have to get creative with our decorating. Redoing items is big.
Our carpet isn't the greatest, but it's not bad. I've been on the lookout at thrift stores for a decent rug, but I have not found one yet. Really, who gets rid of a good rug these days? They are all old, colored funny, or have cats on them and say "Welcome to Meow Home" or  "'Cat"ch ya later!".
 I scratched finding a good rug off the list of "things someone accidentally gave to the thrift store". But then we got an excellent submission from Beth and I now have a few great ideas on how to transform the "cat"astrophic rug into something else. 
Here's Beth's story, in her own words:
It all started with the discovery of this old cotton rug in the basement.  Unused, just waiting for a home.  I had been planning to come up with some sort of small rug to go with the new pop of green in our bedroom and this rug was the perfect (and perfectly free) solution.
Then I remembered seeing a little painted rug tutorial on Pinterest

So I decided to give it a shot.  I gathered my tools together.  Only, I didn’t have painter’s tape, so I used packing tape instead.  Same difference, right?
painted rug craft fail @
I had taken the lamp to Home Depot with me to try and match the color and it turns out Behr makes a shade identical – the third one in from the left on the paint chip above.  BUT I also am very good at mixing paint to match things (a hold out from when I dabbled in art school) so I decided to skip buying the sample pot of paint and just use some acrylic paint I already had.  Same difference, right?
painted rug craft fail @
painted rug craft fail @
Once I had the paint mixed and the simple stripes taped, it was time to get painting!  I decided since I was hand-mixing the color, it would be best to work from the outside in, so if color variations occurred it would have a neat ombre effect to the middle.
painted rug craft fail @ BandBBuildALife.compainted rug craft fail @
The paint was looking great, but it was really soaking in, so I decided to water it down juuuust a touch, which really seemed to do the trick.
And to pass the time, I decided to gaze into the eyes of Matthew Crawley and the rest of the Downton Abbey gang…
painted rug craft fail @
…..a few more stripes were laid down before I even realized what was happening.
painted rug craft fail @
Yes, I had a bad case of BLEED going on beneath the tape!  I was so drawn into DA that I wasn’t paying attention to how much I had watered down the paint!
painted rug craft fail @
painted rug pinstrosity @
So, what started out as a totally free custom rug, turned out to be a totally free blotchy mess!  Fortunately, Kermit stepped in and showed me this beauty for the bedroom:
kermit the frog approves of the stripped rug @
You win some, you lose some.   Next time, I’ll spring for the frog tape and sample pot of paint!
What projects have you learned from lately?
~ Beth
craft fail paint rug @

So now I have some great ideas of what to do (and what not to do). Thanks Beth! This project is definitely now on my to do list. Good by cats, hello...crap, now I have to come up with what I want to paint on the rug. This could be an adventure in and of itself. Hello "Rug Redo board". Just kidding. But am I? 


  1. I think that this rug is salvageable. After it all dried, you could paint the white section another color (without thinning the paint!)

  2. I was thinking the same thing as Sherron. You could get some nice latex paint and I think it would cover it up really nicely. I think the rug looks fantastic other than the one incomplete watery strip. That green is lovely!

    Now I'm upset because I'm pretty sure that I just let my guy take an old cotton rug we had to the thrift store. ):

  3. You may have been able to wash the paint out if it was put in a washer right away. That latex craft paint doesn't stick to fabric very well without a fabric medium.

  4. I kind of like the way it turned out...

  5. Sherron nailed it...totally salvageable! I actually like the difference in shades of green. I would go back and paint the 'white' sections black and let the green variations get their due spotlight!

  6. I like the way it turned out also

  7. Next time, use acrylic glaze or extender to thin the paint, not water :-)


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