Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Canvas Rugs"

These might not be fiber rugs but they are certainly in the same spirit I believe.  I finished these two rugs about a month ago and they are for my kitchen.

The smaller rug was my first attempt at painting canvas which was done on a good heavy grade canvas from Dharma which I had laying around from making some canvas wool strip carriers.  The large rug was done on a very heavy grade canvas ($$$) especially for painting canvas rugs.  They were fun to paint, challenging, time consuming, educational and satisfying.

Thoughts on canvas rugs - hmm, use a good quality canvas, not necessarily the heaviest you can buy.  If you decide to use a lighter weight canvas make sure it has no creases in it because they will NEVER, I repeat NEVER come out no matter how much ironing, etc. you try!  Buy the canvas on rolls and keep smooth.  Apply multiple coats of gesso, say 3-4 liberally.  Pick your design, lay it out with a very light pencil - everything else seems to smudge all over the place and hard to cover with the paint applications.  Use any good quality latex flat interior paints and be prepared to paint your design at least twice and maybe three times with touch-ups!  You could also use acrylics but I found the latex paints to have a greater range of colors that I did not have to premix and sold in smaller quantities at Lowes.  When dry, apply at least four coats of a polyurethane to cover and seal well.

One caveat - Do not drop dishwashing detergent on your rug, and if you do, make sure you wipe up or it will eat right through the polyurethane and some of the color!  Don't ask me how I know that tip!  One last note, there are many ways to "fix" the hems and turn the corners and I suggest trying various methods on some small samples.  The heaviest canvases will leave ridges, unavoidable, but the corners are really the biggest problem areas.  You can sew and/or glue.  I preferred the glue method, faster, easier with a large rug and quicker!  You decide.


Gayle said...

I LOVE your painted floorcloths! I have made a couple of them myself, although it was years ago, and I used scraps of lineoleum and painted on the wrong wide of them. Worked great and they cleaned up really good.

Van Huss Fine Art said...

Gayle, thanks for stopping by for a look. I too have done painted vinyl mats. One I did to cover a lovely oak table that I wanted to stay "lovely" in my breakfast room! Very simple one color of dark red with big blue stars at each eating spot with some writing inside the stars.