How to Paint a Faux Rag Rug

2 Materials
8 Hours

When I finished painting my upstairs 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.
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.
Because I'm using what I already have, this project cost me zero dollars. To paint my crazy rag rug I used a bunch of leftover paints from my stash, and I also had the poly that I mention later as well.
First I painted the area for the rag rug with a base coat of OOOPS light pink.
I just hand painted lines over the pink paint.
I did a small section of the rug at a time, first with the hot pink. This way I could fill in with different colours while the others would dry as I worked my way down the rug.
Next was a lime green. You can see how I'm working my way down as I go.
Then a dark but bright blue... and a sky kinda lighter blue. It doesn't matter if it looks a little wonky close up. No real rag rug has perfectly straight lines so a faux one shouldn't either, and it'll only be seen this close up by the cats and I don't think they'll care. lol.
I made sure to leave lines of the light pink showing through, and filled in with the last colour... a sweet yellow. Once I had made my way all the way down the rug I went back and filled in with coloured lines wherever I thought they were needed.
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.
The beauty of a faux painted rug is I can make the fringe any colour I want, and since my base is pink I chose tp 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 so it looks more real.
Here's the light pink done.
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.
And this is this end done. The other end was shown in the first photo.
Painting a faux rag rug is a little time consuming, (it took me a couple of Sunday afternoons) but really not that difficult... and it can be customized to any decor just by changing the colors used. After my rug was all dry I added two coats of a stays clear matte polyurethane.
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. And with four 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. For more details and pics click over to my blog using the link below.

Suggested materials:

  • Paint  (home improvement store)
  • Polyurethane  (home improvement store)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Coco
    on Dec 31, 2017

    You did a beautiful job! Do you think if I did it on the stairs to basement it would cause me to trip easily?
    • Gilda Gottrox
      on Sep 18, 2018

      It could make the edges of the stairs less defined, which could make for a possible fall hazzard, even more so for those with visual problems.

  • Nmr5406556
    on Jan 26, 2018

    Is it possible to add a little sand to the paint to make it less slippery. I've never done this, just an idea!

    • Color Me Thrifty
      on Jan 26, 2018

      I have no idea how that would react with the paint, or if it would end up just scratching the surface and causing the floor to wear faster. This floor isn't any more slippery than a regular hardwood floor, which is just fine for us. If it's a concern I would suggest trying it on a sample board first before attempting it on an actual wooden floor.
  • Karen
    on Feb 15, 2019

    I have my rug finished but I want to know what brand of sealer I should use that won't yellow. Thank you.

    • Karen
      on Feb 18, 2019

      Hi! I'm just really worried about messing up my floor after all this work. For the pink rug you said you used "two coats of a stays clear matte polyurethane" and then when talking about the blue rug you said, " and two coats of a clear satin water based polyurethane over the entire floor… including the two rag rugs."

      This is the "Benjamin Moore Stays Clear Acrylic Polyurethane"? I googled it and ended up at "the blogging painters" and someone said they went over their cupboards after painting them with latex paint with BM's Stays Clear and their cupboards yellowed. You never had any yellowing? Thank you for your help in this scary issue. Karen

Join the conversation

2 of 275 comments
  • Kirsten Uglum
    on May 26, 2019

    Beautiful.. Thanks for sharing

  • Paige Mull
    on May 20, 2020


    I just love how your painted rag rug turned out. I love rag rugs, have them in my house right now. I even make them! But never painted one. Yours is simply beautiful. I will work up the courage to try someday. Thank you for sharing! ❤️💜💚

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