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Painted Drop Cloth Tablecloth

Use paint to transform a drop cloth into a festive tablecloth that livens up outdoor dining for picnics, parties and special occasions.

Dropc loth tablecloth on an outdoor picnic table

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Paintbrushes
  • 1" painter's tape


  • 4' x 5' canvas drop cloth, #197749
  • Valspar Signature paint, 1 quart each: Elizabethan Yellow #3009-1, Whipped Strawberr #1006-1A, Orange Crush #CI 224

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

Wash, dry, and iron the drop cloth. On one side, measure 4" in from the edge of the cloth and apply painter's tape along the length of the cloth.

Step 2

Start the bottom border at one end with a half triangle in the corner. Measure 3" along the fabric edge and mark with a pencil. Mark a diagonal line from the 4" line to the end of the 3" line. Place painter's tape along the diagonal line to mark off, as shown in Step 1 of the Tablecloth Pattern.

Step 3

Measure 6" from where the other edge of the painter's tape meets the 4" line. Place a piece of painter's tape in a diagonal line so that the two pieces form a point at the edge of the cloth, creating an inverted triangle (Step 2 of the Tablecloth Pattern).

Step 4

Measure another 6" from where the other edge of this piece of tape meets the edge of the cloth. Place a piece of painter's tape in a diagonal line so that the two pieces form a point at the 4" line, creating an upright triangle (Step 3 of the Tablecloth Pattern). Mark off the rest of the border, alternating triangles and inverted triangles. End the pattern with a half or partial triangle, then paint the triangles. (We used Whipped Strawberry for the triangles and Orange Crush for the inverted triangles.) Let dry, then remove all tape.

Step 5

Place a piece of painter's tape across the cloth so that one edge touches the 4" line and the other edge laps over the triangles. From the 4" line, measure another 4" and mark with painter's tape (Step 4 of the Tablecloth Pattern). Paint the space between these lines. (We used Elizabethan Yellow.) Let dry, then repeat for the opposite edge of the cloth.

Good to Know

For a larger drop cloth, repeat the pattern until you reach the end of the drop cloth.