Painting a Faux Rag Rug

When I finished painting the hallway floor I really wanted to try painting a faux rag rug, and I’m so happy that I actually went ahead and did it.

You see, there was a bit of a battle going on here because that nay-saying little voice that sometimes sits on my shoulder was saying things like, 

“Are you crazy girl?” and

“Have you totally lost your color-loving mind?” 

Thankfully, the crazy little girl that still lives inside me was happily perched on my other shoulder and she answered by kicking its sorry butt into oblivion. 

Freeing my world for creating once again. Yay!!!

So now it’s on to sharing how to go about painting a faux rag rug… as created by this crazy girl’s color-loving mind.

For me rag rugs have a real vintage cottagy charm about them, and if you have an old wooden floor like mine they’re the perfect type of faux rug to paint because the floor kinda works with the whole idea.

pink rag rug area before

It’s important to give the floor a thorough vacuuming at the beginning and between each painting step.

Not fun I know, but it’s especially important in my house of  three cats.

Painting a Faux Rag Rug

painting a faux rag rug

First I painted the base area for the rag rug with a coat of OOOPS light pink.

It’s better to use a light color as the base coat, or even the white floor color if you like.

For me I chose to paint in the frame so it gives me something to work with when it comes to the edges of the rug.

I didn’t bother to tape it off, I just did it by hand.

painted rag rug 4b

I went into my brushes stashes.

leftover paint being used to hand paint a faux rag rug on wooden floor

To paint my crazy rag rug I used a bunch of leftover paints from my home decor stash.

To paint my crazy rag rug I used a bunch of leftover paints from my home decor stash.

Some aluminum frozen meat pie containers worked perfectly to hold my paints.

I didn’t end up using the very pale green and blue colors because they were just too light.

painting a faux rag rug

I just hand painted lines over the pink paint.

When it came to the color order I just winged it.

I don’t like to think too much about these things because if I do I always get stalled before even starting.

It’s best for me to just jump right in and go for it.

painting a faux rag rug

I did a small section of the rug at a time, first with the hot pink.

This way I could fill in with different colors while the others would dry as I worked my way down the rug.

painting a faux rag rug

Next was a lime green.

painting a faux rag rug

You can see how I’m working my way down as I go.

painting a faux rag rug

Then a dark but bright blue…

painting a faux rag rug

and a sky kinda lighter blue.

It doesn’t matter that it looks wonky close up.

No real rag rug has perfectly straight lines so a faux one shouldn’t either, and this isn’t how it’ll be seen every day.

painted rag rug before fringe

This is how it’ll usually be seen.

I made sure to leave lines of the light pink showing through, and filled in with the last color… a sweet yellow.

Once I had made my way all the way down the rug I went back and filled in with colored lines wherever I thought they were needed.

painting a faux rag rug

After cleaning up the edges with some white paint it was on to painting the fringe, which was really quite easy.

I taped off the area where I was painting the fringe.

You could wing it, but this makes it so much easier… especially helping to keep the ends of the fringe even.

painting a faux rag rug

The beauty of a faux painted rug is I can make the fringe any color I want, and since my base is pink I chose to use that and the hot pink.

I started out by painting lines with the light pink paint.

Just randomly…  some this way and some that way… not thinking about it too much.

painting a faux rag rug

Here’s the light pink done.

painting a faux rag rug

I let that dry for about 30 minutes and then I went over it with hot pink lines… again just randomly.

This gives the fringe some definition and depth.

painting a faux rag rug

Here’s one end done.

painting a faux rag rug

And here’s the other.

painting a faux rag rug

Painting a faux rag rug is a little time consuming.

It took me a couple of Sunday afternoons.

But it’s really not that difficult

And the really awesome thing about this project is that is can be customized to any decor just by changing the colors used.

I’m planning to add a top coat or two of a stays clear matte polyurethane, and I need to get some quarter round molding down at the baseboard too.

painting a faux rag rug

If you’re a little more sane than I am (and how could you not be? lol) you could leave it at two or three colors.

But I wanted my rag rug to be just a little bit crazy.

To make me giggle like a girl every time I walk over it on the way to my craft room.

And it does!

It makes my little girl heart happy.

painting a faux rag rug

Is your nay-saying little voice stopping you from trying something with your decor? I’m so glad I didn’t listen to mine.

I’m quite happy with how my rag rug turned out.

It reminds me of one my mother made for me years ago. She used to make rag rugs on a large loom and I still have a few downstairs.

With three cats, this faux rag rug will be much easier to keep clean than a real one.

Cat hair won’t stick to it, and it won’t have to be put in the washer when it needs cleaning. I’m all for less laundry. lol.

I’ve already decided to paint another one in the centre area of the hallway.

UPDATE: You can now check out the blue based faux rag rug at the other end of the hallway.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on. 

keep on keepin’ on!


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How to paint a faux rag rug with leftover paints

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  1. Gail @Purple Hues and Me says:

    OMG! That’s absolutely beautiful! And it’s perfect right there!

    1. Thanks so much Gail! I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

  2. marriannad says:

    PERFECT! A dear departed friend of mine always painted her floors instead of putting down rag rugs. They always look neat and she didn’t worry about tripping over them. I love your bright colors that really make this faux rag rug pop.

    1. Thanks so much! I never thought about the whole tripping factor, but the cats can’t mess it up when they’re playing. We have one who loves to sit on throw rugs and chase his tail. Needless to say that rug is crumpled up pretty much every day. He does have fun though.

  3. Patricia B says:

    Hey Tuula, I LOVE IT! This would be a great idea for the elderly or disabled persons that otherwise may trip over an actual rug. I may try this on my basement floor in the laundry area! Thanks for the inpiration. Love ya’

    1. Thanks Patricia! I’m so glad my rug has inspired you. If you paint one let me know how it turns out.

  4. Mother Deer says:

    Oh, that is such a cool idea. You are so creative. The finished product is awesome πŸ™‚
    P.S. I love color too…your projects inspire me

    1. Thank you so much! Nothing makes me happier then when my projects inspire others. I really appreciate you telling me that.

  5. I love the painted rug! I painted a rug on the floor in a playhouse for a friend of mine when her girls were little. She’s a little OCD so I made the fringe super messy in a couple of places to drive her a little nutty πŸ™‚
    You did a great job and it adds a unique touch to your floor!

    1. Thanks Virginia! You are terrible. lol. I’m a tad OCD myself, so my fringe is about as messy as I could handle. lol.

  6. Leslie McCoy says:

    What a great idea! I just love it!

    1. Thanks so much Leslie!

  7. Kris@Junkchiccottage says:

    Tuula another wonderful creative idea. Love that you used a lot of colors. Just gives the space such personality. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks Kris! I’m having a new found love for white, especially white floors. It really makes colours pop.

  8. Oh my word! That is fabulous! Makes me wish I had a floor I could try that on. This is so much safer and being able to make it the colors you want is a bonus. Good for you- thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I think it would be fun to try on an outside deck or porch too. If you have one of those you could try that.

  9. distresseddonna says:

    I thought you would have to add some color to the newly painted floor. Love the colors! You did a great job with the faux texture of the rag rug.

    1. Thanks Donna! I was quite nervous about doing it, but it was really a lot of fun. I need to learn to never listen to my nay saying voice.

  10. Hi Tuula,
    Your painted rug looks awesome! I’m mentally storing all your clever ideas for when I have a country house. Adorable.

    1. Thanks Tina! I’m still working on telling my head to be shut up one project at a time. It doesn’t seem to know what’s best for me when it comes to decor. It should stick to things like balancing the cheque book. lol.

  11. What a great way to finish the awesome looking painted floor! Amazing idea! It is out of my comfort zone to even paint my front hall floor, but I am determined to do it even though it is scary!

    1. Thanks so much AnnMarie! When I painted my first floor years ago I was quite nervous about it, but I really loved it in the end. This time I wasn’t nervous about painting the floor, but about how I would paint it. The most important thing is the correct prep for the type of floor. I was lucky because mine has been stripped years ago by some unknown awesome soul who was planning on doing something that, for whatever reason, never happened. It was a clean blank slate for me, which made the painting pretty easy.

  12. Your rag rug turned out great! Another benefit, you don’t have to straighten it out, because it doesn’t move about. Yay!

    1. Thanks so much Sheila! That’s an awesome benefit that I never thought of. You’re so right!

  13. That is amazing! And its the perfect rug, never needs washing and you can’t trip over the corner in the middle of the night.

    1. Thanks Audra! That’s so true!

  14. Wow, I’m way behind on this, aren’t I? Been sick. But what a cheerful thing to come out of my dark fog to!! This is absolutely amazing! And you even put on fringe!!! It looks fantastic and If I had a place to do one, you know I would!!!! Don

    1. Thanks so much Dona! I’m so sorry you’ve been sick. I hope you’re feeling better now. πŸ™‚

  15. This is amazing! I’m so happy to took the plunge and went with the vision in your head. Love the randomness of all the different colors, and the fringe is the icing on the cake. LOVE it. Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial at Vintage Inspiration Party. Sharing on my FB page!

    1. Thanks Betsy! Now I have the urge to paint rag rugs everywhere. lol. But, I’ll settle for one more at the other end of my hallway. Thanks so much for the FB share.

  16. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says:

    All the advantages of a pretty rug and great color without the slippage that you get when you sometimes walk on these and they slide all over the place. It’s a great ides.

    1. Thanks so much Mary! And the cats can’t slide on it either when they’re chasing each other around the house. lol.

  17. SO VERY COOL, it looks exactly like a rag rug!!! Just love this idea, you don’t have to wash it or straighten it, and I think I could even do this. Thanks for the tutorial and sharing;) Best ~ Mickie.

    1. Thanks very much Mickie! You can definitely do this. It just takes a little time and patience.

  18. Woah Tuula!! This faux rag rug is amazing!! It looks like a real rug!! Love the colors you chose!! It’s definitely worth the time you put into making this beautiful work of art on your floor!! Great job!!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m very happy with it, and I never have to throw it in the washer. That a big plus.

  19. What an absolutely brilliant idea, we just painted one of the walls in our hallway stripy rainbow colours


    1. Thanks Molly! You hallway wall sounds amazing!

    1. Thanks so much Sherry! You can have one! It’s rather easy, just a little paint and patience.

  20. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    What a wonderful pop of color and very practical too! Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Wow! That’s such an honour Sharon. Thanks so much!

  21. WOW–so pretty Tuula and beautifully executed–your fringe is crazy-good. You are so inspirational! Thanks for bringing your rug to Vintage Charm πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Diana! That just means the world to me. πŸ™‚

  22. Oh wow! I love it! So cute! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

    1. Thanks so much Sherry! It’s always fun to join the party!

  23. Lori Jones says:

    Didn’t think I would like the finished rug, but I DO!!!! Think I might try this on my front door step!!

    1. Thanks Lori! I have to admit I wasn’t 100% sure if I’d like the finished rug either, but I really love how it turned out. And it pretty easy to do. A front step is a great place to try this. I think you’ll love your rug to.

  24. You did a great job, and I love the colors.

  25. I would love to do the same thing. Did you use latex paint.My floors have a poly finish do I have to do something to them first?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Patti. Ehen I removed the old carpeting my wooden floor was pretty much stripped down to the bare wood which was lucky for me because I didn’t have to do any sanding before painting. I primed the floor with 2 coats of a super adherent latex low VOC primer. My rug was then painted with left over water-based paints from other projects. If my floor had a poly finish I would definitely have sanded it first before priming and painting. For more info on painting a wood floor you can check out my post https://colormethrifty.com/2015/11/painting-a-wood-floor-and-a-faux-fix.html/
      Thanks, Tuula

  26. Holy cow Tuula – this is absolutely gorgeous – I HAVE to try this in one of the guest rooms – I’m in love !!!
    Happy New Year – can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2016 !
    Now I’m scrolling back up to stare at this again – amazing !!!

    1. Happy New Year Suzan! Thanks for popping in to check out my rug. It was so much fun to paint, and I’m working on another one right now. I feel the urge to paint rugs everywhere now. lol.

    1. Thanks so much Angie! I’m so pleased that my rag rug was featured. It’s one of my favourite projects.

  27. Using a floor cloth (any sturdy stuff like canvas) and painting your rug there means I could take it when I move. Also if used in kitchen it can easily take spills. Great minds…..

    1. That would work great Kitty! They used to paint floor cloths as floor coverings in the old days. I’ve seen some really large ones during old house tours. I made one myself years ago, way before my blogging days. That might be a fun project to try again sometime.

  28. I love your rug, can hardly find in stores anymore and when i do they are expensive. I do have a question. I have crummy wood (solid) stairs from my driveway basement entranceway into the house and would like to do this to them , but is it safe to use any kind of poly to protect design and be safe? Thanks! ?

    1. Hi there! I can’t really say if it would be safe or not. It depends completely on what you use on the stairs after you’ve painted them. You should definitely ask at the paint store if there’s a poly that in non-slip. My concern about painting this kind of rag rug on stairs is whether or not seeing the stairs clearly while going down them will be affected because the stripes kind of meld together. It’s something I would definitely consider first.