How to Paint a Rug With Chalk Paint

6 Materials
30 Minutes

If you think like I think, then finding the perfect rug can take forever. Good thing we can design our own, with a bit of chalk paint and the proper rug as a canvas. Briefly, if you don't find a rug in the perfect color, then make yourself one! I did, and now I'm sharing my rug project with you here, and on my blog too.

Painting a rug isn’t much different than painting anything else: you need the object to paint, the proper paint for your kind of surface and an instrument to apply the color, as a brush or a sponge.

My rug was pretty textured, but you should choose a flatweave cotton rug for the best results. Actually, any rug would work as long as is has a short loop pile ori a flat texture like sisal, jutta or cotton.

I prefer Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the great coverage on any type of canvas, and this paint was my choice for the rug project too. You will not find this brand in stores, but only at Annie Sloan’s stockists, so you should check her webpage to see which stockist is closer to your location.


I wanted to keep a small portion unpainted, to make de colors look more vivid, so I used a bit of masking tape to protect this area while painting.


Use the darkest color (Country Grey, in this case) first, and add lines here and there, starting from the edge. Spread gently the color around the main line of color till you lose all the paint from your brush, to create a distressed effect. Remember to do it GENTLY.


Continue with the next color – mine was Paris Gray. Keep the balance between color and negative space and don’t overcrowd the rug with lines. Leave room for the next colors, and continue with gold - 148 Rich Gold from Maimeri.


After three shades that you might take as neutrals, an accent is needed. Greek Blue was my choice, as it reminds me of the summer holidays I used to spend on the Greek Island of Thassos. Ad it here and there, like waves on a serene sea.


In the end, add a few touches of Original white to keep the balance and the inner light of this summer inspired rug.


Thought this step is not mandatory for Annie sloan Chalk Paint, I prefer to take it just to accelerate drying. Remember to use a piece of cloth and NEVER iron painted the rug directly.

That's it! This is my new rug, and I love it! It's going to fit my bedroom perfectly, once I completely shift to a new color palette. But this is a totally different story!

I share more tips and pictures of this rug on my website RIGHT HERE, along with many other DIY projects that many people never thought of.

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Gabi Ralea

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


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Pat
    on Feb 21, 2019

    How do you clean a painted rug

    • Sophie wilde
      Sophie wilde
      on Sep 10, 2020

      I have used (many years ago) a heavy calico to make my.own flat weave rug and this is before we had chalk paint here in England ( newish thing over here) but I used a 50/50 ratio of PVA glue and water mixed well together and applied it as a varnish using a foam roller into my a great !! I have experimented the years using treasured old fabrics to even cover a chest of drawers and I.used the same process..Mod Podge ( new over here too, so hope I' he spelt that correctly;) does a similar thing..That spray bought in camping shops for waterproofing tents is a very good way of stopping upcycled projects like this getting ruined by tea spillage etc..vital in my house as I have MS lol

  • Brenda
    on Feb 21, 2019

    This is a great tutorial! Could you do the other side, perhaps differently? If so one could have two rugs for the price of one.

    • Gabi Ralea
      Gabi Ralea
      on Feb 21, 2019

      Thank you for the idea, Brenda! Actually, I was thinking to try a different pattern, something closer to boho - nordic style, but I didn't take into account the other side of the same rug :)) Thank you again.

  • Nancy Wright
    Nancy Wright
    on Mar 1, 2019

    I have a large area rug which I would lie t change the color of at least the middle (rose color) to maybe a moss green or a medium grey, The nap or pile is regular size for an area rug

    Any suggestions?

    • CJ
      on Mar 30, 2020

      Hi Nancy, I see that you asked your question almost a year ago, I'm sorry no one was able to reply to you sooner. I have a suggestion for you, and that is all it is, for you or anyone else wondering the same. Let me make this disclaimer first: I have never painted fabric with anything but fabric paints and have done very little of that.

      Anyway, my thinking is if you have a rose colored rug that you want to change, I think painting a wash of white or off white would be the first thing to do and after the light color dries then paint your green. I'm thinking if you painted green over the rose dye, it would turn your lovely green a bit of a brownish color. I don't know if that would be the result but that is something I suggest you consider, that I would consider if I were painting a decorated rug. Alternately, maybe you could carefully spot treat the rug dye with a bleach solution to fade the colors some before painting. Not too strong of a bleach solution then rinse thoroughly and dry completely before painting.

      I love this painted rug posted by Gabi!

      Good luck, Nancy!

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