DIY Painting floors with stenciled rug design |For what it's worth

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DIY Painting floors with stenciled rug design

We moved into a fixer upper a year and a half ago.  From the very moment I walked through the house we purchased I hated the glued down indoor outdoor carpet in the kitchen. The very first thing I saw and the first thing every one who has been here comments on is some pretty dated plaid glued down carpet in the kitchen and laundry areas.  Changing it had to be placed down farther than I liked on the "to do list" but I came up with an interum alternative that both hubs and I are happy with.  An easy floor paint job.

A painted faux rug on kitchen floor

Being cooped up all winter with snow, ice, freezing temps and high winds I had a day that I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I was standing at the end of the hallway to the kitchen and I’m not sure what happened to me but suddenly I was bent over ripping up the glued down carpet.  Once you start something like that you have to finish it. 

stripping glue down carpet
It was not hard to pull up the carpet starting in a corner of the room.  The problem was the spongy black backing that remained glued to the floor.  I worked in small manageable sections at a time  pulling up carpet, discarding it then using a long handled scraping tool to remove the backing, and sweeping up the backing debris.  Even though I took frequent breaks and had to move the refrigerator the removal of 200 square feet of carpeting took less than 4 hours. I only changed the scraper blade once due to hitting several nails that were no longer set below the floor level.  BTW, I’m working on a wood subfloor, not concrete.  When I get to the laundry room I’ll be removing the same carpeting from concrete. But that is another day and another project.

Now that I have it all removed I’ve stopped to debate whether or not to have a wall demolished to expose the kitchen to the dining area and gain light from the outside windowed door.  In the meantime I decided to give the floor a paint job until I find a contractor that will work in my remote location.  I already relocated the refrigerator to a different wall and can visualize how much better the traffic will flow with the wall change.

How I removed glued down carpet and painted the floor with a faux rug

It wasn’t as simple as ripping out the carpet and rolling on paint.  No, that doesn’t happen to me in this house reno.  The carpet part came up easily but left the black rubbery backing stuck to the floor.  I spent several days with a scraping tool painstakingly removing the backing.  Thankfully the glue wasn’t sticky at all.  Too many years have gone by waiting for someone like me to tear into it.  It was dry and kind of flaky.  I scraped, scooped and swept until most of it was gone.  That left us with a rather spotty, uglier than 70’s carpet, sub floor. 


Hubs helped me by using a belt sander to smooth out the floor enough to paint.  Thanfully that only took a couple of hours.  Then I swept, vaccumed, dust mopped and wet mopped it until I was satisfied the sanding dust was removed.  Though it sounds like a lot of work, it really only took about three hours then early the next morning I put a coat of porch/floor paint down.  I waited the suggested 8 hours to second coat it and then another 8 hours for a third coat.  The waiting was a bit exasperating for me because I wanted to finish it but I found other things to keep me busy while waiting.


I will admit that I bought the only color available in my itty bitty town and we were not too fond of the battle ship gray it turned out to be.  As a matter of fact my son stopped by and when he peeked in he pretty much said it like it was, “That’s ugly.”  It didn’t hurt my feelings though because I had a plan from the beginning.  I have spent quite a bit of time over the past months reading everything I could find about painting floors and have been amazed at the talented people out there that have painted such amazing masterpieces.  I wasn’t after a materpiece though, just a simple solution that someone with no experience in floor painting could do and that I can live with until the carpentry project is done and we can put down the vinyl wood plank flooring like we put in the small bathroom renovations.  I’ve been very happy with that flooring and think it will be just as perfect for a kitchen.

Painted floors with stencil medallions and the inspiration pieces

My inspiration began with a wall art our son gave me and found some hand towels with a design I liked.  From that I decided on the colors I wanted in the kitchen.  Hubs and I made the 90 mile trip to a larger city with more shopping options where I could buy stencils and paint in colors I wanted.  I went to several craft stores before I located a large stencil and some smaller companion ones.  I also picked up some quality acrylic paints while there.  I looked for tintable floor paint but no one really stocked what I wanted so a store clerk guided me to a quality exterior paint that would work.  I stuck with water based products so everything was compatible and easy to clean up. 


The cream color I chose as my faux rug design went down quickly and the dry time was only two hours between coats.  Two coats and four hours later I was ready to start stenciling colorful medalions.

base painting the floor

I used small pieces blue painters tape to hold the stencils in place and also to mask off straight lines where I allowed the design to end at the edge.  I painted a center medalion first and allowed the paint to dry a bit between adding each color.  With the first stencil I learned not to paint so thick because it bled under a little.  I used a small artist brush to paint over the bleeds.  With the rest of the stencils I used a sponge dobber from a stores craft section to lightly dab on paint. I only waited a couple of minutes before gently lifting the stencil and moving on.  When it was all done I used a spray polyurethane to stabilize and protect the acrylic craft paint.  Last I used a smooth sponge roller to coat the entire floor with a water base Polyurethan left from our bedroom wood floor reno. I am happy with the folk art look I got with that method.

I completely finished stenciling the first room which is in a wide hall in less than two hours.  The stenciled section measures 2 feet 2 inches by 9 feet 2 inches.  The cream border is four inches wide all around. That weird size is the reason I decided to paint a faux rug instead of buying a real rug.  The entire hallway took four days because of the dry time required with the paint.  Actual labor time I think I spent around six hours.  That includes taping the baseboards/rug borders, sweeping/mopping, gray floor paint, cream rug paint, stencils, poly coat.  I’m not a young person and not as spry as I used to be and I can say with confidence it was not hard and yes-I’d do it again. 

Painted floors with faux rug runner in medallion pattern

 As a matter of fact I did a large square one in the kitchen area that matches.

Painted faux rug on kitchen sub floors

In the supply list below I've included Amazon links so you can do a cost analysis.  I had a lot of the supplies and didn't need to make all of these purchases.
Supplies I used:
Have you considered painting floors?  Would you do it? Now I’m thinking about trying to paint my laminate counter tops but I need some first hand recommendations- yay or nay?

If you liked this article, you may enjoy checking out other projects we've been doing at this 1956 Fixer Upper. 

The Easy Way to Caulk a Straight Line-Mess Free!
easy straight line caulking tools

Refinishing Wood Floors - Simple Way

DIY refinish wood floors

5 Steps  I Wish I'd Considered Before Removing Popcorn Ceilings
popcorn ceiling debree and scraper


  1. You did such a good job with such painstaking work! It looks great! And I can't believe the previous owner had indoor/outdoor carpet in their kitchen....?!?!

  2. This turned out AWESOME!! We;ve had our share of flooring woes over here... so I might have to talk to the hubs about this as an option until we can do real hardwoods!

  3. This turned out AWESOME!! We;ve had our share of flooring woes over here... so I might have to talk to the hubs about this as an option until we can do real hardwoods!


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