DIY Faux Cowhide Rug

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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DIY Faux Cowhide Rug
Cowhide coloured fabric looks nice in rustic settings. (NA/ Images)

A faux cowhide rug adds a bit of whimsical drama to a country, ranch, lodge, Western or Southwestern interior. The organic shape of the rug works well on hardwood floors and the style evokes a country sensibility that is both playful and simple. Creating the rug begins by deciding what size rug you want. If you are placing your rug to anchor a sitting group in a living room you can make the rug 9 by 12 feet, for smaller rooms or accents your rug should be smaller like a 5 by 7 foot rug.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Canvas
  • Gesso
  • Disposable paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paint
  • Foam roller
  • Angled paintbrush
  • Clear coat finish

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  1. 1

    Spread heavy canvas on a clean garage floor covered with newspapers. Cut out the organic shape of the rug you want using scissors. Paint the canvas with gesso using a disposable paintbrush. Gesso is a type of artist's primer. Allow the gesso to dry for 24 hours.

  2. 2

    Draw random organic shapes on the canvas with at least a few going off the edge of the canvas. These will be the spots. Paint the majority of the canvas with a latex paint the colour of maple syrup. Use a 4-inch foam roller to cover the canvas evenly. Paint the spots with a light grey paint using the angled paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry for 4 hours.

  3. 3

    Paint around the edges and borders between the paint colours. Use both colours of paint because you want a wet edge. Drag a stiff wallpaper brush through the wet paint all in one direction to look like hair. Apply a couple smudges of dark brown paint using a rag to add more texture. Drag the wallpaper brush lightly through these spots as well. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Paint the entire canvas with two coats of clear finish. Allow each coat to dry completely between coats.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also make the cowhide black and white if that works better with your decor. Look at examples of cowhides in images for ideas about the shape and the way the spots are positioned.

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