Painted Area Rug

At the onset of making over my pantry, I knew I had to do something about the bare plywood that qualified as a “floor.”  While the main objective was to create organization out of chaos in my pantry, I also wanted it to look nice.  I already knew I wanted to paint the walls an unexpected color, but something had to be done about this floor!


 I looked around my house and considered this ratty old carpet remnant that doubled as an area rug in our sunroom, a freebie left behind by the previous owner.  It was a loop carpet, densely packed together, reminiscent of old school ugly commercial grade carpet.  Let’s not even discuss the awful stains.  Ugh.  Still, I intended to make a beauty out of it.

First and foremost, I vacuumed it thoroughly.  I know, that’s a no brainer…

Supplies You’ll Need:

Measuring tape
Sharpie Pen
Wire cutters
Blade and straight edge (optional)
Masking tape
Scratch paper


Step 1:  Cut to size.  I measured my pantry floor to determine where I needed to cut into the carpet.  There were a few detail cuts that needed to be made around the door trim, but it was still pretty easy to manage.

How To Cut Carpet:

When cutting carpet, it is best to use a pair of wire cutters that can cut through heavy duty items. Using wire cutters will be much easier on your hands than using regular household scissors.  Alternately, you can use a sharp blade and metal straight edge.  If you use a blade, cut into the carpet from the back as you’ll be able to see the straight lines better.  In my experience, doing the first cut as deep as you can will alleviate the necessity for more than two cuts.  The first cut cuts through the carpet backing; the second cut cuts through all the fibers.


Step 2: Clean up your cuts.  Once you’ve cut the carpet to size and it fits perfectly in your space, you’ll notice that the edges are ragged from the cuts.  To clean up these edges, run your scissors along them again, but this time set your scissors at an angle to trim off the fibers.  This is especially noticeable in plush pile carpets, but in loop piles like mine, the effect is less obvious.  Still, this extra step really cleans up carpet nicely.  I didn’t bind the edges because this rug was intended to be wall-to-wall carpeting in my pantry.


Step 3: Start your pattern.  For this rug, I decided to go with a diamond pattern.  After I determined the size of the diamond I wanted to make, I laid down plain old masking tape at the predetermined measurements on the diagonal.

Step 4: Copy your pattern.  If you don’t do a diamond pattern for your rug, you can skip these next three steps.  But if you do, please continue your reading!  To avoid doing more measurements for the reverse diagonals, I took a piece of scratch paper and traced the angle of the first diagonal lines.

Step 5:  Flip your pattern.  Then I turned the scratch paper over and laid out the reverse diagonal stripes over the first ones.  (Excuse the text on the back of the scratch paper.)  You can see where the lines are on the back of this paper.

Step 6: Finish your pattern.  Simply follow this reverse pattern as you lay down the tape for the reverse stripes.  Place your scratch paper over the stripes to make sure you’ve kept them at the right angle. I’ll admit that the diamonds weren’t completely perfect in size, but you can’t tell at all in the end product.


Step 7: Paint.  I used leftover black varnish from my floor staining project to cover this rug.  It was a water based varnish, so it was easy to manipulate.  The carpet fibers hardened up after the varnish dried, but seeing as it would go in a pantry where there would be very light traffic, I cared more about how it looked than how soft the rug would be under my feet.  After this dries through, peel off the tape and reveal.


It’s not much, but it looks like a masterpiece in my eyes!  And it definitely creates some eye candy in my pantry.

Total time:  This project took roughly about three hours, from cutting to painting.  The size of my area rug is about 36″W x 72″L.  Then I let it dry completely before pulling off the tape.  Dry time will vary depending on the medium you use and how thick you paint it.

Total cost:  Since this carpet remnant was sitting around in my house and I had the other supplies from previous house projects, this rug didn’t cost me a dime.  If you are looking for a remnant to do a similar project in your own house, I’ve seen plenty at ReStore.  I also think that Home Depot has a similar carpet to mine that you can cut by the foot.  Good luck!


Leave a comment


  1. Great idea

  2. Thank you!

  3. My favorite store= Restore!!!

  4. Isn’t it awesome?? ~M.

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