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Natural or Synthetic Fiber Rug

By Sarah Engler and Alexis Givens
Painted rugMark Lund

What You'll Need

  • One gallon Behr High-Gloss latex (shown in Citrus Blast; $24, homedepot.com for store locations). Or one one-ounce tube SoSoft Fabric Acrylics ($1.70, decoart.com for store locations). For sisal or jute, use a latex paint. For softer materials, like flat-weave wool or cotton, try a more flexible acrylic formulation for fabrics, which won’t dry into a stiff surface that might eventually show cracks.
  • One two-inch-wide roll Scotch Safe-Release Painters’ Masking Tape for Very Delicate Surfaces ($13.50 at hardware stores).
  • Roller frame with cover (about $9 at hardware stores).
  • Tape measure or ruler (prices vary, at hardware stores).

How to Do It

Step 1: Outline your border stripe with painter’s tape (which will peel off when you’re finished without leaving a sticky residue). Starting at one edge of the rug, use a tape measure or a ruler to help you firmly place your first piece of masking tape where you want the outer edge of your border; measure every foot or so to be sure you’re laying the tape straight. Continue all the way around the rug. Then repeat the process to tape off the inner edge of the border, measuring in from the edge of the first tape outline. If you’re not 100 percent confident about your ability to eyeball it, consider using a protractor to be sure the horizontal and vertical strips meet at a 90-degree angle. (Note to the ambitious: You can use this same technique to map out other designs, like stripes and plaids.)

 Step 2: Using a roller (the thinner the stripe, the smaller the roller), apply the paint in an even layer between the two tape outlines.

 Step 3: When the paint is dry (latex paint will take at least two hours), carefully remove the tape.

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