Cow hide rugs are so ubiquitous these days, that we’ve gotten pretty tired of seeing them in interiors. That is, UNTIL we saw one speckled with gold. It seems that painted, spattered, striped, embellished hides have become something of a trend.

Apartment34 has a great DIY that gives the gist (and there are lots of others online). She created the subtle beauty, below, on a gray, brindled hide using gold paint.

paint spattered cow hide rug
Aubrie Pick/

If you don’t have a hide, you’ll find a trove of hide rugs on Amazon from light brindle to graphic dark brown and white. We’ve also found beauties at leather stores in the garment district where you can choose exactly the hide you want. We’ve found furless ones in various colors; they drape like fabric that hold lots of possibilities.

We were thrilled to discover Design Master gold spray paint, which comes in 24-Carat gold. (It would make some pretty awesome graffiti…)

Then the steps are pretty straightforward. (We would test them out on a scrap of cloth or cardboard to get the handle of it). 

Spray the paint into the cap which becomes your pouring vessel…

Aubrie Pick/
Aubrie Pick/

Then start dripping and drizzling the paint…

Aubrie Pick/
Aubrie Pick/

We’re wondering what actually SPRAYING the fur with gold would look like. And we’re also thinking that could be done on the REVERSE suede side that usually has various markings and signage on it.  It might be worth testing a patch to see how the paint takes.

Other paint colors offer endless possibilities. This white hide splattered with black for a salt-and-pepper effect is pretty swell.

Saddleman's of Sante Fe
Saddleman’s of Sante Fe

Of course there’s nothing to stop you from splatter painting ANY rug, or the floor for that matter.


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5 replies on “DIY Painted Hide (or Other) Rugs…or Floors

  1. I saw a purse made with hot pink hair on hide that had white flowers on it, have been trying to find out how to do it but no luck. Tried acrylic paint but it comes off. Any ideas

  2. I would try a permanent leather dye that will saturate the hairs. Definitely test in a swatch or small unnoticable patch first for color quality and permanence. If you google: “how to dye calfskin rug” you’ll get on the trail of resources and instructions. Here are some highly rated dyes to check out: Rit Charcoal Grey Liquid Dye. …
    Angelus Brand Leather Dye w/Applicator 3 ounces. …
    GRIFFIN Leather Dye (2.5 oz) …
    Tandy Leather, Eco-Flo Leather Dye 8 Pack. …
    TRG Easy Dye. …
    Fiebing’s Leather Dye,32 ounces. …
    ZeliPro Leather Dyeing Kit. …
    Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative, 8 ounces. Check Price at Amazon.

    Here’s a pink leather dye:

  3. Hi

    Dyed a cow hide rug from brown to black using hair dye that was permanent BUT after washing it several times the black dye still rubs of onto clothes socks etc is there a way to fix this kind of dye to this kind of hair? There is Rit dye fixative but don’t know if it would work on this. Thanks any ideas wellcome

  4. I know this could get pricey, but is there any harm in using actual hair dye? For people hair?

  5. I like your thinking BUT permanent hair dye is meant to be mixed with bleach to activate and then rinsed out after it does its magic. I’m thinking that bleach would be mighty drying, as would submerging a skin in water…. I doubt semi-perminent dye would last.

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