Sharpie Rug Makeover

Julien K., Hometalk Team
by Julien K., Hometalk Team
8 Materials
1 Hour
I've had this rug in my house that is in desperate need of a makeover. If you're like me (and I bet you are), you despise throwing away an item that could simply be refurbished or made into something new! My $12 IKEA rug with coffee stains and all, has now been transformed into a trendy bohemian-style rug using only Sharpie markers and a quart of paint. Give it a try! We want to help you DIY, so some of the materials in this post are linked to sellers. Just so you know, Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
SUPPLIES: - IKEA 5'x8' Rug (I bought mine at IKEA, but you can get the same one on Amazon.) - BEHR Exterior Paint & Primer in one (quart) - Sharpie Markers - Foam Paint Roller - Paint Tray - Paintbrush (optional) - Painter's Tape - Drop cloth - Cardboard (optional)
This is my IKEA rug that had coffee stains and pulls throughout. It is a 5'x8' rug that has a low-pile weave, that makes it much easier to redo. If you are going to try this project, I highly recommend using a carpet that has a low-pile or flat weave. It will make it much easier to paint and draw on.

Step 1: Clean-up your rug. After vacuuming your rug and spot-cleaning any major stains, cut away any loose fibers or pilled threads from your carpet. Don't worry if there are blank spots in your carpet, this will help give it the worn-in bohemian look we are trying to achieve.
Step 2: Prep your paint. Pour your paint into a paint tray. Use a foam roller instead of a cloth one to get better coverage. You don't need to saturate the fibers of your rug, you just need to cover the surface area. The goal of this step is to create a blank slate for drawing on and to cover up any stained areas. For my rug, I wanted to achieve a light gray coverage instead of a stark white. The shade I used was called 'Sterling' from BEHR paint. You can use any light paint color you would like, as long as the Sharpie marker will show-up on it.
Step 3: Paint your rug. Begin painting your rug working from left to right, top to bottom. Let one coat dry fully, and apply a second coat. For my rug style, I wanted to create a worn-in look, so having strokes and a mixture of saturated areas was a good thing. If you'd like a flat base, you may have to apply several coats of paint.
Step 4: Add guidelines with tape. Using painter's tape, decide what type of pattern you are going to create. The tape will act as guidelines for you to draw out your pattern accurately.
Step 5: Cut out shapes. For a geometric pattern or bohemian style rug, cut out shapes from cardboard and arrange your pattern on the rug. Then, simply trace around the pieces with your Sharpie marker.
Step 6: Draw out your pattern. After drawing out your shapes, it's time to color! Break out your Sharpie markers and get started. Bohemian style rugs are full of patterns that are overdyed or muted with a blend of bright colors. It's easy to create this type of appearance using markers, so have fun with it!I love this collection of colorful markers from Sharpie, they were perfect for this project.
Once you have your pattern colored in, you'll have a brand new, trendy carpet that will have your friends wondering where you bought it. Enjoy!
We want to help you DIY, so some of the materials in this post are linked to sellers. Just so you know, Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
Suggested materials:
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 9 questions
  • Michele Kearney Gillman Michele Kearney Gillman on Feb 23, 2017
    Doesn't the paint make your rug stiff to walk on? It turned out beautiful. I really like it.
  • Alv25215957 Alv25215957 on Sep 29, 2017

    I wonder if you could do it on a bathroom rug. Walking on it with bare, wet feet.

  • Mari Tarasovich Mari Tarasovich on Jun 21, 2019

    How would u care for this rug after all ur art work to keep it clean.

Join the conversation
2 of 37 comments
  • CK CK on Oct 03, 2020

    There is a product you can buy to add to paint to keep it from ‘crusting’. I’d just use Rit a dye and clothing paints; apply with sponge rollers and brushes.

  • Sue c. Sue c. on Aug 12, 2022

    So much nicer than "cookie cutter" rugs!