Paint a Concrete Rug




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Intro: Paint a Concrete Rug

A recent article in a gardening magazine inspired me to paint a rug on my concrete patio. We’re talking about a 25-year-old, roughly finished, stained from who knows what, and generally unattractive, garden patio. I chose a garden theme to my rug, and designed it around flower stencils I bought at a craft store.

Step 1: Supplies, Cleaning Concrete

What you need:

1 gallon white porch and floor paint
Large paint brush
2-ounce bottles of acrylic craft paint in a variety of colors
Stencil brushes
Blue painter’s tape
Tape measure
1 gallon clear concrete sealer
Large paint roller
1 audio book

Painting a concrete rug is a great opportunity to read a book. Borrow or download a good long book that you can listen to while painting. Start by cleaning the concrete with a pressure washer or garden hose. I also scrubbed the concrete with a brush and concrete cleaner (unless it’s a “green” version, keep this chemical away from plants and soil), although I’m not sure it made a big difference.

Step 2: Tape Outline and Prime Concrete

Tape off the perimeter of the rug with chalk and painter’s tape, keeping the sides straight and the corners square using a tape measure and L-square. A perfect rectangle will have matching diagonal measurements, but close is good enough. Paint inside the tape with two coats of white porch paint using a brush or roller, following the manufacturer’s directions for drying times.

Step 3: Sketch, Mark Sections, Paint

Sketch out the overall design of the rug on a piece of paper, keeping in mind the relative dimensions of the stencils you will be using. Use bands of colors around the outsides, and blocks of color in the center section.

Using blue painter’s tape, mark the borders of each color as you go. I used the edges of the stencils as guides to keep the tape lines straight and equidistant from the edges. Start on the outer edges and work towards the center. The tape can be removed after you paint a band or block, but allow paint to dry fully before taping over it for another section.

Step 4: Stencil Designs

Use the stencils to paint designs in the center of bands or blocks, dabbing color in with a stencil brush. Pour a small amount of paint into a plastic container and load paint brush sparingly for best results. Of course you also have the option of painting freehand. Don’t be too much of a perfectionist when painting on concrete—it’s impossible on this irregular surface. The overall effect will still be striking.

Step 5: Seal

Cover your rug with a plastic tarp to protect it from dirt and critters between painting sessions. Finish the rug with two coats of clear concrete sealer applied with a paint roller at a windless time of day. Then stand back and admire your patio transformation.



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    21 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful!! I think it's my favorite ever - even considering "real" rugs! I'm inspired!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, it's honestly breathtaking, I would love to do something similar for my patio (lack of skills considering, probably something quite a lot simpler), but I am not sure how it would stand the weather. Did your wonderful rug weather well?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know if the painting contest is still on but this should have been in it. Beautiful thank you for sharing!


    I was inspired and just have to seal it. It was so hot I stood in yhe pool to paint one side. I added corner designs since I took this photo

    rug cropped.jpg

    5 years ago



    5 years ago on Introduction

    What a great job you have done! I will give this a go over he Christmas holidays. Thanks.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! This is so awesome! My mom and I have been trying to figure out what to do on our porch. It is old and dirty looking and she was thinking about tiling it. This would be a great alternative until she decides though! I have plenty of acrylic paints and probably have a large can of base paint in the garage that I can use. I just need some sealer and maybe some stencils if I don't feel like free handing it. Thank you SO MUCH for the idea. That gives me something to do! :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I LOVE this - and when it begins to fade, so what? It will simply take on more character! Besides, by then you will be ready for a different color or pattern.

    (If I did this, I would try and make it "look old" from the outset). Beautiful!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great Work. Great use of colors. I wonder how long the sealer will last? Do you know if you have to apply it every year?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I just inspected the jug of water-based sealer I used and it's warrantied for one year, so I would say resealing every year would be a good idea.

    Like others have said, its just beautiful. :D
    But I wonder how long it will last? If it doesn't last long and the paint starts to peel, then that can look not so nice and can be a real b to repair I would imagine.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I guess you could start from the center, but it seems like there is less precise measuring to do if you start from the outside and work inwards. The middle ends up wherever it ends up.

    It's not like painting a ceiling, but still hard on the body to sit on rough, cold concrete. I recommend long thick pants (for cushion and warmth) and taking frequent breaks. I also wiped the back of my stencil off after each use, so I was never sitting too long.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea...I'm afraid if I got down to paint one like this, I would never get up!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That is absolutely gorgeous! I see that you started painting from the outside and worked your way in. I'm wondering if it would be easier to start from the middle?