Painted Persian Rug Tutorial

As you know, I’ve been redoing the kitchen and one thing I really wanted from the get-go was a Persian rug by the sink. It’s all the rage lately.  So I went over to Ebay to take a look and quickly decided I was not going to get a Persian rug.  I just didn’t feel like spending $75+ on a rug that was going to get wet and grody.  And the seagrass rug we had was holding up really well.  Wait a minute . . .

diy tutorial painted persian oriental rug

Painted Persian Rug Tutorial


  • Flat, seagrass rug (I have no idea how other rugs would perform) – ours was purchased at Pier 1 a million years ago.
  • Wax pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paint (I used acrylic craft paints as well as latex wall paint)
  • Paint brushes, foam sponges

diy painted persian oriental rug tutorial


Start by marking the center of your rug with the wax pencil and begin planning out your design.  Geometric patterns are common in rugs and easier to keep symmetrical than curvy flourishes.  The paint will cover the pencil markings, so don’t worry about mistakes.  I started with the center of my design, focusing on the main shapes, and worked out from there, adding the smaller elements later.   When happy with the basic design, begin to paint each section – again, I started at the center and moved outward.  A foam brush works well for large areas and you don’t need a ton of paint.  Just lightly dab and work it over the surface.  Edging really makes the design pop and doesn’t need to be perfect – the softer the lines, the more they will resemble the pile of a wool rug.  Simply take a small brush and outline each painted section with a contrasting color.  The larger your design elements are, the easier they will be to outline.  Stand up and run around the house when finished.  You are a freaking genius.

I highly doubt this will need any sort of protective coat – the paint seems like enough – but I would be thrilled if mine got a worn look over time.  Oh and this is really cool:

diy tutorial painted persian oriental seagrass rug

No seepage.  *high five*

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Filed under MADE IT

21 responses to “Painted Persian Rug Tutorial

  1. Wow – this is unbelieveable. Amazing job!

  2. this is rockstar and much more satisfying than buying someone elses art… besides where do you dipose of a durable rug of that size anyway??

  3. Justin

    You have the best tutorials on the Internet. Hands down.

  4. vsheaffer

    You guys are the greatest – thank you so much! xo

  5. Great idea! Wonder how it will look after a little traffic…

  6. Jo

    Saw this on Apartment Therapy. I have been looking for an inexpensive rug that I like (that’s the hard part) for my kitchen for 2 years. Now, I’ll just need to settle on a pattern to paint (which could take a while as well). But, this is a completely fabulous solution and such a clearly written tutorial. Thanks!

  7. Gillianne

    Brilliant! (comment applies to idea and execution)

  8. Jena

    You’re an unstoppable idea machine.

  9. I am just getting caught up on your blog (so horribly miserably busy this January), and I just want to say that I love this one even more than your other painted rug. I love it enough that I might just borrow the idea.

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  11. Megan Smith

    Have you tried washing the rug? I’m curious if the paint will stay.

    • vsheaffer

      It’s right in front of the sink so it gets wet all of the time, without any issues. I wouldn’t throw it in a washing machine or anything like that though. Of course, I wouldn’t throw a seagrass rug into the washer anyway – paint or no paint. :)

  12. That is INSANE!
    Love it.
    Totally do.
    Wish I had your kind of patience to perform likewise.

  13. This is truly unbelievable. I am blown away. Blown away!

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  15. Well done. I’ve seen similar things but never with such an amazing design. I really love this!

  16. well this is unbelievably awesome!

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