How to Paint an Outdoor Rug

Transform a plain, inexpensive outdoor rug into a custom DIY creation with a little paint.

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What You'll Need

  • Outdoor sisal rug
  • Drop cloth
  • 2-inch-wide painter's tape
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Chalk-finish paint (we used 1/2 quart of Annie Sloan Pure White Chalk Paint)
  • Cloth
  • Large, round paintbrush

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Step 1

Place your rug on a drop cloth (or use the plastic wrapper it came in) in a well-ventilated area. If your rug has a border you would like to keep, cover it with painter's tape for protection.

Step 2

Using a tape measure, find and mark the center of the rug with a pencil. Working outward from your mark, apply two lengths of painter's tape side by side diagonally from the center to one corner (side-by-side lengths of tape should overlap slightly). Apply a second set of two side-by-side lengths from the center to the adjacent corner, creating a V shape. Each leg of the V should be 4 inches wide.

Step 3

Where V legs intersect, use scissors to trim a perfect point.

Step 4

Use a ruler or make a 4-inch spacer out of tape to guide the placement of each subsequent V until the whole rug is taped. (Each leg of each V should be 4 inches apart.)

Step 5

Mix in 1–2 drops of water for each cup of chalk-finish paint to help it glide on. (Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with water and use it to slightly dampen the rug before painting.) Use a cloth to blot any excess paint from your paintbrush, and paint between your taped V's. Add more coats as desired. Let dry completely. Repeat steps to complete the rug.

Step 6

Carefully remove the tape to reveal the finished rug.

Tip: There are many chalk-finish paints on the market, but we chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for this project because we like how evenly it covers the surface -- and because it doesn't require a separate sealant. Learn more at anniesloan.com

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