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Refinishing canvas covered floor

I have an 1845 home with additions made in each century. There are 2 rooms which have painted canvas covered floors (sleeping porches?) The canvas was nailed to the floor, and I am guessing was also glued, since the edges have no nails. I have no idea what the sub-surface is, but the floor levels are lower than the adjacent rooms. Today the paint is severely cracked. I would like to preserve the canvas and repaint it, but it clearly needs to be sanded first. Any suggestions as to the best approach to prep and preserve this surface? I have uploaded photos of the 2 floors.

Re: Refinishing canvas covered floor


You can bet it is nailed around the parimeter. The fold hides the nail heads. And it is only secured in the middle where the two meet. That is not canvas as we know it. That is burlap made from hemp, the same thing that was put on walls right after the plaster was coated. This allowed the plaster to continue to dry after it was painted or covered in wallpaper. That is an entire other topic though.

You may be able to use very fine sandpaper and work it by hand to get some of the roughness off. Do not go too deep or too aggressive. Also, there is a black adhesive underneath and most likely covering the initial layer that contains asbestos. There were only a couple adhesives of the time. Be careful not to sand a hole and reach the adhesive. Use a good oil based paint to cover it. There are many companies that sell painted floor covering today. I can understand wanting to keep the original. We own a big Victorian house, and we have done all that we can to keep all the original pieces of everything in the house, except for the mechanicals of course.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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