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How to paint and indoor/outdoor rug.

January 2, 2009


All home improvement stores sell big indoor/outdoor rugs. They’re cheap and they’re not attractive–dare I say ugly? Well, here’s a way to make one of those utilitarian things look fabulous.

What you need:

  • One indoor/outdoor rug. Mine is an Ozite, 6′ x 8′ rug in bark. It cost 12 bucks and I had a 2 dollar rebate. If this size is too big, you can cut them down with a scissors to any size or shape you desire–probably even puzzle pieces.
  • Paint that will work in outdoor applications. I used RustOleum, indoor/outdoor, American Accents Midnight Blue in satin. One pint (about $2.65) was just enough to complete my project.
  • A small paint roller and paint tray
  • 2″ wide masking or painter’s tape–or whatever width tape you fancy
  • Newspaper
What you do:
Tape out a design on your rug. I applied tape two inches from the edge to reveal a border. Whatever design you choose for the interior of your rug, I’d highly suggest including a border as this will give a ‘bound’ look to your rug.

Tuck newspaper around the perimeter of your rug, and, using your roller, apply your paint to your taped-off area.

Let paint dry and–I LOVE this part–remove the tape.

I’ve tarted up these kinds of rugs before; they hold up really well to the elements and, when rained upon, dry as quickly as those fancy (and expensive) outdoor rugs. The paint, if you use the right kind, holds up equally well. In sunny spots, it will fade slightly. Great for decks, balconies, patios and porches; these rugs are so inexpensive and easy to decorate, you might want to make several. And, of course, they can be used indoors as well!!

(Original post can be found at Curbly.)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2015 6:10 pm

    I am going to try this on my patio rug. It’s just solid tan. can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

    • Andrea permalink
      April 28, 2015 8:19 pm

      I have painted 5 outdoor rugs with great success. I get compliments on them all the time. This year, I changed everything and 3 of them are going into my next yard sale!

  2. AndreA permalink
    June 25, 2013 10:50 am

    Loved your rug and it inspired me to paint one myself. Turned out great. Not sure how to post a photo on here but if I could I would.

    • Jo permalink*
      June 25, 2013 8:35 pm

      If you email me the picture, I’d LOVE to post it! (

      • Andrea permalink
        June 26, 2013 9:17 am

        sent it. Hope you got it!

        • Jo permalink*
          June 26, 2013 12:21 pm

          Got it. THANKS! Hard to believe that’s the same rug!!!

  3. ELENOR HARRIS permalink
    October 13, 2010 2:26 pm

    will the rug be hard after it is finish

    • Jo permalink*
      October 13, 2010 5:20 pm

      Hey Elenor. The painted parts will be a bit stiff. However, I roll my rug up for storage and it rolls fine. It doesn’t crack or anything. :)

  4. August 1, 2009 2:17 pm

    I loved your blog asking the question of whether to visit or not, and the responses! Very interesting.

  5. June 17, 2009 3:23 pm

    This is fantastic and just what I need! Where do you recommend buying the Ozite rug (or something similar?) There is only 1 distributer listed in my tri-state area and it is an expo company who does not sell retail items. Are there similar low-priced rugs that you know of that are more readily available?

    • diymaven permalink*
      June 17, 2009 5:22 pm

      I’m glad you like it! I’ve been asked this question before…by my sister, in fact. She said she has seen something similar at Walmart and Walmart is everywhere! ;)

  6. January 15, 2009 7:36 am

    very nice projects. Looks similar to striped outdoor rugs from Ballard Designs

  7. dewonangus permalink
    January 8, 2009 9:14 pm

    Love this … adding it to my spring projects list when I paint some of the flower pots! Thanks.

    • diymaven permalink*
      January 9, 2009 7:45 am

      Glad you like it! And it’s nice to see you here ;)


  1. Painting Rugs

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