How to Paint a Carpet? Simple & Easy 5-Step Method!

by Nancy Adams

Carpets or rugs are a common feature of many houses, apartments, and offices. They effortlessly increase the aesthetic value of a space. Apart from this, they are also a nice cover for bad spots on your flooring.

Carpets can be very expensive depending upon their fabric and engraved pattern. So, it is not something that you can buy often. Luckily, you can paint your old carpet to give it a fresh look. Or you can buy a cheaper carpet and carve your own patterns on it. This will give you a lot of value and will help you add to the beauty of your room.

Carpet painting is a little tricky. But with right approach and a little background knowledge, you can do it yourself in 5 easy steps: determining, preparing, drawing, painting, and recoating.

Types of Carpet Paint

Carpet paints are available easily these days. You have a lot of options to choose from. The three most common types of dyes are:

1. Carpet Paint Spray

Bottled carpet paint sprays are cheaper. But they do not last longer and come in limited colors.

Carpet paint sprays come in a nozzle bottle. They are ready to use sprays. Dye is premixed with the appropriate solvent. All you have to do is to spray them on the desired area.

While paint sprays are cheaper and easier to use, they do not come in a variety of colors. Apart from limited color options, bottled spray paints are not too good in their quality. The color fades relatively quicker than other types of carpet paints. If you want a convenient and cheaper option, bottled sprays can serve you the best. Here is where you can get good quality fabric paint spray:

2. Carpet Paint Dye

Carpet paint dyes are durable and come in variety of colors. Nonetheless, they cost a bit more than other carpet paints.

Carpet paint dyes do not come in spray bottles. Nonetheless, they are already mixed in a solvent. To use carpet dyes, you have to put the solution in a spray bottle.

Carpet paint dyes are a bit expensive. But they come in variety of colors. In addition to having wide color range, carpet dyes last longer. Here is where you can get good quality carpet dyes in different color options:

3. Carpet Dye Pens

Carpet dye pens give a neat finish. However, they are expensive and less durable with limited color options.

Apart from paint dyes, there are also carpet dye pens. As the name suggests, these are like ordinary pens which are used to color carpets. Carpet dye pens are very expensive.

Painting with them is a neat but a slow process. Moreover, colors are limited and are not very long-lasting. If you care about neatness only, go with this option. Here is where you can get good quality carpet dye pens:

5 Steps to Paint a Carpet

Now that you know the different options available for coloring the carpet, it is time for you to learn how to paint and draw patterns on your carpet like a pro.

1. Determining If Your Carpet Is Paintable or Not

Pro Tip

Not every carpet material is paintable. Know your material before painting it.

It is very important to know beforehand that if your carpet is paintable or not. You cannot paint every carpet. Different material and pattern designs prohibit you to do so.

The two common carpet materials that are paintable are:

  • Wool
  • Nylon

You should avoid painting other material types as it will ruin your carpet. If you want to check either your carpet is wool or not, just take a small piece and put it on fire. It should take a long time to burn if it is wool. Similarly, upon burning, nylon will melt like plastic. Moreover, avoid painting your carpet if it has patterns. You will hide them by painting the carpet.


Be careful while burning the piece of carpet. Put a face mask to avoid toxic fumes.

2. Preparation

If you have determined that your carpet material is paintable, it is time to prepare for next steps. In the preparation phase, make sure you empty the room first in which the carpet is laying. Moreover, if your carpet is dirty you should clean it first. Vacuum or wash depending upon the extent to which your carpet is dry. Want to know how to clean the carpet, Check this out:

Ultimate Carpet Cleaning Guide

If you want to clean your carpet, this page has links to everything you need to clean it yourself and how to guides.

In addition to this, you also need to get hold of paint sprayer, cardboard, masking tape, and paper cutter to complete the painting process. If you do not have these things, follow the links below to buy them.

3. Drawing

Once you have collected all the items required to paint the carpet, it is time to draw. You can draw using the help of masking tape or cardboard. If you just want stripes, use tape on both sides while keeping the center area of desired width free. Tape will protect the carpet you don’t want to paint. Center empty area will create nice stripes for you once you are done painting.

Moreover, if you want to have some other pattern, draw it first on cardboard with the help of a pen. Then cut through the drawn pattern using the paper cutter. You will place this cardboard on the carpet where you want to have the pattern painted on your carpet.

4. Painting

Once you are done designing the desired pattern on your carpet, it time to fill that pattern with paint. If you are using non-bottle spray paint, put it in paint sprayer.

Place the pattern cardboard on the desired location. Paint on the cardboard from a distance of 6 inches. Some of the paint will accumulate on the cardboard surface while the rest will go through the cuts to your carpet to form the desired pattern. If you are using tape for horizontal or vertical stripes, the space between the tapes will provide you the cavity for the stripe.

Pro Tip

Try to paint evenly. Do not spray longer at one point.

5. Re-painting

Once you are done painting for the first time, wait for the paint to dry. It normally takes 1 hour for the paint to dry completely. Once it gets dry, give your pattern or stripes another round of paint. Let the second coat dry and viola, you have just painted your carpet and gave it a fresh look!

Pro Tip

At least two coats are recommended for better results.


Isn’t it amazing what you just did? Pat yourself on the back! You have just transformed your old carpet to a something that will look amazing in your room by following these 5 easy steps: determining, preparing, drawing, painting, and repainting.

Want to know about different types of carpets? Check this out:

Rug Buying Guide

If you want to buy a rug, this page has explanations on every type of rug with their pros and cons, and links to the best places to buy them.

Nancy Adams Picture

By Nancy Adams

Carpet and Rug World Founder

I'm Nancy and I love Home Decor! When I got married I wanted my home to look as amazing as possible. I read and read and read about home decor. And although I found some very helpful information, I hardly found anything regarding Carpets and Rugs. I learned so much I wanted to share everything I know with the whole world!

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About us

Nancy Adams Picture

Nancy Adams

I'm Nancy and I love Home Decor! When I got married I wanted my home to look as amazing as possible. I read and read and read about home decor. And although I found some very helpful information, I hardly found anything regarding Carpets and Rugs. I learned so much I wanted to share everything I know with the whole world!

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