Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Painted Union Jack Rug Tutorial

Yesterday I shared my son's new big boy room.  One of my favorite parts of his room is the painted Union Jack rug.

Union Jacks are popping up all over the place and I love it!  I did some searching online for a rug, but everything I found was quite pricey.  I thought that with a little effort, I could DIY a painted Union Jack rug.  It was a success! 

This is my first tutorial, so here goes :)


White rug - I used the ever versatile and affordable Erslev rug from Ikea ($40!)
Frog tape
Measuring tape
Drop cloth
Photo of a Union Jack
Your choice of latex paint - I used 2 of RustOleum's premixed paints - more on that to come
Small foam roller
Scotch Guard

I started out with the rug rolled out on my kitchen floor and got to measuring.  Using your Union Jack photo as a guide, start taping out the cross. 

The stripes for the cross were 16 inches wide.  No real reason for that size, I just liked that width once I measured it out.  :)

I added a second strip of tape to make the white outline of the cross a little thicker.  I wanted to be sure that the middle section was crisp, so I had to go back and fix it.  :)

Next up, I measured the rays.  I wasn't exactly sure how I would do this, so I just laid out the measuring tape from the corner of the rug to the corner of the tape box.

After realizing that would make the rays a little too narrow, I added a second strip of tape on the outside to thicken up the white outline.  I pulled the middle sections of tape up.

I saved the tape "spacers" and reused them on the rest of the rays until everything was taped and ready for paint.

Since I know myself, I decided to write on the tape where each color needed to go.  :)

Now we're ready to paint!

I rolled up the rug and took it out to my garage.  I know much of the country is experiencing a heat wave, but man, it was a hot day to take on this project.

The colors I used were Rust-Oleum's American Accents Satin Colonial Red and Rust-Oleum's Painter's Touch Gloss Navy Blue. 

Neither color was exactly what I expected when I opened them up, but it all turned out in the end. :)  For this purpose, I think the gloss paint worked a little better than the satin.  I only needed one quart of the navy, but I needed two quarts of the red.  The rug just soaked up the paint.  Of course I didn't have enough and had to go out and buy more!

I started with the blue and painted all of the blue sections first.  It was much easier to paint with the "grain" of the rug than against it.

One tip is to make sure you've fully covered one section with paint before moving on to the next one.  I noticed a few spots that needed touching up after it started drying.  I ended up with a few spots darker than others because of those touch ups.  It adds character :)

I then went back and painted all of the red sections, just being careful around the wet blue sections.

Can you tell it was getting hot?  I stopped taking as many photos and instead, painted as quickly as I could.

I peeled off the tape as soon as I was done with each section.  The paint did bleed under the tape in a few spots, but unless you're staring at the rug they're not noticeable. 

I left it to dry in the garage for one night and then Scotch Guarded it the next day and let it dry overnight once again.

The finished product in the finished room :)

Is it perfect?  Certainly not, but I wouldn't hesitate to do a similar project again.  :)

Any questions?  Just let me know!

Have you tried painting a rug?

Linking up!

Savvy Southern Style
Home Stories A to Z
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
House of Hepworths
Tatertots and Jello
At the Picket Fence
Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday


Kathy said...

I'm so impressed. I was hoping to do a rug in Elliott's big boy room, but we never want to spend the money...I definitely think I could do this with what I had in mind!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Sorry, I see you did link the rug, too. I was so excited about the room I didn't see this yet.

Thanks for sharing both.

dee -@ The Old Fat Hen said...

I love this rug.What a great idea thanks.I just found your blog and had to read it all.I love it so now I am a follower.Come over and check out my blog if you want.Once again thanks I really enjoyed reading your posts.Ps your kids are dee

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Absolutely darling! What a great idea- love how it turned out!! Stopping by from SSS~ would love for you to come share at Feathered Nest Friday sometime too! :)

Megan Sloan said...

I love this rug! It is giving me so many ideas for my 3 year old's new room. I've had my eye on a rug at Pier 1 but it was expensive and then it sold out before I could take the splurge. I'm going to IKEA for the first time next week while in Chicago so maybe I'll buy this and do a painted rug some day for her room (there's a lot to do before we get to the decorating stage!). I love the rest of your blog too... just checked it out!

Jamie said...

Found your blog through Home Stories, I'm also a "Hoosier wife". Just thought I'd say hello! :) LOVE the rug too!

Simply Deluscious said...

Wow, that looks soooo great...thanks for the inspiration

Holy Craft said...

I love this! And yes, I have painted a rug before. I found a great rug for $10 at Big lots of all places! It turned out so much better than I would have imagined, and yours is just as amazing! The colors for your sons room just pop and look so great. I love it!

Plus, you had me at your blog title. As a former Hoosier and now a Seattle transplant, I miss my old Indiana home. :) I'm following now so I can keep up on the happenings in the midwest through your window!

thefinestkind said...

I LOVE it!!! I've wanted to do the same thing for our living room for awhile but Ikea is over 3 hours away...we'll have to make a day of it sometime and go pick up that rug. :) How is your rug holding up to little boy feet?

Laura, Hoosier Life Hoosier Wife said...

Thanks all for the kind comments!

So far, the rug is holding up to little boy feet. I'm hoping it will stand the test of time, but that is certainly to be determined :)

At The Picket Fence said...

This is so awesome!! Great tutorial and the entire room is just fantastic. :-) Thank you so much for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday last weekend...we'll be featuring it this week so be sure to stop by!

Miranda @ Pressing On said...

What a great rug! I love how you did it, and how you showed us all how to do it too. I really miss Ikea, nothing like those deals. :) I'm your newest follower.

Erika@BeBookBound said...

Cutest rug and cutest room ever. FANTASTIC idea! Where on earth do you find the time to be a mother, a lawyer, AND a rug goddess?

Mrs T said...

how does the rug feel under foot? soft or crunchy?

I love the whole room redo!

Laura, Hoosier Life Hoosier Wife said...

Mrs T-

Thank you!

I wouldn't call the rug soft but I wouldn't call it crunchy either. It's a little rough on the painted spots, but I'm hoping it will soften up over time. :)

Mrs T said...

oh good! I showed my Hubs and he loved it too :) I may try it for our living room since the dogs ate my last Ikea rug.

Crystin Wiegers said...

this is brilliant, thank you!! i saw a pink/red/white one that i wanted but it was over $1000. this is so much better!

Loo said...

I'm curious to know how this amazing rug has held up over time!

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