i should be mopping the floor: Painting Drop Cloths for Drapes

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Painting Drop Cloths for Drapes


This whole project started out of color-matching-desperation. I'm now set on incorporating the aqua blue from the $5 can of Oops paint {that I used here and here...and will also use on my piano} into all of the main areas of our home.

And I seriously couldn't find the right shade of aqua blue on any panels or even fabric...anywhere! So...I did what I normally do to get a good-looking window treatment...something crazy and bizarre and completely outside of the box. {Seriously if you follow this site regularly, you haven't seen a "normal" window treatment yet...I've got hot-glued cafe curtains, faux roman blinds made out of tension rods and now painted drop cloth panels. Why just walk into the store and buy a curtain when you can get wild & weird like me?}
Using painters' canvas drop cloths is certainly not a new concept in the DIY world. They work great. But actually painting the entire panel...not sure anyone else is this looloo but me {although I've seen some darling ones with painted stripes so I'm not too far gone}. 

I started by laying out my 9x12 foot panel on my garage floor. I used two separate panels...a lot of people cut and hem theirs to get two. But, I don't sew {remember, I hot glued cafe curtains?}, so I just bought two. I wanted a nice & full look anyway. I also didn't wash them...I had seen so many of you who washed their drop cloths only to suffer from major shrinkage. I did iron them...right there on the garage floor in front of God & every one. And my house is in front of the neighborhood mailbox, so lots of eyebrow raises were directed at me ironing on my garage floor.

Then I started painting. I just rolled on regular latex, semi-gloss paint {the $5 OOPS can that keeps on giving}. Before I get finger-shakes and disapproving looks, I indeed, did not use a fabric medium incorporated into my paint. I was terrified it would alter my color that I was working so hard to maintain. I was well aware the end result would be stiff...but if you'll notice in the first photo, these drapes are not functioning drapes. They are purely aesthetic and don't move, so the stiffness isn't a big deal to me {and yes, they are quite stiff}. But, by all means, if you are doing this to functioning drapery, please use a textile medium mixed with your paint to soften it on your fabric.

We have three enormous crepe myrtles in full bloom that kept flowering all over my drapes while I painted...I picked them up all afternoon! I ended up giving them two coats of paint per panel. And FYI...if you're a complete moron like me and just throw them down on the garage floor without anything between them & the cement, your garage floor will also be aqua blue. Is it ironic to anyone else that a painter's drop cloth doesn't actually absorb paint?

And of course, my fifty year old neighbor had to stop by and see what we were up to. He just doesn't get what I do. Yet another eyebrow raise.

I let them dry for 24 hoursish. Then I hung them up...the wrong way. They were a bit long, and because of the stiffness, they didn't puddle properly. I will say that the most difficult part of this process is hanging them...they are super heavy from the weight of the paint. Thanking Jesus that I made my own DIY drapery rods that support the weight of these bad boys {seriously didn't realize how much I needed those rods}. The rings I used were from the previous dining room curtains...which belong at someone's grandmother's house. 

I took the drapes back down and decided to fold them over from the top and then clip them....wayyyyy easier to manage this way! Then I just hung them back up.

Like I said, yes, they're stiff. But it doesn't matter to me since they're purely decorative. If you'd like softer drapes, incorporate a textile medium {available at HobLob or Michael's in the acrylic paint section} into your paint before using it.

YAY! One step closer to being done with this room and being able to have friends come over for dinner again!

On that bare wall on the left, I'm going to make a buffet with some HOT lamps on each end of it {and to be clear, I'm not talking temperature here...they're HAWT, babydoll}. I also plan to KO that chandy and DIY a new one {although when I called my mom to explain my idea for a DIY chandelier she started laughing and told me to go buy one already made...doesn't she know that just adds fuel to my fire?}

To break down the cost of this project, if you saw the post regarding the DIY rods, they were less than $4 to make...each. Each panel cost me $9.90 plus the can of $5 Oops paint, which I finally used the rest of {but I did get another can mixed for my piano!}. {I had the clips leftover from the previous drapes}. So...less than $30 for two {custom colored} panels and hardware. If I ordered these from Pottery Barn, I would have spent hundreds...I know this only because I wasn't so DIY-ish in my previous home. And I was dumb and left those gorgeous drapes behind...gets me annoyed every time I think about it.

Again, to see how to make those DIY rods holding up these puppies, click here. It also explains why I used two demi-rods instead of one long rod across my entire window.

Thanks bunches for stopping by. Happy Drop Cloth Drapery Painting to you and yours.








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36 comments:

  1. I considered doing the same thing in my living room-but adding the textile medium (Is that what it's called). The one thing I didn't think would look good was the seam down the center of the dropcloth. Did yours have that or was it one giant piece of fabric? If yours has it, does it look ok?

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    1. Rebekah- Mine didn't have a seam down the center of it! I actually wasn't aware that was a common problem. I purchased mine from Lowe's...it was the only brand they carried. I may do them for my living room, too, but yes, adding the textile medium first! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I just found your blog today, wow, I am so impressed thats an amazing use of a drop cloth, I love it,

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Laurie!! So glad you like them!

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  3. It's great to find out that this is an option if I ever want truly custom-coloured drapes. I love the look of drop cloth curtains but their original colour won't really work in any of the spaces of my house. Glad you keep at it because they look lovely in your space!

    I can't believe how much more expensive drop cloths are in Canada!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Claire! I thought about RIT--dying them, but didn't have a bathtub big enough to prevent creasing! Such a bummer that they're so spendy in your area...can you order them via Amazon?
      Glad you stopped by! :)

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  4. I LOVE THIS!!!!
    and I'm rotflmao - thinking of what your neighbors must have thought, hmmm - I thought they were used to keep paint OFF of something, lol
    My neighbours think I'm nuts so I'm allowed to say this
    I have to try this idea - SOON, great job.
    Big Hugs,
    Suzan

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Suzan! I'm so glad I'm not the only one whose neighbors think she's nuts...HA! You should totally try them...cheap & easy! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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  5. Love these! I painted stripes on a faux roman blind using drop cloth and no fabric medium. It worked out great!

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  6. Hilarious post! The drapes look gorgeous, very rich - I kind of like the stiffness. You are totally looloo, but in such a good way!

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  7. Very nice!! I have a HUGE window in my living room that needs new drapes. I might have to try this.

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  8. How pretty!! Love that blue color, and it looks perfect next to the striped wall! Such a pretty room. I'll be talking about your project in about an hour (9am ET) at The Latest Find! =)
    www.TheLatestFind.com

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  9. I love that color! That looks like such a fun project.

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  10. Look good, and really love the color. Most of the larger dropcloths do have seams in them, so wonder how that would look. Great job! So glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday's Best!

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  11. Your new curtains look fabulous! Great job!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  12. Girl, you are so brave!! Super job! This is the first time I've visited you, but I am now following so I will be back!! ;0)

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  13. Looks beautiful! love the blue with the stripes!

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  14. They look great I never would have thought to do that, but love your creativity. :)

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  15. Wow, amazing refashion!!!
    I would love for you to link to The CSI project this week for Refashions/Upcycles week. Each week we have a new challenge, new judge and new tutorials so come on over and link up!
    www.thecsiproject.com

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  16. They turned out so pretty! I love how creative you are and also what a fantastic deal!

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  17. They turned out so pretty! I love how creative you are and also what a fantastic deal!

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  18. What a great idea! I love the color...thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

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  19. Beautiful job. I love this idea. I have thought of hanging drop clothes, but not painting them. I have a Blog Hop, and I would love it if you would link this post. You can find it at
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/07/surf-spray-and-wednesdays-adorned-from.html
    It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above
    www.adornedfromabove.com

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  20. They came out darling~ love them painted too. Great job!!
    My latest post ~ http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/2012/07/feathered-nest-friday_19.html

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  21. Wow!! Those are amazing. Love the color. Definitely not an oops anymore!
    Christina at I Gotta Create!

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  22. I love it! Pinning for future reference!

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  23. Don't you hate that when you can't find what you have pictured in your head?? Happens to me ALL the time!! But boy do you make it work!! I usually just settle for something else but I need to be more like you! They look gorgeous!! I'm loving that color!! I just bought canvases from Lowes to add to some fabric so I can make curtains out of them. And they have a seam... luckily I only need a few feet for each so it still works! I see your huge list of parties, so you might be all partied out, but if you'd like to join one more I'd love to have you share your awesome ideas at my Throwback Thursday party {goes through Sunday night}! http://www.hubbymademe.com/throwback-thursday-no-2/

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  24. Hi! I just found your site, already pinned a few things. I love the fun colors that welcome you when I get on here. I think I am definitely going to have to follow along! Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  25. Well, I have to say I have never heard or seen anyone paint drop cloths! lol Great idea though. Been reading some of your other posts, and will be following you now! Great job on your blog, and love your humour!!
    Saw you linking at Serenity Now.
    Debbie :)

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  26. These look so great! I love the idea. Thank you for posting on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back this week with more.
    -Mackenzie
    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com

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  27. have a question for you: did your drop cloths absorb the paint? I'm actually painting 2 panels myself(black stripes) but for the life of me the darn things keep sucking up the paint and when i hang the drop cloths you can see right thru the paint in some areas, as if i didnt put enough paint.
    any advice?
    thanks,
    sherry

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  28. You can learn all about painting drop cloth for drapes with help of the post here. Good post

    Curtain

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  29. HI there!!! I LOVE this!!! Great idea and loving your blog too. I always like to make new friends so I am your newest follower:) Happy Holidays! You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

    xooxo Hanna

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  30. very very nice! I would have never thought to do this, but now it's my next project! yay! thanks so much for the inspiration.

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