How to Make a Faux Cow Print Rug

Some people like the look of cow prints, but do not like the area of using an actual cowhide in their decor.

Make a cow print rug with black or brown paint.Make a cow print rug with black or brown paint.
Instead of using the real thing, make a faux cow print rug yourself. Before painting your rug, look at some photos of cows to get the overall sense of the shape of the splotches. Do not limit yourself to a black and white decor; some cows are white with brown splotches, or you could modernize the look with a pink and white cow print instead.

Purchase a white or light-colored area rug with low pile, or vacuum an existing low-pile rug that you already have on hand.

Place your rug on a flat work surface.

Design your cow spot pattern on the rug using painter's tape. Create large splotchy shapes to recreate the large splotches on an actual cow. Don't worry if some of the painter's tape overlaps or goes over the edges of your design; just make sure you press the tape firmly into the carpet so that it slightly separates the fibers. Position some of the splotches close together and others farther apart to make it look more natural. Keep in mind that small area rugs will look better with smaller cow splotches.

Squirt the paint onto a foam plate, and dab your brush into the paint.

Paint the rug top to bottom, left to right, painting only the inside of the cow splotches with a firm scrubbing motion. Get down into the rug fibers to make sure you paint the surface evenly.

Allow the paint to dry thoroughly, overnight if possible, before you remove the painter's tape.

Things You Will Need

  • White colored low-pile rug
  • Vacuum
  • Painter's tape
  • Acrylic paint
  • #10 Fabric round brush
  • Foam plate


  • Look at photos of actual cow prints if you need inspiration for your overall design.


  • Consider working on an empty garage floor, so that the painted rug will not get accidentally walked upon. Keep pets and children away from the work area until the paint is dry.

About the Author

Daniella Lauren has worked with eHow and various new media sites as a freelance writer since 2009. Her work covers topics in education, business, and home and garden. Daniella holds a Master of Science in elementary education and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Pensacola Christian College.