How to Turn an Indoor Rug Into an Outdoor Rug

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Transforming an indoor rug into an outdoor sanctuary not only upcycles your existing decor but also adds a personalized touch to your outdoor living space. With a few simple steps, you can repurpose an indoor rug to withstand the elements, making it a perfect addition to patios, decks, or gardens. Outdoor rugs can be quite expensive, and you might already have an indoor rug that you love and would like to repurpose.

In this post, we’ll explore how to turn an indoor rug into an outdoor rug, so you can enjoy it under the sky as much as you do under your roof.

Why Take the Rug Outside?

There’s a simple charm and unexpected whimsy in shifting perspectives – in placing the indoors out. An outdoor rug grounds your space, defines living areas under the open sky, and adds an extension of your personal style to the playground of nature.

Yet, not every rug is poised for the shift. The journey from the cozy indoors to the fluctuating outdoors demands resilience, weather resistance, and a boldness to face the elements. Before you step towards transformation, ensure your chosen rug narrates a story you wish to continue under the sun and stars.

Understanding the Difference

Indoor and outdoor rugs may seem similar, but they serve different purposes and are constructed differently.

Wool and cotton are common materials used to make indoor carpets; while they are comfortable, they might not be able to resist outdoor conditions. Outdoor rugs, on the other hand, are made from long-lasting materials like polypropylene that are made to fight water, mold, and fading from the sun.

When transitioning an indoor rug to outdoor use, it’s crucial to consider these differences and choose appropriate materials and techniques.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

  • Indoor Rug
  • Outdoor Weatherproofing Spray
  • Mildew-resistant Spray
  • UV Protection Spray
  • Sponge or Soft Brush
  • Protective Gloves
  • Dust Mask (optional)

Choose the Right Rug

Before you get started, it’s important to select the right type of indoor rug for outdoor use. The success of your outdoor rug project starts with selection. Opt for a rug made from synthetic fibers like polypropylene, nylon, or polyester. These materials inherently resist water, stains, and fading, making them easier to convert and maintain as outdoor rugs.

Clean It Thoroughly

Before beginning the weatherproofing process, ensure your rug is clean and dry. Vacuum the rug to remove debris and dust. For stubborn stains, use a mild detergent mixed with water and a sponge to spot clean. Allow the rug to dry completely, preferably in a sunny area to help kill any lingering bacteria or mold spores.

Weatherproofing – The Shielding Mantle

Once clean and dry, your rug is ready to don its armor. A weatherproofing spray stands as its shield against the rains and the spills of the outdoor banquet. Don a protective mask and gloves – for even guardians need protection – and apply the spray liberally across the rug’s expanse.

Let the clear potion solidify its magic, until the rug is dry to the touch and ready for the next layer of defense.

Supplies Needed for Waterproofing:

  • Waterproofing spray (fabric or multi-surface type)
  • Protective mask and gloves (if recommended by the spray product)

The Mildew Guardian

In its new realm, your rug will contend with a new foe – the ever-tenacious mildew. A mildew-resistant spray becomes its guardian, an invisible cloak that repels these silent invaders. Shower your rug with this protector, ensuring no corner is left unprotected. Once dry, your rug will possess the silent strength to resist the damp advances of the night air.

Aegis Against the Sun

The final adversary in our tale is the sun – the giver of life, and the thief of color. A UV protection spray serves as an aegis against the sun’s bleaching embrace. A thorough application will secure the vibrancy of your rug’s palette, ensuring it tells its story in rich hues for seasons to come.

The sun’s rays will now only kiss, not consume, the artwork beneath your feet. Allow the spray to dry completely according to the product directions.

Transforming Your Indoor Rug Into an Outdoor Masterpiece

How to Turn an Indoor Rug Into an Outdoor Rug

Now that you’ve prepped your indoor rug, it’s time to transform it into a stunning outdoor centerpiece.

  • Choose the Right Location: Select a suitable outdoor space for your rug, ensuring it’s well-ventilated and receives adequate sunlight.
  • Lay the Rug: Place your prepared indoor rug in the chosen outdoor area, ensuring it lies flat and smooth.
  • Secure Edges: To prevent tripping hazards and ensure longevity, secure the rug’s edges using heavy-duty outdoor adhesive or double-sided tape.

Embracing the Outdoor Life

Laid out upon your deck, patio, or nestled in your garden, your rug’s story evolves. Maintenance is essential; a regular shake to cast off leaves and debris, a prompt blotting of spills, and a seasonally renewed coat of protective sprays will ensure its tale endures.

Secure Your Rug

To prevent the bunching of your recently installed outdoor carpet due to foot traffic or wind, secure it in place with rug tape, weighted corners, or furniture.

How to Secure Your Rug:

  • Use double-sided rug tape on the edges to attach it securely to a flat surface.
  • Place heavy outdoor furniture on the corners.
  • Alternatively, you can buy outdoor rug corner weights.

Maintenance and Care

To extend the life of your rug, regularly shake it out to remove dirt and debris. Spot clean any spills promptly to prevent staining. During extreme weather conditions or when not in use for extended periods, consider storing your rug in a dry, sheltered place to preserve its quality.

Tips for Success

  • To make sure there won’t be any discoloration or unfavorable reaction, test sprays on a tiny, discrete section of the rug initially.
  • Reapply weatherproofing and protection sprays at the start of each outdoor season to maintain the rug’s resilience.

By following these simple steps, you can give an indoor rug a new purpose and elevate your outdoor living space with a unique, personal touch.


Yes, but it’s essential to choose an indoor rug made from durable, weather-resistant materials like polypropylene or polyester.

Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water is sufficient for maintaining your outdoor rug’s appearance.

To minimize fading, opt for UV-resistant outdoor rugs or place your rug in shaded areas when possible.

Ensure your outdoor rug has proper ventilation and avoid placing it in areas prone to moisture buildup. Regular cleaning and proper storage also help prevent mildew growth.

Yes, a rug pad can provide extra cushioning and prevent slipping, but ensure it’s suitable for outdoor use and won’t retain moisture.


In the embrace of the outdoors, your indoor rug finds a new role – a thread in the tapestry of your outdoor sanctuary. This is more than a mere upcycling; it is the weaving of a new narrative where memories will gather like the leaves upon its weatherproofed surface.

It is a continuum of your home’s story, and a celebration of the beauty in repurposing, in reimagining, in reinventing.

Your rug now lies under the open sky, a testament to the transformation that patience, care, and creativity can bring. May it ground your picnics, your sunsets, your quiet moments of reflection after the day’s heat has lifted and the cool of evening settles in.

May it be the canvas upon which new memories softly fall, just as they once did within the sanctuary of your home’s embrace.

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