Freshen up a porch or patio with a simple weekend painting project. Turn a drop cloth into a custom-colored rug for a touch of outdoor decor.
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Wash and iron the drop cloth until it's smooth. Cut a 56-in x 80-in piece. Measure and mark a 4-in border around the entire cloth. Apply painter's tape along the marks.
Paint the entire center with two coats of white (Bistro White shown) and let dry overnight.
Download the sample striping pattern or sketch your own pattern and color combinations. Using a straightedge and pencil, draw parallel diagonal lines between the tape strips. To make parallel lines, place one leg of a carpenter's square against your first line and, along the other leg, mark the distance you want from the line. Repeat as needed to guide your straightedge. (Our stripes measured 2 inches to 10 inches wide.) Then lay the straightedge on those marks and draw the next line.
Apply painter's tape along the pencil marks. Make sure the tape is on the inside of any area that will be left white. Where colors will be placed next to each other, you can create one large area, paint that the lighter of the two colors, and later add tape over that painted area for the second stripe. Otherwise, mark stripes far enough apart that you can paint separate stripes, remove the old tape to add new tape strips, and paint the remaining colors.
Paint between the tape marks to create stripes. (This can also be done with a small roller.)
Remove the tape. Using a small brush, touch up any edges where paint seeped beneath the tape edges.
Flip the rug over, fold the fabric 4 inches from the edges and iron flat. (Avoid ironing any painted areas, or protect the iron by placing scrap fabric over painted areas before ironing.) Snip the corners as needed to help the folded fabric lay flat. Then hold the seams together using lengths of duct tape.
Allow the paint to dry for one week before exposing the rug to heavy traffic. To keep the rug from slipping or bunching up beneath the legs of a chair, use pieces of double-sided carpet tape around the outside edges to anchor it in place. When you're finished, store leftover paint in a cool, dry place. Use again next year to make an all-new rug for only the cost of a new drop cloth. Because you're using indoor paint, this rug works best in a sheltered area such as a porch or sun room.