Condo Kitchen

My Hand Painted Floorcloth…Four Months Later

Last Updated on December 26, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

When I made my hand painted floor cloth in April, I know many of you were curious about how it would hold up to wear and tear, especially in a high traffic area like my tiny kitchen.

So, today I’ll show you!

Here’s the original picture I showed you soon after I finished the floor cloth…

And here’s what it looks like today…

floor cloth now 1

(Yes, I still have ungrouted tile.  Don’t judge me.)

Now those two pictures were taken with two different cameras, but you can see that at that distance, it still looks pretty good, right?

And even up a little closer, it’s still pretty decent…

floor cloth now 2

But there are definitely some problems.  First of all, if you’ll remember, the vinyl flooring that I used is completely covered with tiny little divots.  I thought it might add a textural quality, and make the paint look not quite so perfect, and more like a rug.

The problem is that those little divots are magnets for dirt.  Over the last four months, dirt has settled into the little divots, and then has become almost cemented into the divots with mopping and cleaning.

floor cloth now 3

I’ve even gotten on my hands and knees and scrubbed it with the scrubby side of a sponge, and nothing seems to budge that dirt.  The good thing is that the paint is incredibly durable, and holds up great even with me scrubbing with the green scrubby side of a sponge.

But this dirt problem is certainly frustrating.  Overall, it’s given the floor cloth a dull look.

So, I might have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to making a floor cloth for my high traffic kitchen.  I don’t have much experience with vinyl flooring, so I’m not sure if all vinyl flooring has these little divots or not.  If the vinyl was perfectly smooth, with no dirt magnets, I would absolutely love my little floor cloth, so it might just be a matter of finding a different type of vinyl.

Any suggestions?!  Did any of you try this project?  If so, does your vinyl have these little divots?


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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Kristi.  I've done a few floor cloths with vinyl and the trick is that the vinyl must be paper backed. Hope that helps.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I wonder if canvas might be a good replacement for the vinyl. A quick Google search found this

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, I've made floorcloths from vinyl flooring.  I think it's way better than canvas, as it's cheaper, less wrinkly, not slippery on the back, and more durable.  However, as Mel noted, the vinyl has to be paper backed…..which I also think is the cheaper form of vinyl flooring!

    Also, you do need to recoat with polyurethane on occasion.  I haven't, so mine really can't be properly cleaned anymore, though the paint of the design is still holding up great.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maddie Kertay
    August 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Just a thought.. and forgive me since I have not read the orginial post..  when I did mine I used gesso on the back of the  vinyl.. I think I did three coats and then sanded.. This is how I started with a smooth surface since I do remember it looking a bit dimpled pre gesso.. ( sort of like upper thighs!).. but after that sanding it was smooth… hope that helps!

    Maddie @ Domestic Anarchy

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I've had no experience with it, but have you tried cleaning it with a brush to get down in the divots?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    When I made floor cloths in college…I painted my canvas with Liquid Gesso Medium.  I used this as a primer/binder…Might work on the vinyl as well…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea Skeens
    August 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Have you tried a steam mop? Perhaps the steam might help break up the dirt particles?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 18, 2011 at 1:47 am

    A steam mop is amazing and cleans out all those little divots, I have the shark.  This floor cloth is so darn cute, you did a great job.  Hope that this helps!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 18, 2011 at 2:20 am

    I had a laminate counter top in my last rental house that I thought had some brown speckles as part of the overall speckle design.  When I took a really close look, it was not apart of the laminate, but dirt packed into the divots of the laminate.  Yuck!!  I took a toothbrush to it and some cleaner.  It took some time because of the size of the brush, but I got it all cleaned out (I was glad it was a tiny kitchen).  I did try a regular bristled cleaning brush, but the even bristles just didn't cut it.  It needed the varied height that most toothbrushes have for cleaning between the teeth. The cloth is beautiful, maybe some toothbrush scrubbing and then a re-coat with some urethane.   

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Suzy Handgraaf
    August 18, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Have you tried using one of the miracle working Mr. Clean sponges?  I haven't found much that they won't clean!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    A Mr. Clean magic eraser will work and it will be super quick and easy! They work on everything! My son uses them to keep his sneakers snow white, I use them to keep woodwork clean, and it makes cleaning tub and shower a breeze!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    August 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Lynne, I couldn't help but laugh as I read your comment.  It sounds just like a commercial!  😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    August 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Paper backed….hmmmm.  Very interesting.  I didn't know there was such a thing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    August 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks, Maddie!  Sadly, I didn't use gesso.  For some reason, I thought I could skip that step.  Now I'm regretting it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    A Creative Spirit
    August 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Kristi, not sure it will work since it is painted but just used Armstrong's New Beginning to really clean my linoleum floor and then used Armstrong's Shine Keeper to put a sheen back on it to protect the floor. IT LOOKS LIKE NEW!!!! It may be worth a try. :o)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    August 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I've never heard of that.  Thanks so much!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Not sure if it would work, but this stuff has saved me many times.   Spots I cannot get out.. come out with this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I just found your blog and think its so fun cause I am local to you! I live in Temple!! Anyway, I just came across this :
    on pinterest. Its not a floor cloth, but it has the same effect and looks incredible to me! Anyway, excited to see what you come up with!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Hi Kristi,
    First – try Krud Kutter Wal-Marts in the Paint Dept.  Put it on -let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse several times – when clean put min wax polyurethane – apply with a brush – let dry between coats – after 2 coats lightly sand with brown paper from shopping bag – apply two more coats drying between applications – sand also the next time you want to make a floorcloth – use Roc-Lon -its new and you don't have to miter the edges lays flat and is excellent for floorcloths – expensive so wait for the coupons from JoAnne Fabric.  Hope this helps –  Jerry

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 27, 2011 at 7:37 am

    why didn't you use duck canvas?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating
    November 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    It's too thin and shifty for my liking.  I wanted something much thicker and heavier that wouldn't shift, curl or bunch.