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How to paint a rug + chest turned coffee table!

I’m SO excited to finally share my living room makeover with you today! In this post I’m going to show you how to make rugs with a little paint and also how to turn an old chest into a coffee table. It’s amazing what a little color can do to change the whole feel of a room. The blue rug and pillows really brightened up the entire area.

how to make rugs

I’ve been looking for the perfect rug for… I don’t know… YEARS! I have searched and searched and could never find what I was looking for. I finally decided to make my own rug to get the exact look I wanted. I’ve seen friends paint some really neat rugs and was excited for the challenge. I absolutely love the pop this rug added to my living room.

How to make rugs with paint

how to make rugs


  • Rug  (I purchased the ERSLEV rug from IKEA for $60)
  • Paint (I used robin eggs blue in satin)
  • Painters tape or stencil
  • Roller brush
  • Measuring tape
  • Lazer
how to make rugs

The first thing you’ll want to do is decide on your design. I find it easiest to draw it out on a piece of paper, so you can figure out the measurements. I’m not going to lie… I had my husband help me. The angles are a bit tricky with the diagonal stripes. I ended up spacing my stripes every four inches. Then I created a two inch spacer stripe with two pieces of tape. You could also use a stencil to make a neat design on a rug. The possibilities with patterns and colors are endless!

how to make rugs

Taping is always the hardest part with any painting project. It probably took us 2 hours. Definitely GRAB A PARTNER to help you! We figured the best way to do the diagonal stripes was to measure 4 inches at the top (then mark it with a piece of tape) and then measure 4 inches at the bottom. Then we lined up our laser to pass through point one and two.

painting a rug

Then you’ll  place your tape down,following the straight laser line. I promise it’s worth it to use the laser. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Borrow one if you have to! I may have taped half of the rug when I realized my lines were crooked. That’s when we went out and bought a laser!

painting a rug

Once your tape is all down, make sure to go over the edges and push them down. You don’t want any paint to leak through. I also ended up going around the outer edges with a piece of tape to create a finished look.

paint a rug

Painting is the easy part! Isn’t it always? Just roll your brush in the paint and then onto the rug. I found it best if I placed the roller in the middle first and then rolled it to the edges. Make sure the first coat is dry before you do a second coat!

make a rug

After you’re done painting, carefully peel away the painters tape.

protecting a rug

Once your rug is completely dry, make sure to protect it. Spray two coats of scotch guard for great protection.

Now onto the coffe table. Remember this old trunk I found at the junk yard? Here’s what I did with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to turn an old chest into a coffee table

diy coffee table chest trunk

1. Drill a hole near each corner (on the bottom of the trunk).

2. Stain or paint your wooden legs (found at Lowes).

3. Add a strong glue (we used gorilla glue) around the holes and then screw your legs into the chest.

4. Allow to dry for 24 hours before flipping it over.

I LOVE the vintage charm this chest brings to the room!

So here’s the before (BLAH) and here’s the AFTER…

painted rug tutorial

Doesn’t it look SO much better? It’s amazing what a new rug and pillows can do to a room! I’ll share the pillow tutorial in the next week or so. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. This turned out SO good! I love an inexpensive DIY that doesn’t look cheap!


  2. wow!!! i love it!! i really want to paint the rug i currently have but i don’t think it will look all that great cause it already has a pattern on it. ๐Ÿ™

    i spray painted for the first time a couple of pieces of furniture today. i was freaking out the whole time but i love the results. i love paint.

  3. LOVE how your rug and trunk coffee table turned out!! I also am loving those turquoise floral pillows. I actaully am getting ready to paint a rug too so I’m happy to see your helpful hints ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I adore that color on the rug! The diagonal stripe is nice too. The room is so fresh and cheery with the new rug and colors added. I have a plain jane green apple colored rug that I want to add white stripes to also. Maybe I’ll get up the nerve soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. I love the color and design on the rug and I’m tempted to add legs to my old chest after seeing this. My husband probably won’t let me though because it is his grandpa’s. I’ll have to look for another used one to do this to. The chest is perfect for holding video games and accessories.

  6. Great job. I’m wondering though how you plan to clean it without the paint coming up. I’m thinking about painting a kitchen rug but am swayed away by the idea of not being able to throw it in my washing machine. Thoughts?

  7. This is a stunning AFTER – how fun and fresh! It is like a brand new brighter space. well done my friend!

  8. Love that rug. Think I may try something similar for our den so I can make it whatever color I want. Oh the possibilities!

    Question for you, where did you get that awesome measuring tape in the pictures? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. @Windy. “Painters Tape” Traditionally it only came in a tan color. In recent decades it came out in royal blue, then yellow, then bright green. NOW…. I’m just noticing this week… painters tape is now in a variety of colors and even PRINTS!!!! Now we can really let our imaginations wonder! Purchase (basic colors) @ Lowe’s, Home Depo, True Value. (Fancy prints… not sure where to buy yet)

  9. Love the room. The colors are some of my favorites. Where did you get your couch if you don’t mind? It’s what I’ve been looking for.

  10. No, I haven’t painted a rug, but I sure am going to now! I have a sisal rug and a bamboo rug that I need to paint. It’s on my list of things to do!

  11. Your room looks amazing!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Such a great project! I wanna do it today! And I luv the truck idea! And I’m luvin your couch also!!! All of it is perfect!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Love Love Love it!! I just recently saw the idea of painting a rug on HGTV but you made it look so easy and actually DIYable (is that even a word?). Love the color you chose too. And I want that trunk! I’m hoping I can find that rug at Ikea because I want to try this for my grey and yellow dining room using that robin egg blue as the perfect contrast under the table!

  13. Love these ideas. Did you think about painting your existing rug? I wonder how it would work? If you “dispose” of the rug, it could be interesting to try painting the pattern or the space between? Love the way it turned out!

  14. Hi Jamielyn,
    Just wanted to share that we are converting our chest (which currently just sits on the floor and serves as a half-functional coffee table/storage chest) into a full coffee table thanks to this little inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚
    For other readers that consider it too, we found that “wood bun feet” were the best bet for small, thick legs that could support the weight, and provided more options than just Googling “wood table legs”. We found some awesome ones on Etsy and I’m stoked to have it set up this weekend! If you’d like, I’m happy to send before/after pics for your blog.

  15. I love the Trunk coffee table, most people would just place the trunk and call it done, adding the feet really makes a difference, the rug is nice too, the aqua color goes nice with your furnishings,great post! I shared on my Facebook.

  16. I love it! I have wanted my family/living room to look like yours for years. I have searched for the right sofa, rug, etc. My room has a beach/coastal theme. I’m wanting to know where you got your sofa. Thank you for these great ideas.

  17. Love what you’ve done! I just purchased a chest just like that one from the Goodwill today. I paid $5 for it and right now it’s purple. Trust it will not stay that color. As soon as I saw it I said to my daughter..”that’s going to be a coffee table”

  18. LOVE the rug and the old chest into a table!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have that exact same couch… same color and large-ness and cannot find the rug I want or the coffee table………… but I do have an old trunk. I am so doing this over the thanksgiving weekend!
    Thank U! For the inspiration

  19. I was wondering where you got the floral fabric for your pillows? I’ve been looking online for material and I find it really hard to imagine what the fabric drawings will look like it person :/ but I love love that material its perfect! ..heeelp

  20. I haven’t painted a rug but I’ve been trying to paint a chair. Do you think the Scotchguard stuff will work on the chair? I bought the stuff to turn my old trunk in to a table. Great idea ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have a webstie so it’s not letting me post without one.

  21. I have a trunk almost identical to that one and am using it without feet as a coffee table right now. I was thinking of old glass door knobs as feet for it but haven’t worked out how to attache them yet

  22. Thanks for posting! I used your advice to turn my $3 garage sale trunk find into a practical and vintage living room bench ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Jamie: I would have found the center of the rug measuring to both ends or side of the center(top/btm) then measured 4″ from the top and 4″ from the bottom then laid a yard stick from these measurements and drew a straight line either with pencil or a erasablr fabric marker continuing to the right then start from the left of your first measurement and continues to the left corner. Tape whenever you find it helpful after ea two markings or when you are done .

  24. I have this trunk!
    How old do you think it is?
    I bought mine at a garage sale 45 years ago….and it was old then.
    Just found your site…enjoyed it.

  25. I love your ideas. Love my home and I’d like to make something new with our place to live. Regards Izabela

  26. Thank you for the trunk idea! ย I rescued a trunk off the side of the road, it looks exactly like this! ย I’m planning on storing linens for the sleeper couch in it for the guest room!ย 

  27. I have an old trunk very similar to yours. ย I’m wondering what you used to get the metal latches, etc, shined up. ย Also, what type of paint did you use on the trumk itself.
    Thanks for your help.
    Donna McDonald

    1. Hi Donna! I didn’t paint the trunk, but you could use a polycylic spray if you would like. I also didn’t need to shine it up, just gave it a good scrub! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. My trunk is dirty and I’m sure it is moldy on the inside. How do I clean the outside, I plan to clean the inside and recover.ย 

  29. My Grandmother was an antique dealer who gave me a trunk almost identical to yours. She told me this little secret. Use black shoe polish, the solid, buffing type. Will keep you trunk looking nice. Mine is mostly leather. Give her a try.

  30. I love the painted rug and the trunk table. I know I have a trunk somewhere that’s just dying to become part of the furniture! thanks for the idea.

  31. Love the chest, I have an old green one from my grandparents. ย Did u put a piece of glass on the top if it?

    1. I would sand the rust as much as possible, and either polyurethane it if you like the look, or prime and paint it with rust-proof, metal-safe primer and paint.

  32. But how do ypu wash the rag? Will the paint come off? I wanted to paint aome curtains but worried that when i washed it it will just come off. Thanks.ย 

  33. I have dogs. How well has the paint stood up to wear and tear? Can you post a current picture? Do you just vacuum it as you would an average carpet.

    1. Hi Penelope! This tutorial was done over 6 years ago, so unfortunately I don’t have this rug anymore. I would vacuum it like any other rug. If you don’t wear shoes in the home it should last a couple of years. ๐Ÿ™‚