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Use acrylic paint to stencil design on a rug or mat

A trend that is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners, especially with today's flexible paints, is to paint a design onto a rug or mat. Thick cotton, sisal and coir mats are reasonably priced and these can so easily be transformed into coordinating flooring using your own colours and patterns.

Not only does stencilling a painted design onto a plain rug or mat allow you to choose the exact colours that you want to use in your home, it also allows you to incorporate a design that matches with your existing decor.

A Moroccan trellis design is a popular stencil pattern for stencilling onto rugs. It's not as detailed as other designs and can be done in two or three colours.

Jessica at breakfast at gigis painted a design onto a plain sisal rug. Using thick poster board, and finding a nice Moroccan tile pattern she enlarged and printed out the design - sticking some areas together with duct table. together.

Jessica painted the rug with a base colour and then went over the top with her stencil and white paint. A bit of touch up here and there and the new rug is ready for use.

My tip: Keep some of the paint handy in airtight pots for future touchups.





Martha at mvelope needed a rug for her dining room to cover up the fitted carpet. She selected a blah and boring sisal carpet that was transformed with masking tape and paint. After finding and marking the centre of the rug, she then applied 5cm-thick masking tape to create the chevron design. The paint was applied using a stencil brush.

Still lovin' houndstooth? Then you'll love this hand stencilled houndstooth rug by vintage revivals.

Rather than painting the entire rug, Mandi only painted on the white design using a bought stencil. Click here for details on the stencil, or use thick card stock or acetate sheeting to make your own stencil.

Katie at creative living blog chose a intricate design for her graphic rug. She used an artist's paintbrush and foam roller to apply paint over the stencil design. As a tip Katie used spray adhesive to help hold the stencil onto the rug surface while she painted.

Tips for stencilling onto rugs or mats

Use matt or flat acrylic paints for this type of project. Plascon Polvin is probably one of the best paints to use, but you can also use Plascon Sure Coat Matt acrylic. The best way to apply paint is with a stencilling brush and using basic stencilling techniques - only dabbing on light coats and building up as each coat dries. You can use thick card stock or acetate sheeting for stencils that won't fall apart after the first application.

Thick card covered with a layer of clear self-adhesive vinyl will obviously last much longer. Keep airtight containers of paint in storage just in case you need to do any touchups later on.

So now you know... there are no rules when it comes to painting a design onto a rug or mat. Use whatever method works best for you.