How to Create Your Own Painted Rug

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

A DIY painted rug with a picnic table on a beautiful patio

Express your style by creating a colorful painted rug. It’s an easy DIY project that will brighten up any outdoor space. Our step-by-step instructions will take you through how to make this DIY painted rug from a canvas drop cloth. You can also download the instructions and print them out.

Skill Level: Novice
Time: 24-48 hours (including paint and polyurethane drying time)
Cost: Under $60

Tools and Materials


Before you begin, wash your canvas drop cloth. Do not use fabric softener or fabric sheets when drying. Set up a work space where you can leave the drop cloth to dry undisturbed for several hours. This space should be dust-free, well-lit, and well-ventilated.

You should also remember to cover your work area with plastic and tape the edges down to prevent it from slipping.

Step 1

Clean the canvas with a lint remover. Lift off all pieces of lint, dust, and stray thread from the front of the drop cloth.

Tape out a design on your rug. Use stencils, stamps or a computer image to produce uniform designs that can be easily reproduced. Don’t forget to plan your design in advance so your big decisions (and mistakes) are made on paper!

Measuring and drawing the pattern for a DIY painted rug project

Taping off the pattern to be painted in a DIY painted rug project


Step 2

Apply the base coats. Use a 2-inch brush to paint the entire surface of the drop cloth. Allow it to dry overnight.

If necessary, apply a second coat and allow the canvas to dry overnight to keep brush strokes smooth and even.

Painting the pattern on a rug in a DIY painted rug project


Step 3

Seal the canvas drop cloth. Allow the design to dry at least 24 hours before you apply a clear polyurethane finish. Apply at least three coats of polyurethane, allowing 12 hours of drying time between coats. Be sure to brush all the way to the edges, so you seal all the exposed paint surfaces.

Once you start making these DIY outdoor area rugs, it will be hard to stop. With a little practice and some imagination, you’ll discover inspiration for colors, textures, and designs inside as well as outside your home!

The finished product of a DIY painted rug project

 Download printable instructions for this DIY painted rug project and get started!

And while you’re at it, take a look at more DIY projects here on The Home Depot blog.

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