Paint Your Own Outdoor Rug!

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial) . When it comes to decorating an outdoor space, rugs are a big deal. They are a great way to add a large amount of pattern or color to an area, and they help create the intimate feel of a living room right in the middle of the outdoors. They can, however, also be a bit of a pain to track down. I don’t know if you relate, but I have the hardest time finding outdoor rugs that I really like. It’s time consuming enough to find the perfect indoor rug in just the right size, color, and price for your needs, and when you move to the smaller-supplied outdoor category, it gets even more difficult. For that reason I wanted to try a painted rug on our concrete porch this year. I mean, what’s better than a rug where you can pick the pattern and colors yourself?

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY Supplies:
concrete cleaner and scrub brush/broom
concrete primer
-outdoor porch/floor paint 

-paint brushes
-painter’s tape
-craft paper for stencil (if needed)

First you’ll want to use a concrete cleaner and brush to thoroughly clean the area you’ll be painting. If you have a slightly rough and porous surface, then you’ll only need to clean the surface to prep the area. If you have a smooth non-porous concrete, you’ll want to consider also using a concrete etcher to open pores in the concrete and absorb the paint more effectively. If you aren’t sure if your concrete is porous or not, drip a small amount of water on the concrete—if it soaks into the concrete quickly, it’s porous, but if it sits on top before slowly soaking in, then you’ll want to use an etcher. 

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIYOnce the cleaned concrete has fully dried, use a measuring tape and painter’s tape to mark off the area that will be your rug (mine is a 5′ x 7′ area). The tape won’t fully stick to the concrete, but it will still help to give you a visual guide as you work. 

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY Using a brush, paint your concrete primer within the tape lines and allow the primer to fully dry according to the directions. 

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY While the concrete primer dries, you can work on the pattern for your rug. I like to make mock-ups of patterns in Illustrator first so I can plan out my color placement and size, but you can also just make a quick sketch with markers or pencils, too, if that helps. I chose a kilim-style rug pattern, so I had to make giant craft paper stencils of each of the different-sized geometric shapes. Whoa. There was a lot of measuring and math skills happening to get those shapes just right. I would highly suggest doing a simpler pattern if you aren’t a really patient personality—stripes, dots, color blocked patterns are all really cute options that would be way easier to plan out. You can use the painter’s tape as a guide or make stencils from craft paper—whatever fits your needs!

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY Once the primer was dry, I filled in the area of the rug with one of my lighter-colored paints.* You’ll have to trim the edges of the rug as neatly as you can by hand since you can’t rely on the painter’s tape to stop the paint in this rough-surface situation. Depending on your pattern and color choices, you may want to paint the bottom color white for your first coat as a primer so your colors look bright and true when painted on top.

Note: The colors I chose for the rug are Valspar Pink Quartz, Valspar Aquatic Mist, Pantone Blithe, Pantone Peony, Clark + Kensington Snow Cone, and Clark + Kensington Yellow Finch.

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY Once the bottom coat was dry, I placed my different-sized stencils on top and used a pencil to trace the pattern directly onto the painted surface. 

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY From there, it was just a matter of filling in all the shapes with my different-colored paints. I had a mix of smaller and larger paint brushes and switched between them as needed. Like I said, I chose what ended up being a pretty time-consuming pattern, so choose a pattern based on how long you want to be outside painting on a concrete slab in summer. It can get hot!

Also, if you find that some colors aren’t layering quite right (like painting a light color over a darker color or yellow over a blue-toned color), you might need to do a primer layer of white again in that shape before adding the top color. It’s usually easiest to paint darker colors on top of lighter colors, but doing a primer layer is the best way to get around that rule if your pattern calls for it. 

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY Once your pattern is all filled in, allow the paint to dry and keep all people and patio furniture off the paint for as long as the manufacturer recommends so the paint can fully cure. You can check and see if a topcoat sealer is needed with the brand of porch paint you buy, but you most likely won’t need one for most porch paints.  

Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial) Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial) Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial) Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial) Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial) Such a great idea! Outdoor painted rug DIY (click through for tutorial)I would say that I’m happy with my finished rug, but that would be a lie. I’m not happy; I’m thrilled. This is totally a project that I plan to redo each summer to give our space a fresh face each year. I’ll probably pick a pattern that’s less time-consuming next time, but I’m so happy that I can create whatever I want now and completely customize the look. Think you’ll give it a try? What would your dream painted rug look like? xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman & Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • I was just admiring the “rug” in the post yesterday, and trying to figure out if it was painted or not! So much smarter than using a real rug, which would get dirty so fast, and a great way to add color to your backyard. Love it!


  • From the pics posted the other day never expected it to be painted on the concrete! Seriously Amazing!

  • So awesome! To redo it each summer would you just paint over it with primer and would you strip the paint and start completely over?

  • Bah! OMG! I LOVE this. I actually thought it was a real rug and was searching for a link in yesterday’s post—hoping it was a rug I could buy! Such a stylish and fun idea!

  • What? This idea is 150% brilliant! I never would have thought of it! Oh my gosh, so obsessed! 🙂

  • You would have to be insane to take on a detailed project on this scale. I can’t wait to take the leap!!!! It is GORGEOUS!

  • That is CRAZY that this is paint! I really thought it was a rug from the makeover post! Great job Laura! You always blow me away with your DIY’s!

  • I’m sure this was a ton of work, and I’m way too impatient, but it’s BRILLIANT! And gorgeous! Worth all the work it took you, for sure.

  • This is one of the greatest ideas EVER! I love that you’re able to create a focal point in the outdoor “room” yet the rug can never get ruined by weather. Genius!


  • This is AMAZING. I had no idea it was painted on the concrete till now!

  • I would probably just paint over with primer and go from there. If you had a situation where the paint was peeling (different winters could effect the paint differently), then you may want to strip it off first

    Laura 🙂

  • As great as it looks, the pattern is beyond me and I’m having trouble picturing what it would look like in a simpler pattern, though I love the idea. Can’t wait to see more incarnations of it…. Which leads me to say, have you ever thought of a reader project gallery, where we could submit photos of versions of your projects we’ve made? Seems like you guys would love to see em too! My other thing I always wish for was a simple way to submit post suggestions. Sometimes I wonder if you’ve ever made a certain type of cake or have a suggestion of which of whatever product you use or if you think you could make a cute organizing solution to whatever, and wish I had a button to submit them. You wouldn’t be obligated to use them so it wouldn’t stifle creativity, might help your post planning be easier and we might feel more like it’s about what we like (though that’s not an issue here at ALL)! ?? thanks for all the hard work to bring us such quality material, ABM team! My life has changed a lot for the better since I became a reader almost 3 years ago. I dress better, my house is more organized, I’m surrounded by a lot more things I made with my own two hands, and, as you know, those small details in your life can make an impact. Thanks, always wanted y’all to know that!

  • This is nuts! Fantastic, I thought it was a real rug. Amazing job!

  • This is a terrific idea! I must admit I was looking for an actual, movable rug, but this is a great idea for homeowners!

  •!!! I had no idea this rug was painted on concrete!! and based on other comments above, im glad i wasn’t the only one, haha!! this is simply genius…the colors are stunning and the entire project is impressive. Well, done, Laura. This piece is definitely bragging rights.

  • Can i ask where you got that pattern? I absolutely love the colors and everything.


  • Love this so much! I’m totally doing this! I bet it’s a lot more dog friendly than a actual rug as well!

  • OMG. Wow. Awesome. I love it but now you’ve set the bar super high and I want a really time consuming pattern. I have NO math skills nor the time BUT! I’ll run with the idea in some other way. Would’ve never thought to paint a pattern. Thanks for sharing!!! Looks so good!

  • Love that you thought of this. How clever! I feel silly now because I thought it was a real rug. Kudos! 🙂


    Laurali Star

  • This is an amazing and beautiful idea!! Thanks for being so creative and sharing it with us.

  • Gorgeous patio set up, even down to the roses!!! I love the colors you picked out for your “rug” too!

  • Aww this looks great! Can i check if you wanted to go back to the normal concrete, is there an easy way to do that?xxxx

  • This is excellent! Let us know how it holds up to constant foot traffic and sweeping and hosing. This is definitely on the todo list when we are homeowners- not so great for renters sadly. Your painting skills are amazing Lauren, such a steady hand it get such crisp lines.

  • Thanks so much Jazz, so glad you love the blog! And you are right, we do love to see when people make our projects, recipes, etc. and right now the only way we see that is if you email us, or tag us on Instagram, Twitter, etc (we hope to make another way in the future). You are more than welcome to email us a if you have any questions or ideas!

    So glad you are reading!
    Laura 🙂

  • Hi Sam!
    I’m not sure if there’s a paint stripper that will remove it (check at your local home improvement store and see), but if not, I’ll just paint the whole concrete patio top a plain grey and I think that will have the same effect 🙂


  • I don’t think I would have ever thought of painting the concrete to make a “rug”! Awesome DIY!

  • This looks AWESOME! You did such a fantastic job on it!! Two questions: 1. where did you find those awesome aluminum cups? We used to drink out of those every summer and I love and miss them so much. 2. When you decide to repaint it, will you just paint over the original one or do you think that you’ll do a concrete scrub, etc. again?


  • This is such a cool DIY! When I saw it the other day I totally thought it was a fabric rug that had been painted!

  • Holy cow, this came out amazing! Those colors are so vibrant! Love.

    I can’t believe how dedicated you are. That pattern looks insane — though well worth the effort.

  • That painted “rug” looks amazing – does not even look painted. Nicely done!

  • WOW… Best DIY ever. I was kind of jealous of the great rug from the previous post. Such a great tutorial.

    PS: when you showed us the corner backyard, can you please show us how you build the benches ???? Thanks

  • Wow. That is awesome but I don’t know if I would have the patience to do something like that. It does look fabulous! Bravo!

  • Laura that’s totally beautiful! If I could do this at home, I would choose some similar patterns like yours! It’s amazing! Never thougt that this could be a painting, and not a real rug… Tricky!!! 🙂

  • I LOVE this! I would never have thought to try this, but it’s such a simple and incredibly pretty idea – why not add a bunch of colour to an outdoor space? I may give this one a go, with enough time on my hands!

  • I don’t usually comment (although I love the blog!) – but I just had to come out of hiding and say that that ‘rug’ is absolutely beautiful, and genius!

  • I can’t believe this is actually painted on concrete! I saw this when Elsie shared on instagram and it was instant love! The colours are so bright and happy 🙂

  • This looks great!
    The change in ‘texture’ makes it look like a real rug, and the colors are so bright!

  • Laura is a DIY genius! This is amazing and totally not what I expected when I saw the photos earlier this week. Thanks so much for sharing x

  • Hi Taylor!
    I actually found those cups at JoAnn fabrics of all places! If the paint isn’t peeling, I’ll just paint right over it next year. Since this is my first year with it, I’m not sure how our winter will effect the paint yet, so if it’s peeling a lot, I’ll have to look into some removal options before repainting so we’ll see!

    Laura 🙂

  • SO cool! You are absolutely killing it these days Laura – loving all your recent DIY posts, you bring so much to ABM!

  • That looks absolutely incredible! What a beautiful outdoor space you have created – as always very impressed 😀 xx

  • I would so do this if I weren’t renting! It’s lovely! You mention re-doing it each year, how would you remove the old paint? Your ‘rug’ is absolutely lovely, and I have to say I’m jealous! 🙂

  • Can you do a post on your pergola? I LOVE it and would love a better look at it. Thanks!

  • I absolutely ADORE this idea. I have a big ugly patch of plain concrete under a pergola and putting tiles over it is so boring and I’ve been trying to think of a solution.. this is so it! Except over the whole area. My house is painted yellow so a black and white graphic is going to look amazing!

    … if only it would stop raining.

    Thanks for the inspiration! x

  • I would just prime and paint right over it unless there was a major issue with the paint peeling (which I don’t expect, but we’ll see). Since this is the first year I’ve done it I’ll have to see how it reacts to our winters here in MO

    Laura 🙂

  • Love the rug!!! looks real not painted!!!! Shoud do a DIY on tha hanging devise for planters love it too!!!!

  • I love the rug and the plant chandelier. Can you tell me more about it? I would love to make one!

  • I love this but live in an apartment. Do you think I could use this kind of paint on a normal outside rug to customize it?

  • Hey there! Great post! Though I love these colors – I was wondering if you still have the original .ai file so I could test colors that go with my home? I know that might be a bit much – I love love this look though! It came out fantastic!

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