Friday, October 9, 2015

The Painted School Rug

We moved this summer...
the cows, the chickens, the ducks, the dog and cats, the bearded dragon,
and the people.

Of course, with moving comes new rooms with new needs.

The school room has beautiful new wood flooring
and my kids are students of various ages and mess-making ranges,
and I knew paints and play dough was still in our future.
The price of large rugs was a bit too much for my budgeting,
besides the fact that rug isn't always the best choice for paint or play dough either,
so I read up about painted cloth rugs and decided it was worth a try.

I bought a  9 x 12 Heavy Duty Canvas Drop Cloth  at the hardware store for about $27.
I laid it out on the living room floor since there was enough room there to work.
I put plastic liners underneath (I think I had an old shower liner, cheap party table cloth, whatever I could find to fit the purpose).

(Tip: if I were to do this again, I would iron it and sew the edging under to give it a finished look before laying it out to paint it.  I made the mistake of thinking the wetness of the paint would draw out the wrinkles, but it did not completely; I also thought I would be able to do the edging after the rug was complete, but also not an easy task once the layers of paint have added their bulk).

I then painted a base coat of flat interior wall paint: whatever I had left from the old house.  (This is a great way to get rid of old paint you don't want to store any more.)
The color was a dull greenish gray by the time I had mixed all the left-over colors together.
I think it would have been even thicker if I had done another coat,
 but I used up all the paint I had and didn't feel like buying more, 
so, once the base coat was dry,
I moved on to painting a coat of off white semi-gloss interior wall paint as the base color of the rug
(I don't think it matters whether it is semi-gloss: it is just what I had already).
The off white paint was allowed to dry.

The fun part of painting the colors on the rug came next.

I looked at rugs I liked on blogs, pinterest, magazines, and finally decided on a variety of stripes and designs.

I was in a hurry to get the rug done, so I just painted the stripes on without any guides,
also using house paints that I wanted to use up.
When my daughter kept telling me she really wanted to help,
I pulled out the frog tape and laid out a few guides so she could paint some stripes. 
This was a school rug so perfection was lower on the grade than creativity.

She did a great job, it helped speed the process up with both of us at work,
and we both feel good about the rug we made.

Once the rug was colorful from end to end and dried completely,
we dragged it out on the porch since it was a sunny day
(we brought the protective plastic for the edges).

I then painted water-based polyurethane in a nice thick coat over the rug.

It dried quickly and I was able to put another coat on a little later that day
(I used about 2 1/2 quarts of polyurethane).

 It fit perfectly in our new school room.

The rug has already gone through a spill of paint, some squished in play dough,
and a birthday party mishap of spilled nail polish.

Amazingly enough, I have been able to mop the rug as I do the rest of the floor,
and the paint came up, the play dough has been removed,
and the nail polish blends pretty well with some of the stripes.

For less than $100, we have a rug that works well for us in our busy room.

 Thanks for stopping by.
I really do hope to be around a bit more now that the past 6 months of packing, cleaning, clearing, sorting, and settling in have finally passed and I feel like I can breathe again.

I am so ready to have some art time back in my life!

What have you been up to lately?