How to Make a DIY Boot Mat

Keep wet, muddy footprints outside and add a splash of color to your entryway by building a vibrant DIY boot mat that is so charming you’ll never want to get it dirty. Learn how to build and paint it with this great advice from Rust-Oleum.

Step 1: Prepare for Work

Prepare for the job by first choosing your workspace. It is recommended that you use a workbench or a drop cloth-covered table in a well-ventilated area—preferably outdoors.

Step 2: Build the Boot Mat

Now you will build the mat. You will need at least three 1”x4”x8’ boards. Use a circular saw to cut eight pieces of wood to 24” in length. Cut one piece of wood to 36” in length. Then cut all 9 pieces of wood in half—from 4” wide to 2” wide. This will give you 16 pieces of 1”x2” wood that are 24” in length and two pieces of 1”x2” wood that are 36” in length.

Step 3: Sand the Wood Pieces

Sand each piece of wood lightly with a medium-grit sandpaper to remove splinters and to smooth it out and prepare it for painting.

Step 4: Prime the Wood Pieces

Now, you’ll want to prime the wood to ensure your paint adheres properly. To get started, first shake your can of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover primer for one minute after the mixing ball begins to rattle. Then, hold the can 10 to 16 inches away from the wood, and spray the primer in a steady back-and-forth motion. Apply two or more light coats of the primer to the wood, allowing a few minutes in between each coat.

Step 5: Paint the Wood

Now that your wood is primed, you can start spray painting. The 24” pieces of wood will be the boot mat slats. To get the look pictured above, use Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover spray paint in the following colors: Satin Oasis Blue, Satin Poppy Red, Satin Lemon Grass, Satin French Lilac, Satin Granite, Satin Fire Orange, and Satin Green Apple. Shake the can of your first color of spray paint for one minute after the mixing ball begins to rattle. Then, holding the can 10 to 16” from the surface of the wood, spray the paint in a steady, back-and-forth motion. Apply two to three coats a few minutes apart. Repeat these steps with the other paint colors.

The longer, 36” pieces of wood will be the base of your boot mat. To paint these, first shake your can of Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint in the color Carbon Mist, for one minute after the mixing ball begins to rattle. Then, hold the can eight to 12 inches away from the wood and spray two to three light coats in a steady, sweeping motion. Allow a few minutes in between each coat. Let all of your wood dry completely for 24 hours before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Assemble the Mat Pieces

Once all the wood pieces have dried for 24 hours, set up your 24” pieces so that there’s an even amount of space in between each board, and the boards all together are no longer than 36” long. It might help to use your 36” piece of wood as a guide to align the boards. At this time, you should also make sure your boards are in the desired color pattern. Once your 24” boards are aligned, use an electric drill and wood screws to attach the 36” pieces to the backs of the smaller pieces.

Step 7: Apply Topcoat

Now that your mat is assembled, you’ll want to apply a spar varnish to protect it from the elements. Stir (do not shake) a can of Rust-Oleum Ultimate Spar Varnish thoroughly with a stir stick. Using a clean, high-quality synthetic bristle brush or a foam brush, apply a coat of the varnish to each board, using even strokes. Apply three coats of the varnish, waiting two to three hours in between each coat. Once each piece of wood is coated, set the boot mat aside to cure for three days before subjecting it to normal use.

Once your boot mat is completely cured, set it outside your door to keep snow, mud, ice, and water from getting tracked through your house.

Helpful Tip

Feeling anxious about muddying up your brand new boot mat? Use Rust-Oleum Boot & Shoe Water Repelling Treatment on your footwear. You can eliminate the mess before it even reaches your front door. Your boots will appreciate it too.

Great job! Your new boot mat will help keep your entryways clean and bring a pop of color to your doorstep season after season.

Project Shopping List

Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.