Good Questions: Okay to Paint Sisal?

Good Questions: Okay to Paint Sisal?

Heather Blaha
Apr 17, 2007

Dear AT,

I'm moving soon and plan on purchasing a new rug for the new digs. However, I have a black labrador who sheds like no other, so fancy wool rugs in light colors are a no go. Sisal, on the other hand, is appealing because it's neutral and durable.

My question is can you paint one to look like some of the nicer wool rugs out there (like the Overlapping Squares at West Elm, shown here)? I'm worried that painting may make it crusty or the lines may bleed and it will be a mess. Any help from you and your readers is appreciated!


(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: chicago(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)

Dear Catherine,

Our first thought, as you said: Crusty; it will be a mess. But then we stopped our quick judgment to scope things out a bit. We really think that almost any DIY project is worth a try, especially if you know your needs and your wants, and those elements just aren't quite meshing in any products on the market.

We found this on the DIY network online: Host Nancy Golden reminds readers that because of the woven-in textural stripe of the sisal, painting straight lines is actually quite easy. And rather than bleeding, paint absorbs quickly into sisal, so you have to make sure you apply it thickly. Read all of her guidelines and feedback here.

Anyone else have experience with this type of project?

Good luck, Catherine, and be sure to send us some photos if you decide to go for it. We'd love to see the results!

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