How to Flatten an Area Rug

Every time I make the trip to Ikea, I have to resist the temptation to fill my cart with all of their luscious textiles. But on my most recent trip, I couldn’t resist the $19.99 Gislev rug

Ikea Gislev area rug

…great price, pretty rug in a generous 4 x 6 size? Yes, please. I knew right away it’d help anchor the seating area in our little sitting room.

sitting room at Christmas Christmas sitting room with painted striped chairs

New rugs come packaged in a roll, which leaves both ends curled. Ugh! Don’t you hate that? Huge tripping hazard for sure. Normally, I add weight with boxes, furniture, books, even paint cans. But this small room is a high traffic area to our basement and that would create an obstacle course for sure. {and with a woodburner helping to heat this old house, trips to the basement are frequent in the winter months.} FrogTape on rug border

Solution: I grabbed a roll of FrogTape and taped down those edges. flattening a rug

I let it sit for a day or two until we were expecting guests then removed it. rug border with FrogTape It worked! FrogTape was gentle enough on our slate floor. There was no sticky residue when I removed the tape. Hallelujah! And the ends of the rug are now flattened… Gislev area rug

Lalka is happy with her new comfy area rug in a room that gets flooded with sunshine…{I use FrogTape to pick up cat hair that won’t sweep up on this low pile area rug too.} ragdoll

I’m trying this technique in the family room where the area rug curls up. FrogTape won’t hurt the finish on our bamboo floors either.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  flattening the border of an area rug

Does this happened to you? What do you use?

I’ll share the sitting room re-decorated later this week!

Sharing here: Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials & Tips

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Results may vary. 

FrogTape Blog Squad

How To Paint a Floor Tutorial

When we first moved in, we had to remove previous owners’ carpet.  There was so much work to be done (there still is), that I covered this floor with an area rug and we moved on to other more important projects. With out of town guests coming, I wanted to give this room a fresh new look.  We painted a floor in our guest bathroom with amazing results, so I knew that painting the floor would be a great solution.

With the help of True Value, we came home with these materials:
Zinsser 123 Bulls Eye Primer
True Value’s Easy Care Paint (color = Ticker Tape (a beautiful medium turquoise), flat finish)
Frog Tape (different widths will give you different results)
Paint Tray
Paint Brush (I recommend Purdy)
Paint Rollers
Minwax Polycrilic

For my participation with the DIY Club, I received these materials:
Deco Art Acrylic Craft Paints (Porch and Patio Paint in Terra Cotta, Dazzling Metallics in Gold)
Cutting Edge Stencils – Ikat Samarkand
Dutch Boy Refresh paint (Fountain of Youth)

Other items needed:
Paintable caulking or wood filler
Pencil, ruler

BEFORE -yikes!

See the complete guest room before and after here:

(The guest bedroom painted floor where it meets the guest bathroom painted floor.  See the tutorial I did 2 years ago on the bathroom floor for more tips/information:  Painted Bathroom Floor Tutorial.)
Here is How I Did It:
1. I removed the old baseboards.  They lacked character. I wanted something more in line with the character of our home. I include more information on our baseboards in this tutorial as well. 
2. At this point, filling cracks and nail holes and sanding is recommended for longer term plans but since this is a temporary solution for us, we didn’t invest the time or money in doing this step as we will be covering this floor in 6 to 18 months. (See details on filling cracks/sanding at painted bathroom floor for more information on this step.)
3. Make sure the floor is clean (sweep/wipe up sawdust/etc.).
4. Apply a coat of primer to the floor.  It’s best to do the edges first using a brush and use a roller for the center of the floor (utilizing a broom handle with roller is also easier on the knees).  Don’t trap yourself in the room, plan ahead and paint in a far corner working your way towards the door, where you can escape while paint dries. 
1. Once primer is dry (if it’s applied), I used a yard stick and measured in from each wall.  I came in 2 1/2 feet because I wanted a larger “area rug”.  I marked my “area rug” with a Sharpie. (I originally came in 3 ft., but that made the “area rug” I was going to stencil 5×8.  I changed my measurements to allow for closer to a 7 x 9 foot area rug. 
2. Tape inside of the Sharpie line. 
3. Smooth and seal tape using a credit card. 
Using a brush and porch and floor paint, paint from the outside perimeter of the room.  Roll on paint from that edge to the tape. We used a dark brown. 
Let dry. 

Now onto the “area rug”. Using a Purdy paint brush and steady hand, I was able to paint the base color without taping onto the brown ‘floor’.  I edged right next to the brown and filled in using a roller. 
Allow base color to dry completely. Paint a
second coat if desired and let dry. 
Use painter’s tape to create a border.  I measure from the outside edge with a pencil and apply tape. Get decorative in the corners!
Using a tape measure from corner diagonally to corner, I marked the center of the ‘area rug’ in order to know where to start my stencil.  I used the Ikat Samarkand stencil from and Dutch Boy‘s Refresh (color = fountain of youth). Refresh paint has exceptional durability and zero VOC/Greenguard and is mildew resistant!
Place stencil in the center and work outwards. I used a foam roller.  Apply paint to roller and roll onto paper towels until roller looks dry.  Roll paint over stencil. Lift stencil. I keep working with the stencil. Using the guides on Cutting Edge Stencils’ stencil keeps the pattern consistent. 
When center of ‘area rug’ is complete, I painted the border between the taped lines the same color. 
Isn’t the stencil pattern gorgeous? I love it as it is (so soft and pretty) but decided to add color. Keep reading.
Let dry. 
The painted area rug in the bathroom is only two colors and I wanted to get a little more creative this time and coordinate the area rug with the room I was planning. I used paint from my craft stash including Deco Art Dazzling Metallic in gold and Deco Art Patio Paint in terra cotta.

I used the stencil and went over specific areas of the pattern, keeping it consistent.   I used Dutch Boy Refresh (color = Lake Camplain) for the border. I also used the shorter stencil (which is included for stenciling the top of a wall). For the border, I found the center and worked left and right from there. 

Let dry!
Once all paint is dry, apply a coat of Polycrilic to protect the entire design.  I applied one layer.  Applying more is recommended for durability. 

The walls have been painted and baseboard trim painted and installed. 
Baseboards before were cheap and scratched up.  I like chunkier (and no miter cuts).  I used 1x3s. I measured around the perimeter, cut, primed then painted and put them around the floor. 


With new dark floors, the heating and a/c floor vents stuck out like a sore thumb.

A quick coat of Krylon and they blend right in…

How to Paint a Floor video tutorial.
(Please know in advance that I’m not a natural in front of the camera and I lack professional videography skills!)
Sorry! Acting classes are on my bucket list! haha!

True Value     

Have questions? I’m over at True Value’s Ask the Blogger series this week!
“Like” True Value and submit your question.

Speaking of True Value, I wanted to let you know about a great program that the True Value Foundation runs to support schools around the counter in need of a “makeover”. The program is called Painting a Brighter Future.

Schools in need of painting can seek out a local True Value store to sponsor them and they can apply for a grant. If they’re selected, the local True value store will supply and deliver pain tot he school, making this a wonderful opportunity for community involvement.  

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

I’m joining this party today:

Domestically Speaking

Bamboo Floors and DIY Project Parade

I always tell myself that I’m going to hold off and just wait until the reveal to show you more progress in the kitchen but then I get so excited, I can’t resist sharing some progress pictures. I’m too excited to wait! We still have baseboards, trim, built-in open shelving, decorating and our kitchen island to do but the floors are done! The new bamboo flooring is gorgeous!

And then (while writing this post) we discovered that Cali Bamboo entered our floor into the Project of the month contest. We’d REALLY appreciate your vote (Please, please! You know I can’t resist a contest. Those dreams of winning get me every time.)  Winner gets a gift card for MORE flooring!  We’d like to eventually continue the bamboo throughout the rest of the main floor. Guest bedroom is next on the renovation list and currently has yucky plywood! Winning would be extremely helpful for our budget! 
Update August 2011:


Kitchen when we bought our house…some potential, right? It’s big and open.

Kitchen now: still in progress but getting there!
 stove area back splash still on the to-do list
(that’s Mr. DIY’s mango salsa on the counter…if I would have known this was the picture they’d use for the contest, I’d have hung a fresher towel and cleared away the clutter!)
looking into the dining room before
See installation and reasons for our choice at GOOD BYE OLD FLOORS!
looking into the dining room now
Antique Java
{distressed fossilized/wide plank}
strand bamboo = durable green product
 This area (below) is getting DIY built-in open shelving.  
The cart/etc. is temporary but functional for now.
 Lalka loves new floors.
The view looking in (Lalka is sitting where the island is planned):
The view looking out (love seeing our grape arbor). 
The patio off the kitchen is convenient for outdoor entertaining and dining too.
Dining room when we bought the hous
Dining room before floors:
(Fuzzy) after of floors.  Looking for new rug and working on some DIY decorative accents. And better quality pictures.  I promise. 
Okay, next time I’ll hold off and wait until the reveal before showing you more.  Nothing like 100s of posts on a kitchen remodel to make you sick and tired of hearing about it, right?  I promise I’m not the type to insist you open your birthday present weeks ahead of time. I love surprises! I do have patience in some areas.  Just not when it comes to showing off! 😉

Thanks in advance for your vote!
(Project of the Month button on the left. Then vote for #11.)
No signing up, logging in or giving email address…just 1 click vote once. 
Then come back and link up!

Note:  We were not given free product or compensation. The bamboo was purchased by us after our own research and opinion is our own based on our experience. 🙂

What are you up to this weekend?

The DIY Show Off

If you’d like to link YOUR DIY project post to The DIY Show Off Project Parade:

1.You must use the button above (ADD BUTTON HTML CODE FROM SIDE BAR TO YOUR POST) and link to this post to share the linky love.

2.Include your name or blog name and project title. Add your permalink (not your blog url, but your DIY project post url). Feel free to link a Past Post, just invite your readers in a current post with a quick note.

3.Or email your link to and I will add it for you.

4.If you notice your link has disappeared -please add the link back to The DIY Show Off to your post today, a button or a quick note to your readers about the party and try again! I love when everyone participates and readers check out everyone’s links, but I think the return favor of linking back is the nice thing to do so everyone plays fair and enjoys all of the projects and links. Also – this blog party is for DIY projects only. Links not related to DIY will be deleted.

5.  NOW you can “like” the links!  Most liked link moves to the top of the list!  What a fun idea!  Most liked links may be included in a post of DIY Project Parade highlights later in the week!  🙂

Have a Happy 4th of July, friends
Your kindness is making me smile today! 
See the milestone on the right side bar?  You’re awesome!

Don’t forget about I <3 Thrift Day coming up!  See the button on the side bar for more details!

Good Bye Old Floor!

Guess what’s going on at our house?  Take a peek:

Before: It’s decent and doesn’t look too bad from a distance…

Change in Progress:
We opted for no DIY other than the demo.  For installation, we’ve hired a professional.  We have a contractor installing our floors. We just weren’t comfortable to DIY in this case. In areas where a project becomes a major investment, we’re a little less confident and a little less risky. Strand bamboo floors are HARD and strong.  However, you know how much home improvement fascinates me.  I promise I wasn’t in the way, but I did hang out from this vantage point a lot of the time watching the process:

Don’t worry – I resisted the temptation to crawl inside that truck to have a look around at all of those tools!

It’s advised that you never hire a contractor without reading reviews/researching the company. For that reason, we’re adding our experience with our contractor in the event a Google search helps introduce someone locally to our favorite contractor.  Meet: Gary Stone.  A word of mouth recommendation from a friend is the best compliment/review. Our experience has been extremely satisfactory.  We were so impressed with his knowledge and understanding of so many projects, his friendly service and his patience in describing/teaching steps and tips, providing education- should we attempt the bamboo flooring installation ourselves throughout the rest of the house (although we’ve had a very positive experience working with Gary and look forward to working with him again on future projects if needed). We enjoyed hearing his suggestions and professional advice for changing small things for the best results. We love the quality work and would highly recommend him to anyone local looking for professional contractor services.

General Construction & Project Management 
 Cabot, PA

Gary’s Tip for bamboo flooring installation for DIY readers:  Using nails like these ones from Maze make the “drive” of the nail easier as they’re double hot dipped zinc. They also come in a variety of colors.

  • Hardwood trim nails
  • Made from high-carbon steel to ensure good driving into oak, birch, walnut, and other hardwoods
  • Many more nails per pound than ordinary finish nails
  • Made in the USA
  • Fewer wood splits

I tried to convince him to do a guest blog post.  He has so many helpful/useful DIY tips he’s learned from years in the home improvement field. Maybe he’ll consider it when he has a slow schedule or start his own website/blog with handy tips.


When we moved in, we removed the carpet and refinished original pine floors. It was an improvement but there were bad patch jobs throughout the house.  The pine had gaps that pinched Mr. DIY’s feet in certain areas.

Then during the kitchen remodel, we removed the vinyl and plywood base and exposed the original pinewood.  Part of the kitchen floor is 1927 (pine) and the other half is 1999 (plywood) and was covered with another layer of plywood covered with vinyl.  That’s all gone:

But the floors are uneven and don’t quite match up.  Mr. DIY has laid Pergo floors in a previous home but when it comes to the bamboo and condition of the floor underneath, we just felt safer having a professional do these three areas:  kitchen, dining room, future open pantry/hall.  Once we have the money to do the rest of the first floor with the bamboo we chose, we may give it a DIY shot…now that we’ve had a few priceless tips  from a professional.  
‘Before’ view from outside into the kitchen…
We chose Antique Java Fossilized™ Strand Wide Plank .  It’s distressed and unlike engineered wood, every piece is different. It’s handscraped. There are different distressed patterns, the bamboo strands make each piece unique and color varies (LOVE that part).  The distressing shows “black” and is so random.  It’s beautiful.  For more information on our bamboo floors, visit Cali Bamboo. Know what I love about them? The light, the dark and all of that gorgeous distressing but most of the durability and strength!

Antique Java Wide Plank Fossilized Strand™ Bamboo Flooring
Our reasons for choosing this bamboo:

  • Durability.  Strand bamboo Janka (hardness) rating is 3000-5000. Strongest in the world!  Maple (our original choice) is 1450. My husband does the cooking. I like hardwood in the kitchen but he’s not so careful.  We also have a cat with claws intact. So scratches on the maple would have broken my heart!  lol  Especially after such a large investment (our entire main floor eventually).
  • We chose a distressed finish.  If scratches do occur, they add to the character. It’s also a look that fits with our farmhouse style. 
  • Bamboo is the most environmentally sustainable wood on earth!
  • I love that it had a reasonably priced wide plank option.  I love the wide planks.
  • I love the variation in color.  I love dark floors but I’ve read people regretting their decision because it shows every speck of dust, etc. This product has dark and medium tones. No two pieces are the same. 
  • It can also be refinished years down the road if needed.
So, just a sneak peek, a description of our experience and products. Reveal coming soon!  I’ll be out-of-town tomorrow (more about that soon!) so when I return – the floor will be completed!  I can’t wait to see it!

Disclaimer:  We were not compensated by our contractor, Maze or Cali Bamboo. This is our own unpaid review of our opinions and experience with the products we used. 

Painting a Bathroom Floor (a DIY painted rug)

A temporary bathroom floor makeover (temp likely meaning a few years) until bigger renovation with tile is in the budget can make a HUGE difference. Look at the transformation, using paint. I love it! I may never want to tile this floor!
When we bought our old farmhouse, there was carpet in the bathroom (gross!). So we immediately tore it out before moving in. But that’s as far as we got (so many projects, only so much $ and time). We have big plans for this bathroom. It sits between my office/guest room and the family room so even though there is a powder room on the first floor too, this bathroom gets used just as often by guests and family. It needed SOMETHING!

I filled in the cracks/seams with wood filler.

Sanded. (It’s not completely smooth and perfect, but we were okay with imperfections. It is an old farmhouse, after all.) You could also lay down a fresh new base but we were cutting corners.
2 coats of Zinsser Primer

2 coats of Valspar Porch and Floor paint. I chose a color called Journey. It’s a nice dark chocolate brown.

Then, a lot of measuring to create a painted rug base. I used Frog Tape. It is amazing and really cuts down on touch ups. Actually when I used it on the walls, NO touch ups were needed. I did need to do a bit with the floors though. Anyway, I also used the Frog Tape to create a border by covering up some of the base.
I painted my ‘rug’ color twice using Benjamin Moore (eggshell finish) in Smoke Embers.

Then immediately pulled off the tape, pulling away from the paint (some of the tape was completely covered though so fingers do get paint-y). I had newspaper laid out near by so I could throw the wet-painted tape on it (pushing into a garbage bag = bigger sticky mess).

Once that was dry, I continued with measuring, taping and using a stencil to complete my design.

My big center area is 3 x6, so using a pencil, I drew a grid with 12″ squares in order to keep everything symmetrical. I learned that a Magic Eraser is quick and easy for erasing pencil! But, when all was said and done, most of the penciled area was covered by paint and what wasn
‘t, I painted over when doing my final touch ups. I considered using a chalk line, but intimidation got the better of me. I’ve never used one and with me being down on the floor…I was worried I’d smear it all.

I even painted over the gray area one time because despite drawing some ideas on paper, I didn’t like the first design. It’s just paint and it really doesn’t take too long. Right under this room is a wood stove, so the floor is warm and helps to speed up drying time.

I did use acrylic craft paint for the stencil (that happens to match the dark brown perfectly) because it is thicker consistency than the brown floor paint I used. Also – my stenciled areas “bled” a little – anyone know how to get a perfect stencil? Anyway – it actually gave it more character and I like the effect of “fuzzy” edges with the stencil rather than “clean edges”. It really does give it more of a “rug-look”. And honestly – can you really tell? Not unless your nose is 6 inches from it. 🙂

(It’s not a pretty job – painter’s butt! And since I can’t stop once I get started, dark circles.)


Next, a couple of coats of water-based polyurethane to seal and protect. I used Minwax Water Based Polyurethane. I’m applying 3 coats by using a brush along the border and against the wall and a foam roller for the rest of it. Now it’s waterproof and protected.

Last part coming up! Replacing the baseboard trim, re-installing the pedestal sink and then the fun part – decorating! I know everyone wouldn’t pair the striped walls with a doily-designed painted floor but the best part about decorating for yourself is doing what you love, right? I promise I won’t hang a polka-dotted shower curtain and crazy wall art. 😉
See DIY and bathroom progress in our

Materials: {affiliate links}

Large Wall Damask Stencil Faux Mural Design #1015 5″ x 7 3/8″
Large Wall Damask Stencil Faux Mural Design #1012 9″ x 7 7/8″
FrogTape 1358463 Multi-Surface Painting Tape, Green, 0.94-Inch Wide by 60 Yards Long
Flower Stencil Zinnia Grande size Med – Reusable wall stencils better than wall decals
Shur-Line 4-Inch Foam Mini Roller Refills, 2-Pack #04940C
Minwax 63333 Satin Polycrylic Protective Finishes, 1 Quart