When working on my porch makeover for our rental home I knew that I wanted to cover up as much as the back porch’s cracked and ugly surface as I could, but had to do so affordably. If you’ve ever looked up the cost of large outdoor rugs then you’d know that I was looking to spend a large portion of the very little money I had to do my porch makeover. I wasn’t really willing to give up the cash, even when I found some really cool rugs. A quick reminder of what my poor porch area looked before the redo…
I had seen DIYs in the past where people had painted inexpensive outdoor rugs, painted drop cloths to make curtains, or even created their own rugs using thing like t-shirts! I knew I wanted to try out doing it myself, but I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do until a trip to Home Depot really lucked out.
While getting my porch paint I decided to check out the drop cloths and see if any of them would work for a thin, inexpensive, and washable outdoor rug. I lucked out and found a 5X5 canvas drop cloth with finished hems and a leak proof backing for just $8! The drop cloth is reusable, which is great because all the shoes across it from our back yard have made it super dirty. We’ve been able to sweep it off easily and hose it off for bigger messes. I chose to paint the rug in multiple sized stripes in three colors that coordinated with the other items going in my back yard decor. The sample sizes were just right for this size of rug, but they only came in interior paint. I decided to go ahead and use the interior flat paint from Behr and then chose to spray it with a few layers of sealant after it dried.
The most exciting part of this project for me was the fact that it was so easy and inexpensive that I’ll be making another one as the Fall season approaches to go with my outdoor Fall decor. Heck, we may even make a different one for the holidays!
DIY Outdoor Rug from a Drop Cloth & Paint
This entire rug cost me about $14 which I felt was a great price for a 5X5 rug! The DIY process was super easy and fast… even the drying process wasn’t bad! I taped by rug up on a table and did in sections because I can’t bend over easily now days, but you could easily put this on the floor on top of another drop cloth or paper (in case of paint accidents) to paint it all in one session.
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- — 1 lined canvas drop cloth in the size of your choice (5X5 drop cloth via Amazon or grab at your local Home Depot)
- — Painters tape (I used two different sizes of painters tape to add variety to my rug stripes, though you only really need one. Both were Scotch Blue painters tapes.)
- — Paint ( I used Behr paint samples in Island Aqua, Upbeat, and Water Park)
- — Paint brush (a roller would also work depending on size)
- — Sealant ( I used a spray sealant.)
- — Ruler if you want to be precise… I didn’t care, so I didn’t use one!
How to make a drop cloth into an outdoor rug:
- Pull out your reusable drop cloth and adhere to a hard surface. Don’t forget to protect your surface with a plastic drop cloth, paper or another drop cloth that you use for your painting projects. You don’t want to accidentally get paint on a surface you don’t want paint on! Tape down your rug using the painters tape so that it does not move while you are working.
- Tape out your design on the rug. I went with imprecise stripes that were a variety of sizes. I basically just taped out the stripes trying to make sure my tape was straight. If you are a little bit more inclined to like things precise then I’d highly suggest taking a yard stick or ruler and marking out your stripes with a light pencil line before adding your tape.
- Paint! The canvas soaks in the paint pretty well so this can take some time. But, it will also dry very fast.
- Let dry then remove tape. I let my rug dry for just a couple of hours and it was ready to go. I tested the paint with my finger tips a bit before taking off the tape. The tape comes off easily!
- Spray with sealant. Spray the rug with the sealant according to the directions on the sealant you purchased. Let dry overnight and your rug is ready for feet!
Note: These rugs do not help with cushioning the area or taking off mud at the door. If your needs require that then you’ll want to look for an outdoor rug with more heft. (Check out the links below that show some other outdoor rug projects that you can do if you want a different look/feel to your DIY rug.)
Check out my other Summer Porch DIYs:
Check out these great porch DIYs from around the web:
- DIY Outdoor Curtains from Tiny Sidekick (this gave me the idea to make the rug out of a drop cloth!)
- This bright and beautiful outdoor rug is actually just painted right on the cement via A Beautiful Mess.
- If you don’t feel super comfortable free-handing the design of your outdoor rug you can try stenciling it instead! (via The Hunted Interior)
- This outdoor rug from Addicted to Decorating inspired the stripes on my own outdoor rug!
Where could you use a rug like this in your home?
I DIY a lot of items around my house. I DIY in part to save money, but also because I generally love the process of seeing an idea turn out. Now, I say generally because there are a few DIY projects that I start and hate the entire time I’m doing… like painting.
DIY Painted Table & Chairs
I always think that I will enjoy painting something because it is so much more inexpensive than buying new and it always yields a big transformation. I just have no patience for painting. Event though I’m not a huge fan, paint was a big part of my DIY makeover for my summer porch.
For our outdoor dining area we decided to paint an old kitchen table that we owned and a couple of thrift store chairs. I am not a painting expert… mostly because I dislike the time it takes to do painting projects. I’m an afternoon DIY girl—when it takes days or weeks to complete I put it off as long as possible.
Take this table… I bought the sanding tools, paint, sealer and drop cloth 3 years ago to make our old kitchen table work for an outdoor table. I have finally gotten around to painting the sucker! (And, to be totally honest, I still haven’t sealed it. That has to happen before the next big rain!)
The chairs came with I think six coasts of paint on them prior to me wanting to paint them. I got them for a steal at $5/ chair, but the sanding work took forever and they still weren’t perfect before painting. I did know that I wanted the chairs to have a worn look, so I am not disappointed with how they came out. They too will get a couple coats of sealant before the next big rain.
Looking to paint your own wood items for outdoors? Check out these sources I used for tips:
I actually ended up lightly sanding the table and heavily sanding the chairs (though, as you can tell from the above photo… probably not enough for a nice professional looking paint job. I went with Rust-Oleum spray paint for both projects. The chairs got several coats of the Gloss Warm Yellow Paint and the table got a flat white spray. I am using a roll on polycrylic protective finish on both projects. I will not be keeping the items out during super inclement weather, but wanted to still protect them for the occasional shower.
I can’t deny that paint makes a huge difference. I love my outdoor table and chairs enough that I will likely go through the pain and agony of painting many more times in my life. Seeing it in my yard makes me happy each and every day!
What do you think about DIY Painting projects? Love them or hate them? Have one you are proud of?? Link below! I’d love to see!
Updating Post to say that I’m linking up to the following Link Parties:
When we first walked into our (now) home it was being updated by the owner and it was a disaster. But, we had been having NO luck finding an affordable rental home in the Portland area and this home wasn’t quite on the market yet, so we tried to look at it through the mess and see what potential it had. The owner explained some of the updates the home would have (new carpet, new paint, etc.) as we were walking through it. It is an old home and it hasn’t been maintained very well. It could really use new windows throughout, but the instant we pulled up to the mint green home I knew it was going to be our next move.
The home has such personality and character. And, even though there are things I would change (no dishwasher!? only one bathroom!?) I love this little home and will be very sad the day we leave it, even if it is for a better home.
One of the areas that I wanted to touch up from the beginning was the back porch area. Being a rental, we don’t want to put a lot of time and money into it, but we did want the space looking better. We have three amazing yard areas at our home and we throw parties outdoors basically from June through November, so updating the space has been on my home bucket list for some time. It took us three long years before we finally got around to it, but it makes me more happy than you can imagine!
Because it is a rental home we were not allowed to make big changes to the space. Ideally the porch needs redone as much of the wood is cracked and broken from not being properly prepared for the Pacific Northwest weather. Normally we wouldn’t even be able to paint, but we asked the owner for permission letting him know that our intentions were to help weather proof the area a bit more and streamline it with the house. The white outdoor paint really makes the porch much nicer and ( I think) will be an overall win for the value of the house when we leave.
We knew that the space would need to include our shoe rack (the boys leave their shoes on the porch area until the rainy season), a rug, our grill and supplies and some of my outdoor entertaining items. I seriously have a problem with buying plates and we have just run out of room indoors and in our garage, so utilizing the book shelf area during the summer months with items that we use frequently made sense. We will need to store much of these items during the rainy months, but I have some fun ideas to make the space festive for the holidays, so I am not worried!
One last look at the before…just so you can see just how bad it was:
Summer Porch Makeover for Our Rental Home
Something about white paint just makes everything look cleaner and more put together. We chose to go with a Crisp Linen White Glidden exterior paint for the porch area. After cleaning the porch as much as possible we sanded down areas that needed it and just plopped the paint directly on the wood. It took a couple of coats, but the paint went on nicely and looks good!
We accented the area with my outdoor entertaining items, a new cart for our grill supplies, a couple free printables and a couple of easy DIY projects. If you are currently reading this on the desktop version of my blog then you might have noticed that I have a small love for these colors. I really like how bright and summery my porch area is now!
Summer Porch Makeover Highlights:
Many of the updates on the porch area were temporary, inexpensive and super easy. They either utilized items we already had around the house and really just needed a permanent home for or inexpensive purchases that will last a long time.
- Our new DIY rug was super inexpensive to make and is great for all the foot traffic we have in our back yard area. It can get super messy, but is easy to clean and replace if damaged. (Check back tomorrow for my post on the DIY elements!)
- We still managed to keep our shoe rack in the area and it doesn’t look too terrible. It helps that the rack is also white.
- One of my favorite additions to the space was the small grill cart that I purchased from Ikea. The cart has made grilling much more fun and less of a chore. The small little trash can underneath helps with scraps or trash items during cooking or throughout our outdoor events.
- My DIY Sunscreen and Bug Spray station fit perfectly in the bookshelf. That way, anyone who is over has instant access to skin protection if they need it.
- A few items that we use for our outdoor dining area are housed up on the bookshelf when not in use just in case there is a sudden storm. All of the items on the bookshelf stay pretty well covered from the elements due to the shelter overhead.
- We added curtains to the space to help shield off some of the sun and separate the space a bit more. I decided to do the curtains last minute and they are one of my favorite elements of the whole space!
- I love the lemon print that I got for FREE from Live Laugh Rowe. It says, “Life’s Short. Squeeze all you can out of it!”
- Part of the reason I was inspired to redo my porch area is thanks to Kohl’s! I was asked to work on a Summer celebration post (coming next week- you don’t want to miss it!) and was gifted a gift card in order to get items to help throw my celebration. I really love my new dishes from the Bobby Flay Home series at Kohl’s as well as the outdoor pillows, beer opener, wire baskets and outdoor glassware. Every time I look in my back yard area now I want to have another party!
- Pinterest (as always) was a great place for me to catalog ideas for the space. Check out my DIY Outdoor Living Space board for more inspiration!
What home improvements have you worked on this summer? Are there elements here that you could incorporate into your own outdoor space?
Part of the items featured in this post were made possible with a partnership with Kohl’s. Thank you to Kohl’s for helping me entertain this summer. Thanks to readers for supporting the companies that help make this blog bring new content to the interweb. I only promote companies that I actually use myself and enjoy. Please see my policies for more information.
Updated to say that I’m linking this post up to the following awesome link parties: