How Do You Paint a Sisal Rug?
Chris Talty sent in a request for information on how to paint a sisal rug.
Here is what I learned from my research:
* GENERAL INFORMATION:
Sisal is hemp that is dried and spun. It is one of the strongest
natural fibers. Sisal is rougher than jute, but still supple and soft enough for
Sisal rugs are generally woven into herringbone, ribbed, or boucle patterns. Sisal has
become increasing popular in interiors, as homeowners return to natural fibers.
The methods used to paint sisal are similar to other floor cloths
materials, such as canvas. Yet, the final appearance differs. The more course the fabric,
the less smooth and precise the pattern. Painted sisal rugs, generally, have an appearance
similar to antique needlework.
The quality of sisal also plays a role in the appearance.
Therefore, for painting, high quality sisal should be selected.
* BOOKS WITH INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS (Note: Craft books will offer
more detailed materials lists, instructions, and design ideas. Books are not listed in
order of preference.)
a. Painting Floorcloths
(Craft Book). Partial Book Description from
Amazon.com (no rating): "Express yourself using exciting painting techniques like
stamping and decoupage to make fabulous floorcloths. They're a terrific alternative to a
rug and can tie together a decorative scheme or provide the ultimate finishing touch to a
b. Fabulous Floorcloths : Create...
(Craft Book). Here is part of an editorial
review from Amazon.com, which rated the book 4.5 stars out of 5: "Consult this book
for excellent directions on materials, preparation, finishing, and an array of decorative
techniques. The 15 step-by-step projects are divided into simple, intermediate, and
advanced, so you can jump in at whatever skill level feels comfortable."
c. Rugs : Designs, Patterns, Projects, by Mary Elizabeth Johnson (Craft Book: Painting Floor Cloths
and Wood Floors). The information relevant to this topic can be found under
"Portfolio of Rug Techniques," "False" Rugs: Stenciled Floors and
Floor Cloths." This was, in my opinion, the best book I found, but it is out of
print. Amazon.com can conduct a search, and if a used book is found, you can order it, or
check your local library. The book provides an excellent list of supplies. It also gives
detailed instructions on the process, not only for painting floor cloths, but also for
wood floors. In addition, it gives ideas for stencils.
d. The New Paint Magic, Jocasta Innes (Interior Design book with basic sisal
painting instructions.) Book Description from Amazon.com (3.5 out 5 star rating):
"The third edition of this best-selling guide to painted finishes includes
step-by-step instructions on the latest techniques for painting floors, walls, and
furniture. With dozens of new color photographs."
e. Affordable Decorating : 72 Projects &... The Home Decorating Institute.
(Interior Design book with instruction for painting sisal and wood floors.) Five out of
five stars on Amazon.com.
Touches, Floor Finishes, etc., Home Decorating Institute. (An interior design book
with instructions for painting wood floors. Some floor cloth information.) Good guidelines
and illustrations for painting wood floors, including faux finishes. Limited instruction
on creating floor cloths.
g. Floors : A Design Source Book, by Elizabeth
Wilhide. Five out of five stars on Amazon.com.
(An interior design book.) BEAUTIFUL photographs of rooms with sisal rugs, and other
natural materials. No instructions for painting rugs.
Permission is granted to print or reproduce e-zine material if the following is
Author: Catherine Foust McGivern, NCIDQ Certified, Principal