Update your patio with paint and painter’s tape. Here’s an easy painted floor runner project you can finish in a weekend.

painted floor runner on front porch

Can we talk punctuation for a minute?

What happened to the extra space after the end of a sentence?


A sentence that used to look like this.  With another sentence after it.  With two spaces after the period. Now looks like this. Now everyone types sentences with a single space. Doesn’t it look a little crammed to you? Doesn’t it make your sentence look a little like it forgot something?

What happened?

Where did the extra space go and why didn’t anyone tell me about it.

Good thing there are still exclamation points!!!!

I needed them for this painted floor runner project.

painted floor runner with harlequins

It all started with the porch.

That wonderful, incredible, sweet-tea-drinking, lazy summer afternoon reading, listening to the crickets in the twilight….

….wrap around front porch.

The challenge was that this farmhouse wrap-around porch came with a busy family and muddy boots and stinky socks topped off with an extra helping of dirt.  Keeping a rug clean out here was almost impossible.  Or the rug would blow off the porch.  Or roll up at the corners.

So I added a painted floor runner instead.

And here’s how I did it.

painted floor runner before

Step 1: Clean concrete

  • Here’s how the porch looked when I started.
  • The concrete is painted gray and I added an old church pew from a yard sale and black and white fabrics.
  • Sufficient.
  • Nice.
  • But it needs a little sweet tea flavor.
  • We thoroughly cleaned and washed the concrete to get ready for the next step.

painted floor runner project

Step 2:  Draw out your rug and tape the border

  • Here’s the space after we’ve drawn out the rug and laid the tape.
  • I wanted my rug to have a 1″ border of black concrete paint and then a checkerboard pattern on the inside with black and white squares.

Step 3: Use the tape as your measuring guide

  • The border was easy to measure because we used a single width of tape as our guide.
  • It’s important to remember that the tape is outside the edge of the rug.  In other words, you want to tape the outside of your pencil line.


Step 4:  Paint the border

  • Remove the pieces of tape you used as a guide and paint the border of the rug with black concrete paint.
  • Peel off the tape immediately to avoid any bleed through.
  • Let dry.

Step 5: Paint the center of the rug

  • Then re-tape the edges and paint the center of the rug with two coats of white concrete paint.
  • Let dry.


Step 6:  Tape off center

  • Create a checkerboard pattern with FrogTape on the center of the rug.
  • Notice the taping pattern.
  • For the black squares you tape on the outside.  This then creates a pattern for the white squares which are taped on the inside.
  • You could add a small x of tape on the squares that are not to be painted.


Step 7:  Paint squares black

  • Paint the taped-off alternating squares black.
  • Peel off the tape immediately to prevent any bleed-through.
  • Let dry.


Step 8: Let cure for 48 hours

  • Don’t walk on it until you’ve let the concrete paint set.
  • Let the painted runner project cure for at least 48 hours.
  • No more rolled up corners.

No more dirt (you can just sweep it away).

No more rug blowing off the porch.

Just a welcoming farmhouse porch ready for a good book and plenty of sweet tea.

And a lot of extra spaces.    Between the sentences. 🙂

disclosure:  this post was written in collaboration with Frog Tape.  

All opinions on porches and sweet tea and runners are completely my own.  

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Debbie W Debbie W

    I still use two spaces after my sentences. But then again, I also use proper punctuation and spell everything out when I text... which for my 13 yr old daughter is pure agony! LOL

  2. Image for Amanda Amanda

    Hi Karianne, Love this idea, so cute! Regarding the spacing after sentences, this is what happened: proportional typesetting. It used to be that we all typed on typewriters that used monospaced type, where narrow letters such as, "I," took up as much horizontal space as wider letters, like "M." To accommodate the uneven spacing, we began to use two spaces at the end of a period so that sentences were easier to read. Now, all fonts, other than Courier, are once again proportional. One space is enough, according to the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA), whose style guide is generally used for more scientific professional writing. Modern typographers insist that one space is easier to read because text should flow, and you don't want a reader to pause for too long. All that being said, it seems to me that an extra space after a period makes more sense in the South, where we like to take our time and savor things, including each other's thoughts. :)

    1. Image for Peggy Peggy

      Hi Amanda! Thanks for the in depth explanation. So many rules from Typing 101 just don't fit today's technology. Karianne, thanks for another fabulous post! I look forward to every post!

  3. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    Nice job--looks lovely. What type of paint did you use on concrete? Does it have a built in primer? Did you have to seal it with anything to protect from scuff marks? Thanks.

  4. Image for Lori G. Lori G.

    Have been reading your blog for a while now. Love it. Never comment but today you spoke directly to me. I have been wondering for some time now, what happened to the extra space. Thanks to Amanda for the explanation. Up until a year ago I was still putting it in. Love your faux rug and everything you do. Your home is charming as are your stories. The overdue library book is my favorite so far.

  5. Image for Yvonne Yvonne

    Just perfect! I appreciate the tutorial and now have a guide so I can try it on my front porch! As always, I'm inspired by you!

  6. Image for Patty O Patty O

    Oh my gosh I completely agree with you on the sentence space issue! I still type 2 spaces in between. It's too crowded otherwise! :) Great post - love the painted rug idea! Have a great Monday!

  7. Image for Karen Karen

    When teaching keyboarding to 4th graders, I always taught them to put two spaces after the ending punctuation. One day one of my students informed me that it had changed. What? No way! Sure enough... So now I tell them they can do one space. But I still use two...I agree that it looks better and it's hard to change after typing that way for almost 50 years! And besides...phones will automatically give you a period if you double space. But more importantly, that rug is awesome. I have concrete steps and I was thinking about painting a runner going up them like you did a year or so ago, but now I might just paint a rug on the top step...Love it!!!!!

  8. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I'm with you. No one even mentioned they were thinking about eliminating that space. I've also corrected my boss's correspondence by adding the space and he looked at me like I had 3 heads. Who knew??? :) Love the faux rug tutorial and the way it adds to your porch decor. Another super, tremendous, inspiring, creative work of art, KariAnne! So when does the Thistlewood Farms book come out?????? Hugs:), Zolane

  9. Image for mama Sue mama Sue

    Beautiful job. I also do floor cloths on canvas. Thanks for the info on removing tape while wet. You are fabulous!

  10. Image for JFord JFord

    You have just given me an idea for the ramp we just had built for my husband to get into the house.. it will look awesome...but maybe a different design.. maybe I can make it a race track design.. with a finish line!! He is a winner in my book...gotta do some planning.

  11. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Oh I love it!!! Can you come do the front porch of your friend who Has no crafty talents? Just kidding ok not really but knows better. Thanks for sharing! Typing on My front porch sipping a diet Dr Pepper! Yep break Over thank You for sharing and helping me escape each day.:)

  12. Image for Beth Patterson Beth Patterson

    I absolutely love your website! The painted rug is so inspirational! And, I too, will continue to use two spaces after a period. I can't not do it! Too many years of typing lessons. :)

  13. Image for The Vintage Vixen The Vintage Vixen

    Ohhhhh I ADORE the painted rug!!! The black & white checkerboard pattern is my all time favorite!!! Someday I will have one in my dream kitchen, even if I have to follow your example and paint it myself!!! And here's to TWO spaces forever!!! You rock more!!!

  14. Image for veronique83 veronique83

    Il est superbe ce tapis peint en damier noir + blanc. Cela lui donne une allure très chic et est parfaitement assorti aux coussins. J'adore ! Bonne soirée. Véronique83 (Var en France).

  15. Image for Susan Chapman Susan Chapman

    I too would like to know what type of paint did you use and did you seal it with anything? It looks so pretty. Hope it stands the test of time!

  16. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Love both tutorials -- on the spacing and the faux rug. Now I have a tendency to talk fast, especially when I 'm really excited about something -- which is usually most of the time. Spacing is nice . . . it gives you time to get your thoughts together . . . in a coherent manner. When I see spaces, I read every single word. If the paragraphs are long and packed with words, I have a tendency to scan :-( . I know that isn't very nice, but that is the way my brain is wired. Now, are you going to paint a checkerboard rug on the other part of your porch so that you can play chess or checkers?? That would be double duty for the rug on those long, lazy, southern evenings. Big Hugs!!

  17. Image for Regina Regina

    One word for the double- v. single-space conundrum - TWITTER. ;) It took me a while, but I got over the double-space-at-the-end-of-the-sentence problem. When I wrote an entire manuscript and had to "find and delete" that extra space, I learned pretty quickly! LOL!! Love the faux rug!!!! Super cute! I'm looking for 2 actual rugs for my front porch, and I just KNOW I'll find the exact perfect one, 40% off, and there will be two of them. And angels will sing. :) Happy rainy day!

  18. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    A lovely post and a fun project. An aside: thanks for the consultation session...I am making headway with all your wonderful, thoughtful ideas...the going is a tad slow, but moving in the right direction. Thanks!!

  19. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Hi Karianne, this is so fantastic and oh-so bold. You do bold so well-lol. I have several books on faux painting and I'm inspired to pull the out again and re-consider the possibilities. This faux rug is a lovely compliment to your black and white throws and other outdoor decor decor. Great score on the old church pew too!

  20. Image for Debi Claycomb Debi Claycomb

    I absolutely love the runner! It's definitely a project to go on my "To Do" list for this summer! I knew about the extra space rule change, but have chosen to keep on double spacing because it is so much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I like to think my southern grandmothers would approve.

  21. Image for Patty Patty

    Karianne that is absolutely beautiful. I have always wanted to paint a rug on our front porch but . . . . my porch is not covered. This porch has to be painted EVERY year. I have been researching products to put over the paint to see if that would help. I have come up with Waterlox and I am going to try this soon. We are trying to fix up our house so we can sell it and move South (we are in Connecticut) and I think this would really show off the porch. Do you have any experience with Waterlox or could you suggest something else? Thanks.

  22. Image for Maggie Maggie

    Wow what a cute idea.. Love the black and white. What a statement it must make entering hour home.. Cuddos job well done...

  23. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Oh. My. Gosh! (said in my best Janice from Friends impression.) I am pinning and copying and so in love with this painted rug. I love harlequin patterns and have been wracking my brain trying to think of a way to incorporate into my home. I need to dress up my back patio and this idea would be perfect. So, thank you for the inspiration and the tutorial!

  24. Image for Carol Paulus-Kalis Carol Paulus-Kalis

    Love your faux rug!! The black and white checkerboard pattern really enhances the shade of green that you painted the church pew. You definitely do not have your taste in your mouth! You have some pretty classy ideas and incorporate them beautifully. We are so lucky you are so willing to share. Thanks a bunch! Carol P-K

  25. Image for Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns

    Very cute painted rug!! I wish I were brave enough to do this on my own porch! I took an English class last year at the local University (took it online actually)...and it was first time I was forced to write papers using the MLA format and the single space between sentences. I didn't like it. It's a habit of mine since (well, forever) to use two spaces. I have typed this using two spaces and being a paralegal, all my business letters and documents I draft are two spaces instead of one. I think it only matters in college, when you're being graded, seriously...the "spacing police" are not gonna come get me anytime soon ;)

  26. Image for Cindy Cindy

    This is amazing. I would like to do something like this to our deck next year. With the snow and elements through the year I don't know how it will hold up Cindy

  27. Image for Lynnette Martin Lynnette Martin

    I read recently they watch for this on resumes, it surely indicates a candidate has surpassed a certain age! Dang it! I hope I don't have to write another one of those, because that is a habit that is hard to break. I want a wrap around porch! Your's looks awesome!

  28. Image for Shelley Shelley

    You are right. What has happened to the two spaces at after the end of a sentence. And what about that second comma which always came before the famous "and" when listing three three thing. I am sure they are off living happily ever after with the art of cursive penmanship.

  29. Image for Linda J Linda J

    First, I love, love the rug. I also love, love the pillows and black and white color scheme. I am just gonna keep on putting two damn spaces at the end of my sentences. See, I told you. There are some things I just will not change with the times. Some stuff I just like as is.

  30. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    I just love the runner! Great job, KariAnne! I made a similar rug but used a stencil and just one color, along with the porch/concrete color. I love it and the fact that it's no-maintenance!

  31. Image for Gillian Gillian

    Karianne-Love that darling porch. I am an English teacher-so I know a little something about MLA. Proportional spacing is what happened. But it's a hard habit to break. My son constantly reminds me that "archaic rules were there for a reason, but if they have lost their raison d'être then LET THEM GO!" I always tell my students that language changes-it isn't static. But the double spacing was a hard one because it is so very automatic. So there you have it-you can't blame this one on texting-which is beyond annoying. BTW (how's that for annoying texting language?), I love your sense of humor. You are just plain fun! P. S. I wish I liked sweet tea (it's so-well-sweet), because the whole idea of sitting on a shady front porch, drinking sweet tea and laughing with your girlfriends is the very essence of summer.

  32. Image for Gillian Gillian

    Oh, for Shelley... That extra comma is now optional. When I tell my students that, they are horrified. It has been drilled into their heads that there must be a comma before the and, but, in fact, that is a personal choice. I prefer to leave it out-a comma and "and" seems a little excessive to me. But because English teachers love language, (and because we nitpick) you would not believe the amount of debate on this topic.

  33. Image for LZ Cathcart@ The Summery Umbrella LZ Cathcart@ The Summery Umbrella

    Gorgeous! I adore this pattern! I've created a few floor, ceiling, and wall murals before so I can definitely appreciate how much time and patience you had to put into this beauty. Did you put a sealant over it? If not, it'll definitely help keep it's color longer. :)

  34. Image for Laurie Laurie

    Love, Love, Love It! Thank you for sharing with us at Brag About It! Wanted to let you know that we will be featuring your post on the next Brag About It Link Party - party starts Monday at Midnight. Hope you will join us! ~Laurie

  35. Image for Lela Lela

    I am totally with you on the sentence spacing. I have always double spaced since I was a kid and as I've gotten older, I realized that most people have either forgotten about it or are just too lazy to push the space bar one extra time. I stopped doing it on my own blog just because nobody seems to care about it anymore, though. On another note, this is my first time at your blog and it is absolutely beautiful! I love what you have done with the floor and the overall design of your site is stunning. I'd love to invite you to join the Inspiration Thursday Link Party at my blog www.inthenewhouse.com this Thursday. I hope to see you there and I will definitely be a subscriber to Thistlewood Farms. --Lela @ In The New House Designs

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