Paint a plain rug

Here's an easy way to add a new look to a plain, inexpensive low-pile, coir, sisal or jute rug. All you need is some paint and masking tape!


Acrylic paints lend themselves to a variety of applications, and one of those is to use to add a decorative pattern to a plain, inexpensive rug that needs an update. You don't need any special paints for this project, just a standard acrylic matt or low-sheen PVA that you can buy at your local Builders Warehouse. In fact, if you are adding a dark pattern or bold colour onto a light rug, you can even use Rust-Oleum 2X satin spray paint.


Low-pile, coir, sisal or jute rug

Acrylic matt or low-sheen PVA or Rust-Oleum 2X satin spray paint

Masking tape

Drop cloth

Paintbrushes, if using paint 






Place the rug on a large drop cloth in an area that allows you to move around easily. You want to apply strips of masking tape over the entire rug in your desired pattern. Press down the edges of the masking tape firmly to make sure it is well stuck to prevent any paint from bleeding under the tape.

GOOD TO KNOW: Some of the cheaper masking tapes don't stick very well and peel off easily. If you can't find a decent quality masking tape you can use sellotape or packaging tape as an alternative.

Apply a generous amount of paint to the open areas, brushing on as evenly as possible but making sure to brush into the pile. You may need to apply two or more coats to reach your desired finish, but allow the paint to dry between each coat.

Before the paint is fully dry, gently peel away the masking tape, working in sections to prevent spoiling the unpainted areas. Leave the rug where it is until the paint is completely dry. Rub a soft brush over the rug to lift the pile and soften the painted areas.

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