March 20, 2012

Painted Chevron Rug Tutorial

As you know from my post on Monday, I have been obsessed, I mean truly obsessed, with finding a pink chevron rug a la Madeline Weinrib for my 4 year old’s bedroom. After many futile attempts, I could not find what I wanted in my price range. From the beginning I was totally opposed to painting a rug. I don’t measure and painting in any sort of design confine makes me crazy.


Unfortunately, drastic times mean drastic measures. I decided last Friday that I would head to Ikea in hopes of a cheap white rug that I could experiment with turning into my desired pink chevron show piece. I found the perfect rug, the Ikea Erslev for  a whopping $59.99.

Ikea Erslev

Ikea Erslev


I had read numerous DIY’s on painting rugs, but they sounded way too detailed and time consuming and required my car to stop more than twice. At this point, Ben had been out of town for a few days, I am 900 months pregnant, it was freezing and raining and I decided my car would only stop twice on the mission for the rug supplies. My goal was that the car only stop once, but alas, Walmart did not have a rug that would suffice as my chevron canvas. Therefore, after Ikea, I headed to Lowes.

I knew to buy the green “Frog Tape” to prevent any bleeding but wasn’t sure how much. Since I was only going out once that day, I bought 5 rolls. Guess what? I only needed 1! So if you are buying the Erslev and like the approximate size of my pattern ( 8″ repeat), you only need one roll of tape.

Frog Tape

Most painted rug tutorials will say you need to mix a fabric medium into equal parts latex paint. I couldn’t be bothered with that extra step. Afterall, that would mean my car had to stop once more which would send me over my two stop limit.  Now, if you want an opaque precise color application, then you will need a fabric medium or else your stripes will be really crunchy and hard. I figured if my brush was very lightly coated with paint and I used a light dry brush stroke, the softness of the fabric would be maintained. This lighter dry brushing technique also will mask many of the imperfections that my quickie tape job would reveal. I bought two shades of paint from Valspar both off the same color swatch. Initially I was thinking I would dry brush the darker shade first and then even more lightly dry brush the lighter coat on top for an ombre hand dyed effect. Once I started with the darker, I soon realized that one light coat of “Sweet Sixteen” was all I needed and never even used the lighter shade. The white shows through the pink so it has the exact dyed effect I was looking for.

This little sample can was all the paint I needed for my technique. Obviously if you wanted a darker shade or had a larger rug, you would need more. Hint: The Pantone colors at Lowe's come in the perfect can size and colors if you are needing more paint.



My chosen shade, it was approximately one shade lighter than the punch pink in Cici's bedding.

Once we got home, I literally just started taping. I decided that the chevrons would be about 8″, and started with one row then just kept moving down the rug.  I literally eyeballed all the measurements knowing they would not be perfect. It was close enough for me. I would say this step took about 1 1/2 hours. If you were not 900 months pregnant, I have a feeling it would take a lot less time. The key here is not to worry about your spacing being perfect. You will make yourself crazy if you try to eyeball this and second guess any of your work. On second thought, maybe some of you “Type A”  folks should have a margarita or three before you start this step.

The initial tape job..

After the initial taping was done, I went back through and trimmed the excess from each row. Very boring step. But as you can see below, there are still so many imperfections in my spacing and in the tape overlaps etc. If you are using a really light brush, it really shouldn’t matter though.

Final Tape Job, Ready for Paint

After taping was done, Cici and I started painting away. I think it is so important for kiddos to be involved in the design of their rooms. Because she was trusted to help, she loves the rug so much more, and it kept her attention for long enough to finish. This also goes to show you that the technique is easy. If you do decide to have your children help, I would suggest loading their paint brushes for them because you need the slightest amount of paint on the brush. As far as brushes, I bought the cheap wide ones on the bottom row of the paint brush section at Lowe’s. I think they are like $1.39. We did not brush in any particular direction, just kind of went everywhere and every direction, making sure to coat all the white with a small amount of paint. You can see how translucent our paint application is below. You want gradation and differentiation in the paint application and strokes. This will help hide flaws and make the rug appear to be weathered or hand dyed.

So simple a 4 year old dressed in an "Ariel" costume can do this project!

Once the rug was completely painted I let it dry overnight, although since the paint was so light I probably could have taken tape off immediately.

Painting complete! We let it dry overnight like this...

The pic below gives you a good idea of the amount of paint used. I also tried to get a bit darker right on the edges of the rug which made it look a bit more “finished”.

Close up of pattern on rug.

Next we pulled off the tape, which is an EXCELLENT project for 4 year old hands, and laid the rug in her room. As I have said, the room still needs some tweaking and a few accessories, but I was thrilled with the way the carpet turned out. Enjoy! And feel free to ask me any questions you may have if you decide to take on the project yourself. And please send pics!

Completed project! Thanks Carrie Smith for taking these pics for me 🙂










Lastly, lots of new pieces coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week! Stay tuned and happy shopping!




  1. Charlotte says:

    That rug turned out beautifully! I definitely want to try it!

  2. Kristen, this is looking sooooo great! I am so impressed! And also so proud, this is tough to do 900 months pregnant! 🙂 very inspirational post…I may need to try this at my house.

  3. This turned out great! I found you via LGN. Quick question – in a child’s room where the kid is spending more time crawling around the floor (my 16 month old) do you think this would work with fabric dye hand painted on? And is the green and white dresser vintag or Rast? Thanks!!

    • kkilianp says:

      I wish I knew the answer to that question. My concern was that fabric dye would bleed somewhat. The rugs are super thin and I worried about bleeding through the rug as well as bleeding through the tape. Probably if I had used fabric dye I would have taped off and then actually used a spray bottle to apply the dye extremely lightly. I would also wait 48 hours for drying and then wash in the washing machine to make sure none of the dye comes off. If you apply a latex extremely lightly you will find it is nearly as soft though and is still washable and wont bleed. If you try the fabric dye, will you email me a pic and let me know how it goes???


  4. Love, LOVE the bedding 🙂
    We are tickled pink you chose our Climbing Vines pattern, the room looks great!

    • kkilianp says:

      Kathryn thank you so much! The whole room was based on your bedding. I am still stalking Horchow for more pieces too. I think I need some of the pink trellis in there. I am slightly obsessed with all of your fabrics though!


  5. That is the best diy chevron rug I have seen! I like the look of them but they are all too perfect for my taste. Yours is incredible! Love the dry brush, worn look! 😀 My exact words when I saw it was a diy project… “WHOA! That is one rockin’ rug!” ty ty for the inspiration!

    • kkilianp says:

      Wow! Thanks Lisa. I totally agree on the fact that some of them look too perfect. Not because I dont like the look of perfect, but it was overwhelming trying to think about measuring etc. My look tends to be “imperfectly perfect”.

      Have a great day!


  6. LOVE this room! Where is the Texas Cowgirl print from? I would love a similar one for my little Texas Cowgirl. 😉

    • kkilianp says:

      Katy, I ordered from Amazon. Search “Texas Cowgirl Print” and it should come up. I think has it too.

  7. hi kristen! do you share you upholsterer’s name, or is it a well-kept secret? thanks!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I love your “get in and get it done” attitude! It looks fantastic, the whole thing!

  9. I LOVE your daughter’s room!! Where did you find the Ikat fabric for her chair??

  10. I LOVE your daughter’s room!! where did you get the ikat fabric on her chair??

  11. Thanks for all the great info on shipping costs, etc! I’ll need to check in on your merch more periodically now that I know your website! Thanks for sending me your link over email today!

  12. Just adorable! Love everything about Cici’s room. You’ve got an amazing talent!

  13. Wow. This is amazing. The imperfections in the paint make the rug look more expensive! When I first saw it over at LGN, I thought it was a silk rug! How ’bout them apples!! Thanks for sharing this. I have an IKEA Faborg rug that is high pile and wool. I was going to dye it a deep pink for that vintage dyed look (c/o ABC Rug & Home), but I love this idea as it is SO much simpler. Do you think the painting would work on high pile wool? Beautiful room, btw, so stunning!

    • kkilianp says:

      Yes! I think this technique would be sooooo cool on a high pile rug. I would make sure the brush is super super dry so you dont bleed too much. Will you take a pic and send it in for me to post???


  14. Hi! Love this! Can you explain more about how to dry brush and could I get any acrylic paint from the craft store or should I get something from a hardware store like Lowes?

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