Friday, June 10, 2011

Alfresco Floorcloth

Transform your deck into an outdoor living room with a colorful floorcloth.

Get a jump on spring by creating your own painted patio rug. Go for an upscale look with dramatic color combinations and large stencils featuring ornate flourishes. Then coat your floorcloth with clear polyurethane to make it waterproof. Who knew you could have such a pretty rug outside?

Primed heavy-duty "10 ounce" cotton canvas, 40 inches by 52 inches
Renaissance Tulip StenSource stencil
2" Floral Flourishes Border StenSource stencil
7" Balmoral Border StenSource stencil
7" Acanthus Border StenSource stencil
Cadmium Yellow Light acrylic paint, 4-ounce tube
Cadmium Red Medium acrylic paint, 4-ounce tube
Turquoise Green acrylic paint, 4-ounce tube
Ultramarine Blue acrylic paint, 4-ounce tube
Water-based clear polyurethane, 1-pint can
Elmer's carpenter glue
High-quality, synthetic bristle paintbrush, 2-inches wide
Foam stenciling sponge or spouncer, 1.25" size
Blue painter’s masking tape
Colored chalk

Step One
Paint the entire surface of the canvas yellow and let dry. Use the tape to mask off the border, then paint the border red-orange. Create the decorative pattern by taping each stencil down and applying the paint with the spouncer. Dab small amounts of paint into the openings, being careful not to get the paint under the stencil. (For best results, wash each stencil between applications with soap and water.)

Step Two
When the paint is dry, seal the canvas with the clear polyurethane using the bristle paintbrush. Allow the polyurethane to dry for at least 2 hours. Flip the canvas over and seal the underside. Let the canvas dry for at least 2 more hours.

Step Three
To create a tidy hem, turn the floorcloth face down. Starting at the corner, measure 12 inches up each side and mark with the chalk. Draw a diagonal line from one chalk mark to the other. Cut the corner off along the chalk line. Repeat for all four corners. Fold each side in 6 inches and crease, then glue the edge of the hem down with the carpenter's glue. Let the glue set for 30 minutes. Finally, place your new floorcloth on your patio and fire up the grill!

No-Slip Tip: Keep your rug from becoming a flying carpet with a few strips of anti-slip tape. You can find it at hardware stores.

Canvas Primer: If you can't find primed canvas, buy regular canvas and prime it yourself with 2 coats of gesso or white latex primer.

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