How To Make A Floorcloth

Leonardo's delight

Leonardo’s delight

Canvas is the recommended material to use when making a floorcloth.  If you can find primed canvas by the yard it works best.  An art supply store is often the best place to find this product.

1.  Decide on a finished size and add 6″ to each side.  ie: a finished product of 24″ X 30″ would be cut 36″ x 42″.

2.  Cut the canvas and tape the edges down to a firm surface.  This will help keep the shape from being distorted when finished.  If the material is not preprimed,  prime the side showing with either a Gesso product or a wall primer-let this side dry and turn the canvas over, tape and prime this side.

3.  On a sheet of paper the same size draw out the design you want to use and explore color combinations.  Use almost any design you like, freehand, stencils, tracings and/or taped off shapes.  Even specialty papers glued on using gel medium will work.  Often if you use a variety of design products it makes for a more interesting and dynamic floorcloth.  In the example below I painted 2 coats of a base paint and then stenciled using a very large stencil and a different color-then the beets were done as a freehand design.

4.  Paint the top side with 2 coats of your base paint.  It can be house or wall paint (not gloss) or an artists acrylic paiint.  If you choose a very dark color it can make a dramatic design but all of the other designs on top will need to first be painted white and then the final color choice in order to show up properly.  Always have a bucket of water and a rag handy for clean up and fine tuning.

5.  Let the first coat dry and then add further layers of color and design as needed.  Be sure to sign your piece.

6.  Top coat the floorcloth with  3 coats of satin finish polyurethane, sanding between coats.  Let dry thoroughly.

7.  Finish by folding edges over.  The corners can be finished 2 ways, either fold them like a package or trim away excess enough to butt up both edges after folding in both sides.  When you have folded the sides use a hard edge drawn along the fold to reinforce the sharp edge, then you can glue.   I recommend a well ventilated area, rubber cement applied to both sides of the material ( the folded area and the flat area)  DO ONLY ONE SIDE AT A TIME.  Reinforce the folded edge with weighted material or with yard sticks on either side and held together with clothespins.  It is good to leave the floorcloth to dry approx. 6 hours to get a good permanent seal.

8.  This floorcloth should last a very long time, sweep when needed and rinse with warm soapy water.  ENJOY!!!!