Handpainted Floor Cloth!

Aug 26, 2021

I had a thought the other day after finding that Lucy had peed on a big 8x10 area rug...AGAIN.

Remember back in the 1990s when everyone was making floor cloths out of canvas? I decided to bring that idea back in my own home. I started with this smaller one just to try it. I never did paint one in the 90s so it was new to me.

But before I go further let me just say:

House training a dog should be easy right? Right. Yes, yes it is. It doesn't take too long and once they understand what we want, they start holding it inside and going outside. Easy. Short.

Except when it's not.

I've never had a dog like Lucy. She's my 6th Border Collie. I've had 10 dogs through my life. It's not like I'm a newbie.

And yet, this one. Lord. I can't get her fully house broken. SHE'S FOUR YEARS OLD! WTH??

Do you guys remember this day? March 2017 when 8 week old Lucy came home. Michael was just 9!

We had no idea what we were in for...

She was, and still is, ridiculously endearing. Funny, sassy, sweet, and so naughty. Got into everything and made me laugh while she was doing it. She will STILL grab things off counters or the table. Just last week she snagged a meatball off a tray on the counter! OMG!

I mean, come on. How cute were these two? Both at that in between stage, bigger bodies, still babies.

So, back to the story. How can this dog STILL not be fully housetrained?? I've done the things, bells on the doors, leashed attached to me, taking her out every hour. She does GREAT. All is well.

Then, just when I've let my guard down, bam!

I guess the good thing is that there are places where she will not go. She considers our bedroom, bathroom, and closet her "crate" so she's safe in there. She will bark if she has to go out in the middle of the night. She understands the concept obviously. Such a little weirdo. However the area rugs in the house are occasionally fair game to her. Argh.

I thought to myself, "Self, maybe we get rid of all the area rugs and just go with some handpainted floor cloths instead? Sealed with polyurethane, they are Lucy proof!"

So I trotted off to Lowe's Hardware to see what they had for canvas drop cloths. I found this brand:

The reason it's a "safety drop cloth" is because it has rubber nubs all over the back side which keeps it from slipping. Huh, that would also keep ME from slipping or from having to add a non-slip rug pad. I bought two small ones, 3.5'x4'. (By the way, I tried to pull that label off but it was coming off in tiny pieces. It just wasn't worth the effort. I painted right over it!)

Cool idea huh? Plus it already had hemmed edges!

I bought a quart of white interior house paint to use as the base. Paint is so expensive now! Next time I'm there I'll ask about "oops/mistinted" paints. I remember decades ago they used to have a whole shelf for super cheap. I wonder if they still do?

I just mixed the house paint with some acrylic craft paint I already had to get the background color I was looking for. I spread plastic on my art studio table and rolled (using a small white foam roller) the first coat on. I was surprised how much paint I had to use, the canvas isn't a super tight weave and it really sucked the paint up. By the time I finished the first part was dry enough to roll another coat on—that coat went much faster.

I put some darker and lighter paint in the middle and rolled it out, kind of a starburst effect. I was really just fooling around, I didn't have any thought about what the finished thing was even going to look like. I figured if I didn't like it, I'd paint over it. The more paint, the stiffer it gets which is just fine! It's wonky looking in this picture because there are a bunch of craft paint bottles underneath to allow air to flow all around it and help it dry. You can see I'm not being picky about wrinkles and lines. I was just playing to see what happens. Also, I didn't wash it to get the sizing out of the fabric, which is always recommended by everyone online. I figured, I won't be washing this thing EVER so what does it matter?

Using more craft paint I drew on a big loose yellow flower. I wasn't worried about perfection, I wanted to play like a little kid! :-) I filled in each petal with the yellow.

I added some hot pink and white to my paper plate palette, dipped my brush into all of them and added that to the petals. I used a long liner brush to add the black outlines and dots. I took a larger brush dipped in yellow and flung it around on the blue background. I had to be more careful than I would have liked so I didn't get it on the walls! Still not enough color on the canvas though...

I took some white, pink, and black and added some interest between the petals—more loose swishy lines and dots. I thought I was done.

Then I stepped back and decided to add thicker black and white lines to make the whole thing stand out a little more. The next day I put two coats of water based polyurethane. If it wasn't so stinky (and I so sensitive) I'd have put a few more but whatever. I'm sure it will be fine. I can always add more if it needs it. Wipe it clean and add another coat. You kinda can't go wrong.

So, what do you think? Pretty fun and easy right? And if someone has an accident on it, I can just wipe it up, just like the wood floor. Easy peasy.

So, do we like it here at the front door? Tessa thought it was a good spot. Also, she wanted to be sure I told you guys that SHE isn't the one who goes potty in the house. She says SHE is a GOOD dog.

It's a little too square for this space but I sure do like it's cheerfulness right at the front door!

Or should it be in the laundry?

I think I will just have to make another cheery one to go at the front door, maybe something larger and more rectangular, and then move the flower to the laundry :-)

I hope your day is as cheerful as this little painted floor cloth!

Love to all from the Mother Ranch,



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