© Maureena 2016

céad míle fáilte…

Designing & Painting the Floorcloth

Choose whatever designs and/or stencils you would like to use for the piece, and start to lay out the design.  Using acrylic and/or latex paints, paint the background first, and if you have borders, you can draw the lines out and use the green masking tape to use as a guide for painting the borders.  (I use homemade stencils as well as freehand to make my designs and/or artwork on the mats. )

Hemming the  Floorcloth

Remove canvas from frame and square and cut it to size.  Turn over the edge of the mat for a hem (about an inch) and press it down.  Using a sewing machine, sew the hem.  Mitre the edges so it will lay nice and flat.

Applying Protection to the Mat

Once you have finished the designs and the mat has dried for 24 hours, apply  varnish onto the mat . I cannot recommend which varnish you should use to protect the floorcloth.  I suggest you experiment with small scraps of canvas before you settle for the varnish you are going to use.  I have had a lot of disasters with water-based varnish.  If I were in a more humid climate, I believe the water-based varnish would work quite well.   Unfortunately, I'm in a very arid climate and a lot of the varnishes that I used ending up cracking my floorcloths.  I have switched to a very flexible and extremely durable oil based varnish.  It gives my floorcloths an antique look which I quite like.  It is also more in keeping with the tradition of oilcloths.   

Ensuring Safety

Apply the first coat of safety compound onto the back of the mat.  It dries fairly quickly and then apply a second coat.  Let the mat cure for at least a week or so, and then it is ready for use.  

Use and Care

These mats are not suited to laying on top of a carpet as they do not lay nice and flat and so weight is not evenly distributed when walking upon them.  Thus, they may get damaged.  Canvas mats are definitely best suited to hardwood floors, linoleum, tile or just a flat even flooring.  

The mats are easy to clean, with just a damp mop or cloth.  Don't scrub them with anything more abrasive than a soft cloth.  I would suggest that before laying the mat on the floor, that the floor be thoroughly vacuumed to pick up any little particles that might get caught under the mat and cause raised bumps which will eventually damage the mat.  Once the floor is clean, lay the mat down.  You will need to vacuum the mat and the underside once in a while as well and clean the floor underneath because try as we may, particles will find their way on and under your mat.