How to Draw a Compass Rose

Updated on February 4, 2018
How to Paint a Compass Rose
How to Paint a Compass Rose

How to Paint the Compass Rose

If you want to paint a compass rose, you'll find an easy tutorial to create one of your own below. I designed one on the floor of a swimming pool. It looked really cool from the diving board, but I had to remind the kids that if they dived for the bulls-eye on it, they'd hit the bottom where it sloped up to the shallow end. Not all of them heeded my warning. The rose still looked great, though!

I used a rubber-based paint for this particular product. It used to be a state-of-the-art product, but I couldn't find many color options back then. Today's epoxy-based paints are even tougher and available in any color you want!

1. Draw Two 12' Legs

2. Draw Two More 6' Legs

3. Make Marks at 6" up the 6' Legs

4. Draw the Sides of the Four N/S/E/W Legs to the Marked Points

5. Draw Marks 6" up the Point Edges from the First Marked Points

6. Draw the Sides of the Short Points From the Tip to the New Marks

7. Paint the Left Half of Each Point a Light Color

8. Paint the Right Half of Each Point a Darker Color

Painting Tips

To create this lovely pattern, keep these pointers in mind for a successful result!

  • Clean and powerwash the floor to prepare the surface. Let it dry for a couple of days.
  • Paint the whole floor with a textured paint. This will act as a background.
  • Next, mark out the compass as shown in the drawings and draw it on the floor.
  • Mask off the left half of each star point and paint it a light color of your choice.
  • Use two or three thin coats.Then, use boxcutters to cut the paint away from the masking tape before peeling it.
  • Repeat this on the right half of each point and paint it with a complementary color color that is darker.
  • After completing the paint job, allow everything to cure for 24 hours (or however long the paint manufacturer recommends). Finish the project by sealing the floor to protect the paint!

Questions & Answers

  • How to draw the 16 cardinal point?

    Just divide each of the 8 points by two and add either single lines or do the way you did with the 4 basic directions to make 8.

  • I see the drawing has black lines outlining each color segment. Do you recommend doing that in the pool?

    You can do it either way. Do the outlines if you want it to pop. If you want it more subtle, you can draw the lines in pencil or chalk and cover it over with the paint. I used a lighter blue so it didn't jump out at you.

  • Do we have to paint the compass rose when creating it?

    You can draw it, but if you want to make it permanent, you probably should paint it on.

  • Can somebody convert this into metric measurements?

    There are plenty of places on the net that let you put in English measurements and converts them to the metric system.

    For instance:


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    Post Comment
    • profile image

      yo moma 

      5 weeks ago

      it really good

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      This worked well! Thank you so much for posting this.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      i love it is really cool

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      This is so easy and cool even my friend like it.

    • unvrso profile image

      Jose Juan Gutierrez 

      5 years ago from Mexico City

      Thanks for your comments!

    • profile image

      Steve Shipton 

      5 years ago

      An excellent step by step design for a compass rose. I have added a link to my article about the history of the compass

    • unvrso profile image

      Jose Juan Gutierrez 

      7 years ago from Mexico City

      Very clever way to draw a compass rose!

      Voted up!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was drawing a map for my history project and I did not know how to draw a nice compass rose. Then I found this AWESOME page and I made a really nice compass. :)

    • profile image 

      7 years ago


    • twayneking profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      Simply label the long points N, S, E and W, then label the short points NE, SE, SW and NW. It's already drawn with enough points to indicate the intermediate directions like southwest and such.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i wanted a compose rose with direction like sw nw like that can you please do that i need your help

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i loved how you draw

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      this is so cool even my boy friend likec this

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It rock!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      it is easy

    • twayneking profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      This is relatively simple as far compass roses go. You can add a circle and extend the points to get as fancy as you want. I mean if you want simple make a big cross and be done with it. This design works well on a floor or the bottom of the pool or on a wall or something. It's a bit of work, but well worth it because the effect is more three dimensional, less flat.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      little too much work doncha think???????

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! I had an H.W. assingment due like very soon and I did not know where to find the compass. I looked it up and here I am now, with a perfect compass and my H.W. assingment done and ready. Thanks! This is an awesome website! Make more!

    • profile image

      9 years ago

      damn it


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