Outdoor Rug 2
Monica is back to show us her cheap outdoor rug idea.  She shows us how easy it is with a graphic stencil and a can of spray paint to transform a cheap indoor/outdoor rug.  Rugs are very expensive but often is the decorating piece that ties the room together. Monica’s idea is perfect for outdoor seating areas and I think you will love how she transformed her new patio with this rug. 


Hey, It’s Monica from East Coast Creative.  While Jess has been working on some indoor projects, I’ve been focused outside, and today’s tutorial actually had me fist pumping quite a bit while I was doing it.  I knew that spray painting my outdoor rug, rather than hand painting it, would save me time, but I had no idea just how simple it would be and how much I was going to love it!

Spray Paint Stenciled Rug

If you follow along on our blog, you probably know that my hubs and I have been DIYing a 600 square foot patio. It’s been a huge job, but it’s 99% done and we’re loving it! (Don’t tell our blog readers that I’m giving you a sneak peek, because they haven’t seen any of it finished yet!)


Anyhow, I wanted an awesome outdoor rug for the sitting area, but man alive, are they pricey!  Jess actually found this insanely cheap outdoor rug at Home Depot for a project at her house, so I jumped on the cheap rug bandwagon and got one too! Check out that price… $17.88!!


cheap outdoor rug

I did a project on one of our Nate Show episodes last Christmas, and it got me thinking…  I really didn’t want to spend a long time painting a rug, perhaps I could try something a little easier (I’m all about the lazy-man’s DIY). 


spray painted canvas
To make those canvases, I just laid a reindeer template on the canvas and spray painted over it.  When I peeled the template off, I was left with pure awesomeness! I decided to give that method a whirl with the rug.

Stenciled outdoor rug 3


Plain outdoor rug
Spray Adhesive
Spray Paint (6×8 required 3 cans)
Scrap or Newspaper

Stenciling process

1. Spray the back of your high quality stencil with spray adhesive (I only sprayed it 2x for the whole rug).  I had this Chez Sheik Moroccan Stencil already from Royal Design Studios. Then, choose one corner of the rug to place your stencil on.  I honestly only leveled and squared by eye and it worked out perfectly.


2. Use scrap or newspaper to cover the area around the stencil.
3. Spray the stencil with your paint.  I used Valspar’s Outdoor White so that it will hold up against all kinds of weather (including the million degree heat we’re having right now!)


When you’re spraying, you’ll want to spray directly down onto the rug, to prevent any bleeding, and hold your can a lot closer than you normally would. I found about 4 inches gave me quick, solid coverage.


spray painting with a stencil
As soon as I was done with one section, I moved onto the next.  I didn’t have to wait for any drying time etc.


Here’s the patio sitting area before…


before stenciled rug

And after…

after stenciled rug

inexpensive outdoor rug
If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering, But how crisp are the lines? Does it really look good or does it look like a sloppy 20 minute project??  I’ll let you be the judge.  I’m crazy picky and this meets the Monica standard.


graphic print rug
After hauling 40 tons of stone and working for weeks on this patio, I needed a quick and simple DIY.  This outdoor stenciled rug cost me under $30 and completely helps bring the space together.  I can’t wait for cool, crisp fall evenings, when I plan on spending a lot of time outside in my new space!


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  1. Love this Monica!!! I was thinking about doing this same thing… but I couldn’t find a large rug that was cheap enough for me 🙂 Thanks for the tip on this Home Depot one! Yours turned out beautifully! And I want to move where you live… your backyard is gorgeous!

  2. What a great project. I love that you used spray paint. Makes it much quicker I’m sure.

  3. I love love love this! I think this project would actually work great in my craft-room redo! I don’t want to spend a ton of $$ on a rug and take the chance of it getting ruined by paint or some other craft-related mess! Perfect solution! And for that price, I can do one for the patio, too!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. I have been look around for inexpensive, decorative outdoor rugs. I could not find any in the colors or price I was looking for. This tip is so very helpful! I can totally do this! Thanks for sharing. I’m on it!

  5. Mandy,
    I’d love to see what you create for your craft room! Send us a pic when you’re done. I’ve actually decided to make another one for my garage entry way. I think I’m going to cut the rug down to runner size. Can’t wait!
    Thanks for reading!

    Monica (and Jess)

  6. LOVE this idea, Monica! It looks so great! I stenciled our front door mat, but I never would have thought to use it on a huge outdoor rug. And thanks for the tips about the large rug (love that price! and using the outdoor spray paint.) Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Wow, gorgeous rug! And THANK YOU for the tip about the cheap rug at Home Depot. That answers what I’ll put on my front porch when we finally finish it’s new floor.

  8. love this! what size stencil did you use? The Royal Designs site lists large and pro. just curious. thanks for the awesome idea!! 🙂

  9. ALSO! what did you do with the spray adhesive? I don’t see that in the instructions at all except for in the list of supplies. please elaborate on this 🙂

  10. Hi Karly, This rug was actually made by one of my past contributors, Monica of East Coast Creative. You can ask her directly by following the link in the post to her site. Thanks so much for reading!

  11. It says in the post, “Spray the back of your high quality stencil with spray adhesive.” It helps hold the stencil in place while you are painting. I hope this helps.

  12. Your rug looks great and I am thinking about making one myself. I have two questions. First, how would the carpet feel on bare feet? I have two little ones who refuse to wear shoes on our deck and keep getting splinters! Also, how has it held up? We get direct sun in the mornings and I’m wondering if the paint faded quickly. Thanks so much for the idea!

  13. It looks just as good as the day I painted it. I think since the paint was a light gray it hasn’t had much fading. I would be more concerned with a darker color paint. It does scratch the feet a little, but the carpet I used is a really thin indoor/outdoor carpet so it isn’t soft on the feet either. I hope that helps.

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