You know what really bums me out? When you can’t find an area rug you like that’s also within your price range. Sure, you can get a 5′x7′ rug for $40, but I’ll bet it’s either gonna be plain or not have a pattern you like.
But what if you could makeover that rug in an inexpensive way?
Being an employee of “Cheap” Joe’s Art Stuff, I absolutely appreciate a bargain–so what about 10 bucks?
For this week’s project, I’m going take this boring old black rug that was given to me and paint it.
That’s right, you heard me. Paint. I’m going to use stencils and spray paint to create the pattern I want to make a rug that’ll (hopefully) look like it cost me a couple hundred.
It’s important to know ahead of time what kind of rug you are dealing with.
Make sure it’s low-pile and not tufted because it will be extremely hard to get your design to look the way you want.
The good news is that those low-pile rugs are usually the cheapest–and just begging for a creative touch!
To start, I made a to-scale rendering of what I wanted my rug to look like.
I used the colors I had leftover from when I marbled paper with spray paint: Montana Gold’s Blue Magic, Malachite, and Goldchrome.
Montana Gold’s spray paint is professional acrylic paint and comes in an incredible range of colors. If you’re wondering, “But won’t the paint come off?” Well, anyone who has ever gotten acrylic paint on their clothes knows that, no, it will not…
If you wanted to be extra sure, though, you could throw down some Scotchgard once the paint is dry.
I started with a small circle, just to get my feet wet, and used one of the 14″x17″ sheets.
I (obviously) free-handed my lines in a permanent marker, so I’d know where to cut.
The good thing about stencils is it doesn’t matter if you mess up the drawing, just as long as the silhouette looks good
I started to use scissors, but since I had to cut out interior shapes, I found it was MUCH easier to use an X-Acto Knife. Polyester Film is absolutely ideal for making stencils because it’s durable, but very easy to cut through, so you can get super intricate with your designs!
With my first stencil cut, I dragged my rug outside into the grass to get ready for the fun part–spray painting!
I laid my stencil down where I wanted it and covered the area around it with a couple of sheets I use for drop cloths.
Then I sprayed all around the circle, peeled everything away, aaaand…
Presto! My first shape!
You’ll see that I got a bit of underspray from where the paint went underneath my stencil, but that’s nothing a little touch up with some Shock Black can’t cure!
Once that dries, it’ll blend right in with the regular black fibers of my rug!
Next, I cut out and laid a second stencil made from my BIG polyester sheet.
This one wasn’t quite long enough, so I had to improvise by using two of my smaller polyester sheets to continue the shape all the way off the rug.
But it worked beautifully! And you can even see that the black I used for touch-ups has already faded into the black of the rug!
I also used the same circle stencil on the gold that I used on the blue. Yay for reusable stencils!
Since I was working with some pretty big shapes, I had to do a bit of moving and combining of the stencils.
For this one, I used a smaller half-curve stencil to create one section of my shape, and just flipped and moved it down to create the rest!
Pretty seamless! The more I moved the stencils around, the more I realized I had a TON of options with only the few (3 or 4) that I actually cut out. The trick was just moving them into the right positions and blocking off the parts I didn’t want to get paint on.
In a few hours, I had this bad boy!
Here’s a before and after shot.
Since the rug was given to me and the paint I used was leftover, I really only had to fork over about $10 for the Polyester Film. And I can still use those stencils for anything else I want to put circles on!
Not bad-looking for a $10 rug, huh?