Even though the rug was hideously bland, it did have a couple of things going for it: it was big (8' x 10') and it had a really flat loop (like a fake sisal rug). The flat loop made it possible to use paint instead of dye for the stripes.
Here's what I did:
1. Measure. I knew that I wanted three zig zags stretching across the rug, so I measured out the spacing of the peaks, and drew three chalk lines across the rug to make sure the peaks were perfectly spaced.
2. Tape out the first peaks. To get the first peak, I used my 450 triangle (from my drafting kit - leftover from engineer days! haha!) If you don't have the triangle, just measure it out. For tape, I used 2 strips of the 2" green painters tape, and overlapped it just a little bit.
3. Continue taping. To keep the spacing perfect without measuring every single time, I made myself a little "jig" by overlapping two short pieces of tape. I used the jig to make sure that the spaces were the same width as the stripes.
4. Still taping... Taping takes forever, but it's kind of fun seeing the pattern emerge.
5. Meanwhile... this is what Beckett was doing while I was taping forever!
6. Paint. Finally it is time to paint! I used Benjamin Moore latex floor paint in black. It took most of a gallon. I did one coat, let it dry overnight, and then did the second coat the next day.
*** update for people who have been wondering - I used small roller (about 3'' wide) ***
7. Remove tape. Voila, you are done! I let it dry for a full day before we started walking on it.