Bathroom Design From Los Angeles
An Inexpensive Do-It-Yourself Project
Since most floorcloths are painted by professional artisans, they can be quite expensive to purchase. However, the materials are inexpensive and readily available in art supply stores and there are many painting techniques easily learned by a novice. Floorcloths are made from pretreated artists’ canvas that you buy on a roll and then cut to the desired size. Some art stores will sell you precut sizes.
The best way to start is with a manageable size, such as two feet by four feet, which is perfect for a mat you might place inside a doorway or in front of the kitchen sink. It’s also a good size for a powder room. The background can be simply painted, or if you want a more interesting background, try a faux finish technique. Once you’ve created a textured background you can leave it as is or add a stencil design to the center or a border design around the edges.
Sponging Floorcloths Like a Pro
In our studio we often sponge-paint the background of our floorcloths with a subtle, but contrasting color. For example, if the background is lemon yellow, we might use a soft linen-white glaze for a cloudlike sponge painting.
1. Cut the mat two inches larger, all around, than the desired finished size. Paint the front of the canvas with your choice of latex paint color. Let dry.
2. Next apply a glaze. For best results use a glaze that is a shade darker or lighter than the base paint. For example, you might use a red base coat with a dark green glaze on top.
3. If the mat is small (two feet by four feet), coat the entire mat with the glaze mixture. If it’s quite large, work in sections since the object is to apply a faux technique while the glaze is wet.
4. The glaze is translucent and will stay wet for quite a while so you can redo it if you mess up. The easiest technique is sponging, so this might be a good way to treat a first project. Using a damp, natural, sea sponge, pounce the sponge over the glaze to achieve a texture. Continue to do this until you have a subtle, blended background. You don’t want big splotches. Go over and over the glaze with a soft rolling motion, changing the angle of your hand with each pounce. Add more of the glaze if needed.