At a barbecue recently I was asked about painting the floorboards in a hall where the planks continued into the sitting room. We decided that this might be tricky as it would necessitate painting a straight line across the boards to create an artificial ending point. And then I remembered an idea I had seen before of painting a rug onto the floor.
This was an idea I was keen to do in our kitchen under the kitchen table. I wanted to paint a faded Persian rug and have one corner lifted with perhaps a mouse’s tail peeping out. I thought it might be quite amusing. In the end we didn’t do it because it makes it complicated if you decide to move the table.
But it’s an idea that hasn’t gone away and I suggested to Henri that she could paint a rug on to her hall, which would be decorative, practical and resolve the problem of where to stop painting.
So this post is for her. Now, the usual rules will apply if you’re painting on floorboards, which is that they will need a bit of sand so that the paint sticks. Then use proper floorpaint as it will need to be hardwearing.
Then it’s up to you what you do. You can use a stencil if you fancy a geometric pattern or go freehand.
Andrew Dunning, the creative director of APD Interiors, has the following advice to make sure you get a really good finish:
“As with any painting, preparation is the key. You must ensure the floor is as clean as possible before you start, so thoroughly wash it and then allow to dry completely. Now apply a coat of suitable primer and allow this to dry overnight. You can now apply your floor paint.”
He suggests you do a few thin coats rather than one thick one as the thin layers will dry with a harder, and therefore more durable, finish. And, yes, if you allow the proper drying time, this will take a few days to complete but the end result will last longer and require less maintenance.
And, I’m weeping slightly as I type this but Andrew is a professional so he knows what he’s on about, and he also said: “After painting the final coat you ensure should leave the floors to dry out completely before you use the room. Your paint manufacturer will give advice on the recommended time but this can take up to 7 days.”
If you are using a stencil this will make it easier to build up several layers of paint and get them in the right place. If you are painting on floorboards it will need to be more precise than if you are just doing a freehand outline on concrete. So it’s probably best to undercoat the entire area where you plan to create your rug and then you can lay the stencil over the top, or, for the steady of hand, go freestyle from there.
I love this painted stair runner – particularly the tassles at the bottom. I know a few people who have painted their stairs like this – it’s much cheaper than paying for a carpet, although remember that it won’t resolve the noise issues.
This rug below is a great example of what you can do if you don’t mind a slightly wobbly edge and are prepared to have a bit of fun with your idea.
In fact the more I look at this pictures, the more I think my hall is crying out for a trompe l’oeil rug. What do you think?
When it comes to paint, Andrew is a fan of Little Greene who make floor paints in most of their range of colours. For a cheaper floor paint he recommends Leyland.