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An Unexpected Way to Revive an Old Carpet

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What do you do when you're stuck with old, worn-out carpet but you can't afford to replace it? Here's an unusual suggestion: paint it!
Time: 2 Weeks Cost: $55.00 Difficulty: Easy
I needed a way to bring some rock-n-roll attitude into this music room, and I couldn't afford to replace the nasty old beige carpet.
I'd seen a few carpet-painting tutorials (all done with cheap outdoor area rugs), and when I suggested this option to Chris, he agreed that it would be pretty hard to make the old carpet any nastier than it already was.
In my mind, "I suppose you can't make it any worse" is completely equivalent to "That sounds like a fantastic idea!" So with that rousing endorsement, I dove in.
I started by bleaching the carpet in an attempt to even out the tone and hopefully mellow out some of the stains.
I like to think that it made a huge difference. But in reality, well...maybe I just don't want to admit that I wasted several hours of my day.
Anyway. After bleaching, I let it dry out completely. When it was finally ready to paint, I basically reverse-engineered a method that I've used to get paint OUT of carpet when I accidentally spill and I'm not using a drop cloth. (Don't act like that's never happened to you.) I used a pump sprayer to wet sections of the carpet, then used a wet-dry vac to suck most of the water out. The damp carpet absorbs paint much more evenly than dry carpet. Then I rolled on a mixture of 2-parts-paint-to-1-part-water. And I used a scrub brush to work the paint evenly into the carpet.
After painting, I let it dry for a couple of days. Then I added the pièce de résistance: the stencil.
Once again, I watered down the paint. Then I spent 10 hours on my knees, using a 1-inch stencil brush to cover an entire 11x13-foot room with the coolest stencil I could find.
And it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.
If you'd like more details on my carpet-painting process, check out this blog post: http://www.sarahsbigidea.com/2014/11/magic-carpet-ride/

To see more: http://www.sarahsbigidea.com/2014/11/magic-carpet-ride/

Got a question about this project?

  • Lynnsbeyondthephoto

    This is fantastic!! I can't wait until our loft is organized so I can do this with the old rug up there! Thanks for posting!

  • Julie Benson-Grant
    Julie Benson-Grant Kansas City, MO

    Love this idea and love the coordination of the blue from the wall to the stencil on the carpet (what do you call that design?)... and idea how that wears?

  • Sheila Otto
    Sheila Otto Houston, TX

    Could you use Rit liquid dye??? I have tealish green carpet thruout our house that also has nasty spots...previous owner spilled bleach in living/dining roo. I am able to partially cover with furniture...but was wondering if I could use watered down

  • Beryl Smith

    Brilliant idea! excellently done!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    GrandmasHouseDIY Menahga, MN

    That is incredible!

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