A DIY painted rug instantly updates a blah kitchen. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own colorful floor mat. It's so simple!

Updated January 24, 2018

Need a style boost in your kitchen? Try this weekend project. Make a high-style, high-functioning rug with a sheet-vinyl flooring remnant (available at most home centers) and a stencil. Download our stencil to get the look pictured here, or apply these step-by-step instructions to your own pattern. 

We love how much color this project can bring to a kitchen. We painted our rug in bright cerulean, aqua, and gray, but pick a palette that matches your style and decor.

  • Working time 4 hrs
  • Start to finish 2 days
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Painting, Stenciling

What you need

Tools

Materials

How to do it

Step 1 Prepare Stencil

Download and print our DIY painted rug stencil. Enlarge image to desired size. (Ours is 15x24 inches for the main part of the stencil.)

Download the free stencil here.

Step 2 Prime and Paint

Pour the primer into a paint tray, and apply to the vinyl flooring piece (ours is 42x60 inches) using a 6-inch roller; let dry. Apply a second coat and let dry overnight.

Step 3 Trace Stencil

Trace image onto stencil plastic using a fine-tip permanent marker. If you need a larger stencil, tape pieces of stencil plastic together using clear packing tape. Cut out using a crafts knife on a self-healing cutting mat.

Editor's Tip
Mark on Graph Paper

If desired, lay out the pattern on graph paper before transferring to the vinyl mat. Then, mark the vinyl with a blue or green colored pencil. This will make it easier to accurately transfer the pattern. 

Step 4 Start Painting

To stencil, spray back of stencil with stencil adhesive, then position the stencil on the vinyl flooring. Pour a small amount of paint into paint tray, roll a 4-inch foam roller into the paint until saturated, then roll onto kraft paper or a paper towel to blot off excess paint. Roll the foam roller over the stencil without pressing too hard, which could cause the paint to bleed under the stencil. Allow the first coat to dry about two minutes. Apply the next coat; let dry.

Editor's Tip
Speed Up Drying Time

To speed up drying time, aim a desk fan at the rug. 

Step 5 Move Stencil

Remove the stencil; place in the next position and continue until finished. Stencil all of one color before moving to the next color. When the main images are complete, stencil the gray squares in the center of the blue and green images. Let dry.

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Step 6 Finishing Touches

Add the line through the middle of the vinyl by measuring a ¾-inch-wide line, then taping it off with 1-inch painter's tape designed for delicate surfaces. Roll on the dark gray paint; let dry. Apply another coat, then remove tape immediately. Touch up as needed with a flat artist's brush.

Step 7 Apply Seal

Allow your DIY painted area rug to dry overnight before sealing with two coats of a good-quality water-base flooring polyurethane—the same polyurethane that would be applied to a painted wood floor. Ask your local paint store for suggestions if you're not sure what kind to buy.

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