I have wanted to stencil something for quite some time now, and I finally got around to it this weekend. I mentioned before that I am working on a dining room makeover, and that we really needed a rug. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to challenge myself and see just how little money I could spend on this project. (P.S. Stay tuned for another stenciling project coming up soon!) I’m going to show you exactly how to stencil a rug, without spending a ton of money!
I won a stencil on a friend’s blog a while back, and I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how I wanted to use it. A Moroccan-patterned rug seemed like the perfect use for this stencil. But are you ready for the best part? This rug cost $18.00. That’s right, a 6×8 rug for $18.00! The entire project cost me around $28.00 since the stencil was free. (I used a wall stencil, and these can be pretty pricey, but you could always make your own for free or tape off a design using painter’s tape.) All I had to buy was some acrylic craft paint and fabric medium, which set me back about $10.00.
And as for the rug? It was a Home Depot find. It’s a cheap, flimsy indoor/outdoor rug, but I knew I could make it look like a million bucks (minus $999,900.00). My husband wasn’t so sure about it — in fact, he may or may not have almost gagged the first time he saw it rolled up on the living room floor before I worked my magic on it. To say it was ugly is a massive understatement. It kinda resembled gray AstroTurf.
How to Stencil a Rug
Ok, let’s get down to business. I’m going to tell you exactly how I did this. I had never stenciled before, so this was quite an adventure. If you want to make sure your stencil pattern is exactly the same around all of the edges, you can take the time to measure it out. I just decided to wing it because I’m impatient and I kind of didn’t care about it being totally perfect since it’s going to live under the dining room table.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Solid colored rug
- Painter’s tape
- Acrylic craft paint (I used white)
- Fabric medium
- Paint roller or stencil brush
- Paint tray
- Plastic drop cloth
- Stir Stick
- Wet wipes or wet paper towels
- Dry paper towels.
First, lay your rug out flat on top of your plastic drop cloth. Mix your craft paint with fabric medium (2 parts paint to 1 part fabric medium). Pick a corner and line up your stencil, taping it down. If it won’t lay flat, grab random objects and weigh down the edges (I used toys). I know these instructions are very technical (“grab random objects?”) but that’s just my style. Please just go with it.
Apply your paint. I attempted to use a paint roller which would have made this project go about 5,000 times faster, but it just wasn’t working out for me. I think the combo of the thin rug and the foam roller wasn’t a good match – maybe a roller with thicker nap would have worked better, but my roller wasn’t pressing the paint into the rug properly. I ended up using a 2-inch stencil brush for the whole thing. (I know, I’m crazy.) It took a while, and I got a nasty blister on my finger, but it was the most effective method under the circumstances. If you use a brush, use circular motions and do not slant the brush. Hold the brush vertically the whole time to avoid having your paint seep under the edges of the stencil. If you do smudge it, use a wet wipe to blot it immediately. (I always keep wet wipes handy when I paint.)
Always blot your brush or roller on a dry paper towel before painting. It’s best to use very little paint and go over it a couple of times if necessary, rather than slopping on a ton of paint and having it seep through the edges. You will also have to periodically wipe down your stencil as it becomes covered in a thick layer of paint. You can always lift a corner of the stencil and take a peek at how things look to see if you need to make it darker.
Move your stencil and repeat the process. After you’ve finished one section, lift the stencil, move it over – match up the edges and follow the same steps until your whole rug is complete. Allow ample drying time before plopping furniture on top of it, but it won’t take too long. Acrylic paint dries pretty quickly.
And here she is in the dining room!
The last step: Admire your hard work and allow your husband to tell you how awesome you are for saving a zillion dollars on a rug. Rugs are expensive! This one may not be top of the line quality, but you can’t beat $18.00! Especially since I have kids who are just going to throw food on it anyway. I’ll invest in a nice one when they go to college. For now, cheap but pretty works for me thankyouverymuch!
Would you ever stencil a rug? If you try it, let me know!
You Might Also Like:
- How to Paint Furniture: A Beginner’s Guide
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- How to Paint a Striped Wall
- DIY Geometric Pendant Light
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