Painted Faux Rugs: Salvaging Old Floors & Your Budget

There's nothing more gorgeous than beautifully finished wood floors in a home; skinny boards, wide planks, old seasoned wood, pristine new rows--hardwood floors add so much life, character, and versatility to a room. But what if your wood floors are a little worse for the wear, you're on a very tight (read : nonexistent) budget, or (gasp!) you've pulled back that nasty carpet to reveal--plywood!

Painting your floors--even just a painted faux rug--can help you pull together damaged floors, old previously-painted floors, or even plywood. When I uncovered old wood floors underneath carpeting in my office, I was dismayed to find that they were already painted. Even worse, I suspected the paint might even contain lead since they were painted about fifty years ago. Aside from an expensive and possibly dangerous paint removal project, there was nothing for it but to paint over the paint. I added a hand-painted "rug" to throw a little color and dimension into the room, and sealed with it with polyurethane to add a little protection.

In a project from DIY Showoff, homeowners pulled away carpet that was in their bathroom--and painted and sealed the plywood underneath. It's a great temporary solution until they can lay a more expensive floor.

Whether stenciled, taped off, or freehanded, painted designs on the floor can be a beautiful, inexpensive alternative to refinishing a floor. For me, it was also a way to express my creativity in my little office, make it unique--and do it all for under $5.

Shown above, left to right:
1. Alisa Burke shows how to paint a delightful hallway rug
2. Martha disguises worn stair treads with some bold stripes
3. My own handpainted coral design in my still-under-renovation office
4. Stripes add length and interest to a plain hallway at Woodfloorist
5. What if you pull up carpet and there is no hardwood underneath? A great temporary solution while you save up money to lay a more expensive floor from The DIY Showoff

Images: 1, 2, 4, 5 as linked above, 3 Sarah Dobbins

-Sarah