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Herringbone DIY Painted Rug

Use masking tape techniques and learn how to paint a rug with some serious curb appeal.

Updated January 28, 2019
Herringbone DIY Painted Rug
Herringbone DIY Painted Rug
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Craft yourself some serious curb appeal when you learn how to paint a rug that allows you to add a chic design to a sturdy outdoor rug. The Herringbone DIY Painted Rug is created using Testors air-brushable acrylic paint, allowing you to create a pretty piece of DIY home décor without having to mess with stinky and harmful spray paint fumes. While the design on this painted rug tutorial may look complicated and intricate, it is actually achieved with some smart taping techniques that are beginner-friendly and almost impossible to adhere incorrectly.

Materials List

  • Testors Aztek Airbrush
  • Testor’s Aztek Paint Cups
  • Testors Aztek Airbrushable Acrylic Paint - 9487 Sky Blue
  • Rug 17.75” x 31.75” 
  • ½” Masking tape
  • Card stock
  • Tape
  • Chalk
  • Ruler

How to Paint a Rug


Note: Protect areas not being painted from accidental overspray.

  1. Cut two rectangles from card stock to measure 13” x 2” and 10” x 2”.  Bring the left top corner flush with the long right side and the right bottom corner flush with the long left side on each piece.  Crease the card stock on the folds and cut away the corners to create top and bottom 45-degree angles. Cut three of each size.

  2. Create a template by taping the pieces together with the angle of a short piece against the side of a long piece.  Continue to alternate short and long pieces until all six are connected.

  3. With chalk, mark the vertical center of the rug.  Also make a mark 4” down from the top center.

  4. Place the template with the center point at the 4” mark. Trace the top edge of the template with chalk.

  5. Cover the chalk line with half-inch masking tape.  

  6. Move the template down leaving 2” between the side template edge and the edge of the masking tape.  Trace the template edge with chalk.  Continue moving the template in the same way and tracing it.

  7. Wherever tape ends meet at a point (A), close that opening with an additional piece of tape (B) reaching the next intersecting tape line.

  8. When you’re done, all the openings will be closed and the herringbone pattern will emerge.

  9. Airbrush the entire rug with the paint yellow nozzle which is designed to cover wide areas at a time.  Wait a couple of hours to remove the masking tape.

  10. Use a wet toothbrush to remove chalk lines.

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This is a great idea that I have used before. Many years ago I painted a sun design on a carpet for my patio. It was very easy to do. The hardest part was deciding what design to go with. This project is very good with instructions and pictures. I think anyone can do it.

Do you have a rug that you are finding so boring. Then why not transform it into something more dramatic by painting on a design. This is a good tutorial with step by step pictures to help you accomplish this design but you can create your own look too. You can buy plain rugs cheaper than printed ones. Let's see what you can create.

Would it be possible to use regular acrylic paint mixed with Gesso to make one?

I think that would work! You might even be able to get away with just the acrylic. One blogger suggests sealing the rug with fabric protector to make sure the paint lasts. Good luck!


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