Painters canvas (drop cloths) as curtains

newhomebuilderJuly 11, 2011

For anyone that has in the last year or so used painters canvas as outdoor curtains, how have they held up?

A couple of years ago, I saw a thread on here about them and thought it was a great idea to add decor to my screened porch. Well, needless to say, I never got around to it.

Last week, I did it! :) Hosted a dinner party over the weekend, so I sewed and hung (on shower rods) two curtain panels just hours before the party. Very easy! Now, I wonder if I should leave them up all summer, or take them down when nothing special is going on. I don't want them to mildew or rot. What do you do and how have they held up?

PS - I used a very high quality of canvas. Cost me $31 each for 9 x 12's in a very heavy 10ounce treated canvas from Sherwin Williams

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Texas Hottie did them but I'm not sure if hers were drop cloth fabric or not. You might search for an old thread. With a new baby, she probably won't be checking often for a bit.

I used drop cloths for slipcovers in my sunroom (slipcovered cushions.) I had someone who does slipcovers make them. I washed and bleached them till they were softer/lighter. However, they are not exposed to the elements. Otherwise, they are wearing great. I think it's a tough fabric but not sure about mold/mildew - especially in our humid area.



    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:14PM
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Hmmm...slip covers are next for my porch (old cushions are fading and finding new cushions is impossible). The drop cloths might just be a great idea for me! I'd like them to be a bit more on the cream side (like my curtains), but lighter weight. Thanks for that idea. I made fitted striped cushion covers w/piping for a porch years ago. I don't want to use piping again.

Have you posted photos of your sunroom that I could see?

Our porch gets rained in on quite a bit, and the reason I am worried about mildew/mold.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:40PM
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I've only put them up inside and also am very happy with the look.

For outdoor use, I wonder if you could treat the with Scotchguard or something equivalent that would make them water resistant. Hopefully someone can chime in on this.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Mine have piping and I love them. I don't have pics with the slipcovers but I could take one and send to you. But I probably wouldn't use that fabric for a place that gets rain. I recently purchased some great floral sunbrella fabric that I am going to make some cushions for my patio (glider and a couple of chairs). Accent pillows really - not cushions.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I would think that if you didn't have a hem at the bottom of the canvas drape to catch water and if you didn't leave them bunched together for days at a time but spread them out to dry in the sun, that they would last for several years.
Remember that sails on a boat last well, but they get dried out regularly, and awnings on a window last well, as long as you don't leave them closed up for weeks at a time.
Go for it....sounds lovely!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 5:02PM
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Love to see a pic... :)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 5:55AM
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We have them on my screened in porch and love them! I hung them so that the bottom is slightly above the floor, allowing for any rain that might come in. So far, so good ... they truly make your outdoor spaces feel like a "room." Here are a few pics from my blog below:

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 6:33AM
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I made them for my tiny tiny front porch several years ago-and they have lasted well. They get rained on, and are in full sun from 1pm on. I leave them up until November.
The only thing- one of them got caught on my climbing rose in a big storm and there are several small rips. I fixed the big ones and since they are tied back you can't see them.
I used drop cloths from HD.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:51AM
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Hi all! Sorry I have not responded. My computer is giving me fits.

valinsv - The canvas that I used has a coating of some sort that makes them more water proof than the thinner cloths. Hence the higher cost. My porch doesn't get soaked, but sometimes the rain blows in, but not as far as the furniture.

Tina - I could always look into having them made with the piping. My current cushions do not have it, and I was just going to copy the pattern, but piping does look nicer. Could you tell me how much per yard that your Sunbrella fabric cost? I asked at Lowe's, and the guy told me $30+ a yard. That's why I went with the painters canvas for the curtains.

lindac - Good point about the sails!

Unfortunately, I found the answer to my question last night, and then again this morning. First of all, one panel covers the screened porch doggy door. The dog still tries to use it, but sometimes the door gets stuck on the fabric. Unlike becinsc, I left my curtains slightly longer which aggravates the door even more. Beautiful porch and photos, BTW!

Another problem that I discovered last night was that when I sit down for dinner in my breakfast area, I cannot see straight ahead outside because of one panel. I have a Finch feeder on the other side that I truly enjoy watching as I eat.

OK, and the clincher was a storm we had during the night. I discovered a panel on the ground this morning. The wind was so strong that it knocked the panel down. I plan to store the panels under my guest bed that is just around the corner from the porch.

loribee - I am going to start a new thread about my porch as I improved it somewhat. I'll post before and after pictures. Look for the thread in the next day or two.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:27PM
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Hey NHB - we had some strong winds also - in fact, when I drove out this morning I ended up turning around and coming back to check out "something" hanging from the highest end (peak) on the house. From the car, it looks like some trim that fits directly under the roof has been pulled loose. Something minor I'm thinking, but of course the problem is getting to it. We rent a lift when cleaning the gutters on that end!

Anyhoo, the sunbrella fabric is expensive. I happened upon a remnant of mine first - cannot remember if that was house fabric or not. Enough for a couple of pillows. I then decided I wanted two square pillows (22") and a couple of lumbar pillows. So, while I got a good deal on the first piece (I believe it was 1.5 yards at around $12), the second piece I bought was somewhere around $20-22/yds. Not bad since I didn't need alot - i'm doing pillows not covering cushions, but it could add up if you have several cushions to cover. I'd search on-line and compare costs. The problem then was to find "outdoor" pillow forms (that won't mold/mildew) and the only place I could find those in the sizes I wanted was Restoration Hardware. They were having a sell so I think I have around $60 in 4 pillow forms.

Sounds like you need to store the panels and pull them out for certain occasions.

Good luck with the cushions!!!


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 3:40PM
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Our neighbors guttering was pulled off the other night.

Thanks for the Sunbrella Info. I bought two new throw pillows from Target - on sale for $7.99 - and they are made of Sunbrella material.

I just finished taking pictures of the porch. Took some others a few days ago and at night. I'll work on the other thread tonight.'s photo intense! lol

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 5:43PM
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Becinsc....looooooove your porch!

Newhomebuilder....I will watch for your new thread! :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 5:51AM
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Thanks, NHB and Loribee !! NHB, I look forward to seeing your pics !!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 7:20AM
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UGH!!! I was almost finished typing and posting millions of photos when my computer crashed. I lost it all! I don't have it in me to re-post right now. I'll just put a few curtain pics here.

Left side

Right side

From kitchen looking out towards porch

Outside shot of one porch side

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 3:52PM
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