Saturday, October 18, 2014

Masterpiece #2: Painted Drop Cloth

Our porch is a tiny patch of cold, bare concrete with three walls, an iron balustrade, and a door. It's cold and unwelcoming and desperately in need of some decor lovin'! Two gorgeous chairs were on sale in the local thrift shop, but that floor! It's a rental, so I couldn't paint/stain/cover the floor with anything permanent, which left me the only option, really, of buying an outdoor rug. $$$$$$$$$ later!!! Er... no. As my mom used to say: "I'm not Rockefeller, I'm the other feller!" Explore other options.


Okay, so I can't install anything, I can't buy anything, perhaps I can make something? As this porch does get rained on (in?) it had to be something weather-resistant, so knitting, crochet, rag rugging, and other readily-crafted ideas were out. Then I discovered painted drop cloths. (I love you, Google!) Merely $14.99 for a canvas drop cloth, 9' x 6' size, at Home Depot. The selection of paints in the reject section were a gallon of pink and a quart of ... um.. reddy-brown stuff. Add a sample of yellow, violet, and red for color mixing, and a quart of white, because you can always use white, and I was ready to paint! Sort of.


The only space I have available is my dining area, so while the drop cloth went through a wash and dry, I hefted the table out the way, laid out a "carpet" of old newspaper, topped that with plastic, and discovered that curious kitties are annoyingly persistent.


Really annoyingly persistent. I'm also really annoyingly stubborn, so I shooed the kitties, sketched in my design, shooed the kitties, positioned the drop cloth, shooed the kitties, painted the outline, chased down the kitties and wiped paint off paws, shooed the kitties.... GAAAAAAAAAAH!



 Kitties 792; Toni 0; and blood-pressure rising, I built a barrier of guaranteed-annoying-to-kitties items. The place looked like a bomb shelter after it's been used and vacated. I traipsed around the house digging out anything I could find that would possibly irritate the cats too much to cross; sheets of paper or plastic, boxes, bags of items, cat beds they don't use much. It worked pretty well, and I was able to get some painting done. One layer per day, allowed to dry overnight.


While my barrier was indeed effective, the cats would circle it like sharks at a baiting station, staring at me with disconcerting intensity. It was like I'd broken some cosmic cat rule and they were waiting for the bolt of lightning to strike me asunder, blow up the barrier, and allow them access to painted-paws heaven!


Fortunately for me, and for them, as mine are the opposable thumbs that keep them in kitty kibble and Fancy Feast, no lightning bolt flashed and my painted rug was completed. Voila! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I'm debating whether or not to varnish it to seal the paint, but for now, it's going out on the porch. :)


And yes, you will notice a distinct resemblance to Masterpiece #1!

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