Painting a Carpet

Painting a Carpet

Leah Moss
May 29, 2009

A carpet?! Yes, that's what my (most likely horrified) husband will surely ask when I propose the idea tonight. Laure's post on painted patterned floors got me thinking. We have an addition with a very old and rather dingy berber carpet. It's on our wish list to put in wood floors to tie the room in with the rest of our home, however it's not a budget priority at the moment. So what to do in the mean time? Here are some ideas...

The original inspiration came from Domino's spread on Mary McDonald's guesthouse where she painted a large sisal rug. While the scale and bold color contrast were interesting, they were a bit over the top for my personal tastes. Still the idea of having a geometric pattern enliven a dingy rug was intriguing...

After scouring the web, I've found two fairly clear set of instructions on how to go about beautifying (destroying?) your carpet/rug. The consensus seems to be that coarser, sturdier products such as sisal, jute, seagrass and berber are more receptive to paint than your standard plush carpet, which would become impossibly hard and matted if treated with paint.

How To Instructions:

Click here for Curbly's DIY Maven's easy to follow instructions.

Click here for Real Simple's directions.

The instructions above are intended for creating a border, but I think the same principles could be applied in order to create a patterned design.

Pattern Inspiration Ideas:

Trina Turk's Trellis and Sunglass Prints for Schumacher

Ballard Designs' Trellis Wallpaper

Kelly Wearslter's Asian Trellis Latticework for Schumacher

For barefoot comfort and for aesthetic reasons, painting a limited area, like a border or a pattern, rather than the entire carpet or rug seems like the way to go. Paint obviously changes the texture, making the carpet hard and crunchy if applied too thickly. I think that if we do pull the trigger on this one, a simple tone on tone pattern will work best.

Insane? Inventive? Tacky? What's your take?

(Images: 1,3: Curbly, 2,8 : Domino, 4: Real Simple, 5,6,8: Schumacher, 7: Ballard Designs)

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