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Canvas floor cloth canvas preparation

Preparing a Canvas Floor Cloth for painting


Prepping your canvas 

So you’re ready to make your canvas floor cloth.

Prepare your canvas correctly and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches when it comes time to paint. Now that you have your raw cotton canvas ( check out https://laurelsoriginals.comcanvas-floor-cloths-need-good-canvas/  )

you’re ready to prep the canvas by preshrinking it.

canvas floor cloth
Looking for flaws

First, inspect the canvas if you did not have a chance in the store. I buy canvas from a factory in long rolls and don’t get to see the canvas in its entirety.

 I lay it out and look for knots and runs. Some small knots are ok but if there is a large knot or run then it’s best to avoid using that part.

Then we preshrink the canvas with hot water. This is vital to preparing the canvas. If you sew it without preshrinking and then apply a water-base paint to raw canvas it will warp and wrinkle and do all sorts of weird things.

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Getting Started.

We place plastic on the table. If you have a long roll and are cutting a piece for a specific size allow for 8” – 12” for shrinkage. Do not cut the binding on the edge of the canvas. The shrinkage will only apply to the length if you keep the binding intact.

You can use 1 or 2 tubes. You lay out the entire piece and wet the upper part of the canvas about 10”. Then start to roll the canvas on the tube wetting the underside that is now being rolled on the tube.

Wet the upper part, roll and wet the underside and use the water as hot as you can. When you’re finished you can lay it out on the table and put tubes underneath to allow for air to pass.

canvas floorcloth
Cotton Canvas Drying in the Sun

I lay mine down on my grassy lawn.

I weigh down the sides and corners with weights (I use plastic bottles filled with water).  This ensures that the canvas lays flat and the wind doesn’t blow it around and make wrinkles.

Then roll it back up and clean with a lint roller to remove dirt and lint.

Now you have a preshrunk canvas to cut and sew your canvas floor cloth. We cut the binding off the edges before measuring.

Here is a short video of Gretel preshrinking our 60” wide canvas. She likes to use two tubes. It takes up less space on the table because you are unrolling from one tube onto another. Smart girl!

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I hope this answers some of your questions. Feel free to comment below and ask any questions you have about making a canvas floor cloth. And if you want a monthly email with Q&A and more information about making canvas rugs you can sign up HERE.


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