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Can You Paint a Jute Rug? Discover This New DIY Practice!

Updated: 1 day ago

Unlike polyester or synthetic rugs, natural fiber rugs like jute rugs are much more prone to lose their color after washing or overexposure to sunlight. But a faded rug doesn’t mean a worn-out rug. That leads many owners to wonder whether can you paint a jute rug or not.

In general, yes, you can paint jute rugs if the rug is in decent condition and you follow the proper procedure i.e., using a balanced paint & softener mix, drying without sunlight, and other factors.

You can paint your favorite jute rug to make it look like a new one meeting the requirements that we are going to discuss in this article.

Can You Paint a Jute Rug?
Painted Jute Rug

Things to Consider Before You Start

Unless you want to witness inconsistencies or permanent damage on your jute rugs, there are certain caveats you will need to consider before you start painting.

Washing won’t Remove the Paint

Applying paint to natural fiber rugs like jute rugs is quite easy if you follow the right procedure. But that is not the case when it comes to removing them. 

You can’t just wash your jute rug and hope the paint will be gone.

So, if you make a mistake with your design or color choice, then the only option left is to reapply paint. 

Paint Gets Soaked Faster

Jute fibers are highly absorbent and will soak up any liquid faster than any synthetic rugs out there. 

This is something that you need to be mindful of when you are applying paint especially if you are not coating with paint sprays.

Usually, painting a jute rug requires you to apply multiple coatings, before it gets completely soaked up. The timing will be a key factor to consider. 

Usually, you should recoat after an hour. But this time range can increase or decrease based on your rug size, atmosphere, and paint quality.  

Acrylic Paints Are a Big No

You may have some acrylic paints hanging around from some previous projects and might think they will be perfect for painting your jute rugs. 

No, they are not. 

This is due to the fact that acrylic paint isn’t highly compatible with exterior painting projects, especially on natural fibers like jute. 

That’s why the best option here is latex paints. They are perfect for exterior coloring and offer resistance from UV rays, moisture, and high temperature. Making it the perfect coating option for jute rugs.

How to Paint a Jute Rug: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know what you need to consider before you start your DIY jute rug project. Here are the steps you need to follow to paint a jute rug:

Step 1 - Get the Necessary Materials

First things first, you will need to get the following materials to paint on a jute rug:

  • Poster board, paint tape, or stencil

  • Pencil

  • Ruler

  • Scissors

  • Latex paint or paint spray

  • Clear liquid fabric softener

  • Water

  • Brush

Poster board and paint tape can be used to create blocks or design shapes like diamonds, triangles, and others. If you have any specific design in mind, then stencil of that design will come in handy. 

Pencil, ruler, and scissors are all key items you can use to mark, cut, and reshape poster boards, paint tapes, and even your rug in certain situations.

Latex paint, fabric softener, and water will need to be mixed before you start brushing the rug. 

If you don’t want to face the trouble of mixing color and fabric softener, then paint sprays are a viable option.

Step 2 - Clean the Rug with a Brush

Once you have all the necessary components, you can get started with the painting process. 

First, make sure to clean the rug. You don’t have to wash the rug or dry clean it. Just use a clean brush to dust off any dirt or grime that might be on the rug.

This is important because you don’t want to have dust or dirt on the rug when you are applying paint.

Step 3 - Select Your Preferred Design

Next, you need to prepare for what type of designs you want to implement on your jute rug.

Stencils can offer a variety of options in this case. You can also go simple and minimalistic with block patterns that can easily be created from poster boards. 

Afterward, you can outline them with light pencil strokes.

If you want to incorporate personal designs, then mark them up with a pencil. 

Keep in mind that unless you are going to put paint there, don’t mark too deeply on the rug. It is quite a hassle to remove them afterward.

Step 4 - Cover the Rest of the Area with Paint Tape

When you have an outline of your design, move to cover the rest of the area with paint tape.


This is necessary as when you apply paint, it won’t reach the area covered by the tape.


If you are using stencils, then you can take a different approach where you paint the areas outside of the stencil so the design inside retains the original color of the rug. 

In this case, the stencil will act like the paint tape cover.

Step 5 - Mix the Paint

Now comes the most important part (unless you are paint spraying, then you can ignore this process). 

Putting up latex paint directly can result in the paint hardening and falling off at times. This happens because the paint doesn’t reach the fibers smoothly, so they dry up and fall off. 

This is where fabric softener comes in. 

A 1:1 ratio of latex paint and fabric softener is what you should be looking for. Keep in mind that mixing the paint and softener will make the mix become very thick. 

You can put in a small amount of water to thin it out (this is not a necessary step).

Step 6 - Apply the Paint

If the mix is ready, just dip your brush in it and start painting. You should either go with vertical or horizontal strokes with the brush as that is more effective. 

Depending on the thickness of the mix, your rug size, and the desired color output, it can take from 2 to 4 hours or more.

The same goes for paint spraying. You will have to coat the rug at least twice if you plan to paint-spray it. 

We recommend going for this option especially if you are using stencils. Usually, it will take 1.5 to 2 spray cans to paint a mid-sized jute rug.

Step 7 - Let the Paint Dry

Once you are done painting. Simply put the rug in a shaded location to dry. Using a  fan would fasten the drying process.

Keep in mind that while drying, the rug shouldn’t come in contact with direct sunlight or be exposed to heat or water. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, depending on the current condition of your rug (color fading but no deterioration), you can tell whether can you paint a jute rug or not. 

Make sure to properly mix the paint and softener and don’t forget to recoat. Otherwise, you will run into a messy paint job on your jute rug. If you follow our mentioned procedure then you shouldn’t have any issues painting your jute rug.

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