Monday, May 19, 2014

Rug Life

Since I have been working on the bench for our entry way, our poor little feet-wiping rug has been holding our shoes.

It has always been one of the first things you see when you enter the house. Unfortunately, I think it's one of the first things most people overlook because of it's blah nature and neutral color against the wood floor. For $13 from Walmart, it had done it's job, but needed a face lift.

I had seen rug stenciling done before, but I didn't know how labor intensive it was. I was afraid that it would make the rug 'crunchy' or that it would bleed under my pattern and be a mess. I figured I would look into it and see if there were solutions for these issues, then give it a try. I really liked the way that the rug in our kitchen sitting area looked (that Beth made), so I was hoping for this to turn out half as well.

I first found out how to keep from getting that stiff, rough surface feel from the painted parts of the rug. Instead of using an acrylic, using a t-shirt or fabric paint will actually keep the pile soft. This is a low pile rug, so I figured my risk was minimal, but it was worth knowing. I grabbed two cans of aerosol t-shirt paint in apple green from Michaels. The aerosol is supposed to make it work like regular spray paint, so that is also going to help keep my pattern pretty crisp and make it super easy to apply.

Then I had to figure out a pattern. Since the Home Depot painters tape is always such a bust, I went for masking tape instead. The masking tape worked really well and stuck to the carpet evenly. The adhesive wasn't strong enough to pull out any rug fibers, so it made a good stenciling material.

I then just started laying down my pattern. I kind of made it up as I went along and ended up with something agreeable. I almost went a little more simple, but discovered that this project really does work with super fun grids and patterns.

The blue is HD painters tape. I ran out of my masking tape :(

I didn't measure or anything, so feel free to just go crazy. Notice that I also taped up the edges. I felt that a nice border of the original material would really help make it look cohesive.

I shook up my paint really well, removed the safety tab, then started spraying. I'm glad for the two bottles because the rug did soak in the paint. The first bottle sprayed with no issue whereas the second almost immediately stopped up and needed to be messed with, resulting in only a spurting spray. I'd say next time getting a larger bottle from a different company online might not be a bad idea (and slightly more cost effective with these $5 a bottle).

When I had emptied my spray cans (as much as possible), the rug looked like so.

The spray/dye is really watery, which I found to be a little problematic when pulling the tape initially. Instead, I dabbed the tape with a paper towel to get off the excess dye, keeping it from running off of the tape onto the initially covered areas. Here, the left half of the rug has been dabbed off and you can see how much of a difference it makes.

When pulling up the tape, I recommend gloves. My fingers will probably be green for a week because I just jumped right in. Carefully remove all of the tape and throw it away. This is the result: my tapeless rug.

Not bad for around $10 and less than an hours time! It is nice and bright, with so much character now! The excess dye that is on the floor around it can actually be cleaned up with a little water and paper towels without much effort. Let the whole rug dry for an hour before using. I actually let mine dry over night just in case.

It looks really good in the entry (though I'm still not sold on that bench color), and I love having it be one of the first things people see when they come inside.

One of the best parts is that it doesn't seem to have a smell or residual dye coming off of it onto anyone's feet (or paws), so there aren't green footprints everywhere. And just like all the tutorials said, it's still very soft.

Have a rug that needs a new life? Paint it!

(Today is my birthday! I turned 27. Don't worry, age shall never slow my love for home improvement!)

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