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Painted Sisal Rug

Martha Stewart Living Television

Typically used for hard-fiber cordage and twine, sisal is an ideal material for floor coverings that stand up to wear and tear. It's also easy to paint: The natural fibers soak up oil-based paint, and the weave creates an edge that prevents bleeding. Striped patterns are the easiest to paint onto sisal. Martha recommends that you begin by planning out stripes with painter's tape, which won't leave adhesive residue; follow the rug's natural pattern, using the ridges as guidelines for your stripes. Once your design is laid out in tape, use a stencil brush to apply paint liberally. Remove the tape immediately after painting, and your rug will be ready for use in about 24 hours.