The following information is meant to aid the artist in developing a floorcloth. This is by no means an ideal use of an acrylic artist's paint. Floorcloth application is perhaps one of the most physically demanding situations for which any paint can be used. We suggest limited use of a floorcloth as a functional item, or that the purchaser of such an article be made aware of its limited life span in everyday situations.
Measuring the life expectancy of any functional item directly relates to the amount of use and abuse it is exposed to during its life. Even the finest, most wellmade furniture cannot be expected to survive in a harsh environment. Refinishing is not an option for a floorcloth, and even using the finest materials available will not ensure that it can last a lifetime if daily use imbeds grime into its surface, if it is cleaned with harsh abrasives, or if it is rolled and unrolled frequently.
Before getting started, consider the demands of such a system
The support and paints must be soft and flexible for purposes of rolling/unrolling and transporting the piece; yet they must also be hard and tough enough to stand up to being scuffed, kicked and walked upon on a daily basis. In most cases, the floorcloth will not remain pristine for very long.
Most art materials made today, including acrylic and oil paints, are high quality products that are made to be lightfast and permanent when used for fine art. They are not, however, designed to stand up to the physically demanding requirements of flooring material.
As with quality furniture, it is extremely difficult to determine how long a functional floorcloth will last. Make it clear with clients the nature of the material, and the care that is required to make this art form a lasting treasure. Guarantees regarding the lifetime of finished floorcloths should be avoided.
Cotton canvas or other suitable heavyweight fabric material. The best material is #8 cotton duck canvas, due to its thickness. Lighterweight materials are less durable and more fragile. Raw canvas should be at least 4-6 inches larger than the intended dimensions of the finished floorcloth.
GOLDEN White Gesso with GAC100 added (ratios of 4:1 to 1:1 of gesso to GAC 100). GAC 100 is added to increase the flexibility and resiliency of the gesso. GAC 100 has proven to be best suited for this application due to its flexibility; however, GOLDEN Polymer Medium or Soft Gel can be used for this purpose as well.
Golden Artist Colors Heavy Body, Matte, or Fluid Colors will suffice. Adding GOLDEN GAC 500 (a hard, yet flexible acrylic medium) will give the paints a physically tougher film that is more resistant to abrasion. This should not be regarded as the final step, as even adding the GAC 500 will not provide adequate protection against everyday, functional wear. This level of protection can only be provided by a varnish designed specifically for flooring purposes.
Once the painted surface is sufficiently dry (1-4 days), an appropriate sealer varnish or topcoat needs to be applied if the piece is to be functional. This final coating must be hard enough to withstand the rigors of everyday abrasion from traffic, and able to be cleaned on a regular basis with standard cleaning materials. It must also be soft enough to remain flexible without cracking or peeling off when the floorcloth is rolled or moved.
Golden Artist Colors, Inc. does not recommend one particular brand of sealer/varnish over another. We suggest contacting a reputable local hardware store or furniture/flooring specialty store that can provide a product that is nonyellowing,will remain hard and durable and most importantly, flexible. Polyurethanes and urethanes are most likely the best types of products, but there is a great deal of difference between each manufacturers' products. We suggest that you not only consult local professional store personnel, but also contact the manufacturer of the suggested product and test thoroughly for appropriateness before actually applying onto any floorcloth intended for sale.
Steps for preparing the support:
Once the painted surface is dry (1-4 days), apply the varnish/sealer to protect the floorcloth. The following are suggestions/guidelines for applying this topcoat. These are just general guidelines and are not intended to replace specific instructions provided by the varnish manufacturer.
Once the Topcoat is completely cured, you are ready to finish the edges.
It is important that the edge of the canvas to be turned under is the exact border between the primed/painted/topcoated area and the raw canvas. That is to say, the crease should occur at the very edge of the painted area, but not through any painted areas.
We recommend the following order of steps:
Shipping floorcloths should be done with extreme caution. We advise making sure the painting is at room temperature (60ºF and above) for several hours before rolling. Allow several more hours (at room temperature!) for the floorcloth to adjust to being rolled up before transporting. This will allow the floorcloth to relax and adjust to the space inside the tube. This is especially important when exposing the painting to temperatures below 50º Fahrenheit.
Whenever possible, permanently mounting the floorcloth onto a rigid support (i.e. plywood, masonite) will enhance its durability. This will prevent curling of edges and may reduce cracks from curls being bent over when walked on.
The above information is based on research and testing done by Golden Artist Colors, Inc., and is provided as a basis for understanding the potential uses of the products mentioned. Due to the numerous variables in methods, materials and conditions of producing art, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. cannot be sure the product will be right for you. Therefore, we urge product users to test each application to ensure all individual project requirements are met.