Make your own canvas floor cloth in 4 easy-to-follow steps

November 3, 2015

If you're looking for a colourful and unique alternative to an area rug, why not make your own painted floor cloth? Follow these steps to decorate your unfinished floor with a custom-painted piece of your own design.

Make your own canvas floor cloth in 4 easy-to-follow steps

1. Gather your supplies

  • Don't purchase unprimed canvas at an art supply store because it's going to be too lightweight. Instead, shop online for a durable, heavyweight floor cloth canvas. Makes sure the canvas you select comes with a special crack-resistant white primer. It should also have a sewn hem with mitred corners and lie flat. Canvas floor clothes can be ordered in custom shapes and sizes to fit any area in your home.
  • Use high-quality acrylic enamel paint because it remains flexible and resists cracking when dry. Look for paints with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to reduce indoor pollution.
  • If you’re using a stencil, you'll need stencil brushes and spray mount to secure it. You'll also need acrylic polyurethane for sealing after painting.
  • Have other art brushes in various sizes and measuring tape on hand.

2. Getting started

  • Find a well-ventilated work area where the floor cloth can lie undisturbed for long periods of time to dry between steps.
  • On the unprimed side, iron the floor cloth and then paint the hem with one of your base colours. This will set the hem stitches and keep it from fraying.
  • After the hem has fully dried, turn the cloth over and paint the entire surface with two coats of your base colour. This step prepares the canvas for an even application of paint when you paint your design. Allow it to dry overnight.

3. Paint your design

  • If you're using a stencil, find the centre of your floor cloth and begin stencilling there. Use spray adhesive to hold the stencil in place, and use stencil brushes to apply the paint.
  • If you're painting freehand, be sure that you have fully planned your design on paper ahead of time. That will ensure you know exactly where to put your paint on the floor cloth.
  • Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before sealing.

4. Seal the floor cloth

  • Use a brush to apply sealant to the entire surface of the floor cloth. You're going to need at least three coats of sealant. Make sure to let each one dry for at least 12 hours.
  • Let the floor cloth cure for at least a week before placing it in the room you’ve chosen. Even if the paint feels ready, giving it time to fully dry and cure reduces the likelihood of cracking.

A custom floor cloth makes a stylish design statement. It’s a creative conversation piece you can be proud to display in your home.

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