Four years ago I blogged about the DIY foyer rug I made with some colourful fabric and some Polyurethane. The rug did its job for many years, but sadly time and foot traffic took its toll. While sweeping and mopping was able to get it mostly clean, over time the rug started to look a bit dingy and worn. I debated making another rug in the same way, but I couldn’t find any graphic colourful fabric I liked at a price I wanted to pay so I started looking for other options.
Last summer while I was visiting my parents my mom and I were browsing in a fancy kitchen store when I stumbled across these beautiful Vintage vinyl floor cloths by Spicher & Co. There were only two issues – I’d have to get a custom size which meant big $$$$, and the patterns they had were very traditional – not many that fit my desire for something bright and vibrant.
A few months later I was bumbling around the internet and I found the image above. While the foyer is stunning (so bright and open!) it was the rug that drew my eye first. I loved the thick stipes in the vibrant hues. A bit of digging led me to the rug maker – Oliver Yaphe. The hand knotted construction of the rugs made them way too thick to fit under my front door (and the price was way too much for my wallet), but the image gave me a better idea of what I was looking for in terms of pattern and colour for my foyer.
After being inspired by the thick bright stripes I recalled the vinyl floor mats I had seen earlier and decided that I would attempt to make my own version if I could find suitable vinyl flooring. I needed the vinyl to be very thin, and I needed it to be as un-patterned as possible – most vinyl flooring has an embossed pattern to make it appear more like bricks or slate tiles – I didn’t want that pattern to still be visible once I had painted it.
I looked at off-cuts, and even remnants and pieces at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, but nothing worked. Luckily I eventually found this vinyl at Home Depot – thin and the horizontal wood pattern would work with my planned horizontal stripes. With that worked out I turned my attention to picking my paint colours. I wish I could say that I was inspired by something in my home, but I cheated. I have a bunch of those ‘paint inspiration’ booklets and one from Para has five colours that reminded me of the ones in my inspiration rug, and even better I didn’t have to spend the time carefully picking harmonious colours. Since I would need only a small amount of each colour I bought sample pots at Lowes.
Once all the materials were in hand, the steps were fairly simple, if a bit time consuming waiting for paint to dry. I used my dining room (aka: my workroom) for this project so it was bit in the way – a garage or other low traffic area would be better if you’re interested in trying it, but I’m not blessed with either. I first cut my vinyl to size using a straightedge and X-Acto knife. Then I primed it with some primer I had on hand from an earlier project. Next up was determining my pattern. I knew I wanted stipes of varying width, but I didn’t want just random sizes. My dad will be thrilled to know I used math to figure out a ratio that could work. Once the sizes of the stripes were determined I marked them using a pencil, and then taped off half of the stipes using painters tape. I painted between two to three coats of each colour using a small foam roller (darker colours needed an exra coat because my primer was white). Once those stripes were dry I peeled the tape up, and repeated the process to paint the other half of my stripes. There was a little seepage under the tape making my lines less crisp than I liked so I touched them up with a tiny paintbrush. The last step was three coats of Polycrylic in a satin finish.
I’ve been using my new vinyl rug since the end of November, and it’s held up really well against the stuff I’ve tracked in from outside with no chipping or scratches to the paint caused by little pebbles or damage caused by the water from melting snow off my winter boots. I reused my thin Ikea rug pad under the vinyl to prevent any movement of the rug, and the additional weight of my tulip table keeps it nicely secure.
My little experiment has worked so well I’m considering making another for my dining room, but for now I’m perfectly thrilled with how this one looks in my foyer.