05/12/14, by Megan Steenson
Often, doormats serve their practical purpose but do little more. That's too bad, because a doormat gives visitors a first impression of your home and gets seen by everyone who comes and goes. Why not take advantage of this prime real estate by displaying a mat that's stylish and fun, as well as functional?
Fortunately, it's easy to give doormats a cheerful, durable makeover with paint. We chose utility mats from the home center because they're inexpensive, long-lasting, paintable, and flat enough to stencil. You'll also need to pick up some good-quality exterior latex paint, so your design will hold up to years of foot traffic and the elements.
Who-o-o wouldn't smile when they approach a cheerful owl-themed welcome mat like this? To make one of your own, you'll need to create a template, or click here to download ours! Print it out, and firmly press it onto the adhesive side of a sheet of contact paper (photo 1), making sure there are no bubbles. This extra layer helps prevent paint from bleeding through the printer paper. Cut out the letters and the owl (photo 2), and arrange all of the pieces on the doormat. These are the areas that won't get painted.
Now you need to temporarily adhere the pieces to the doormat. Working with one piece at a time, spray stencil adhesive on the back of the piece (photo 3), place it back in position, and firmly press it to the mat.
When the pieces of your design are all stuck in place, use a 3"-wide roller to apply paint evenly over the entire doormat (photo 4). Press lightly — the first coat should barely cover the surface. When the paint dries, it creates a seal that will help keep the heavier second coat from seeping under the cutouts. You can aim for full coverage when you roll on the second coat. Finish by applying paint to the owl's eyes (photo 5), and let it dry. Finally, peel off all of the cutouts to reveal the design.
We love the cute and clever look the owl gives this doormat, but it might not be for everyone. Next week, we'll be back with three more designs: faux leaves, house numbers, and simple stripes. Stay tuned!