Floor cloths have a rich history. Traditionally, these floor cloths were made of scrap canvas that was left over from sails. Crafty homemakers re-used sailcloth because it was both durable and easy to work with. They created colorful floor rugs by stretching the canvas, adding plaster (gesso) and painting the canvas in the design of their choice. Today crafty homemakers are using linoleum scraps in exactly the same way as a green project for a durable and colorful rug.
Select a piece of unused leftover linoleum of any size. Most home stores sell small remnants very inexpensively. Unroll the linoleum, and allow the material to relax and adjust to the room temperature and humidity. The linoleum should lay flat. Your project may take several days so place the linoleum in an area where it will not be disturbed.
Prime your linoleum with a water-based acrylic primer or gesso. You may need two or three coats to effectively cover the linoleum. Primer or gesso assist in forming a good painting base for the adhesion of your paints.
Draw and tape off your design. This type of floor covering is designed to be expressive. Both country and modern patterns work equally well, along with everything in between. For a first piece, you may want to create a welcome mat or something small so you can see how easy the process really is.
Paint your floor covering using acrylic paints of any color. You can purchase acrylic paint sets that have a variety of colors. Acrylic dries fast, so keep some water in a spray bottle handy to keep the paint wet while you paint. Allow the floor covering to dry overnight.
Apply three to five coats of a poly-acrylic finish. Select a non-yellowing clear type, and follow the drying times suggested by the manufacturer.
Take the rug outside, and lay it upside down on some plastic sheeting. Spray the back of the rug with Super Grip No-Slip. This is a rubber backing designed to keep a rug from skidding on a floor. Add a few coats until the back is well coated. Allow the rubber to dry completely.
Take the rug indoors. Apply Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax to the painted surface of the rug to provide a strong final finish to the rug. Apply this type of wax every few months to help protect the rug surface from stains and damage.