Painting cheap tarps?

Posted by: Dok

Painting cheap tarps? - 07/10/12 07:32 PM

Iím looking on getting that cheap Wal-Mart tarp that goes for like $8.00 dollars or so, as i only need something to shield me from the road during stealth camping. The Wal-Mart tarp is perfect for what I need but itís this bright blue.

Has anyone painted one of these or any like it? And if so how does it hold up? meaning does it last, fall apart, the paint comes off?

I want to paint it a dark green, grey and tan or a camo tone, something that blends in, but still to just use it as a screen really.
Posted by: Gershon

Re: Painting cheap tarps? - 07/10/12 08:50 PM

You can get brown tarps at Home Depot.
Posted by: Indy

Re: Painting cheap tarps? - 07/11/12 08:33 AM

If you've got a Harbor Freight Tools nearby, they have brown/camo tarps in a variety of sizes.

Check around WM a little more, most of them have brown tarps back in the camping section. If you hit the home improvement section, they'll be blue or gray.

@ walmart.com - Texsport 10' x 12' Brown Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarps
Posted by: Cranman

Re: Painting cheap tarps? - 07/16/12 11:44 AM

I have the small blue WM tarp I am sure you are talking about, it's a pretty good deal for a small lightweight tarp. If it's the same one it's made from thin nylon similiar to what a tent rain fly is made of, just not super light like the more expensive tarps. As for painting it...you may ruin the tarp with spray paint, with that being a very thin material that is also coated with a waterproofing film, I'm afraid the chemicals in spray paint would damage it. Krylon does make a plastic fusion paint that might work if it didn't damage the material though. One other idea that may work would be to dye it. RIT makes fabric dyes that you mix with hot water and submerge the fabric, possibly this would help to subdue your bright blue tarp.
Posted by: anicinabe

Re: Painting cheap tarps? - 07/18/12 12:59 PM

Using a lightweight cheap canvas painter's drop cloth and coating it with Thompson's water seal works well. You can dye it to whatever colour you'd like. Walnut hulls will work well for the dye.
Posted by: Spock

Re: Painting cheap tarps? - 07/19/12 02:20 PM

Since you don't plan to use it for rain protection, you can abuse the tarp all you want. But wouldn't it be better to just get something that is already the right color?

If you just want a privacy screen, any unhemmed fabric will work. Or you can tape the raw ends with Duct Tape. 3-4 yards of 60" fabric is all you need for a screen that will give better coverage than the Walmart tarp.

A quick Google on "camp ripstop nylon fabric" brings up all kinda stuff. shop around and you can find it cheap. Sometimes Walmart has the cloth in their fabric/sewing section at $2/yd. Denver fabrics.com has lots at $5/yd until 7/23. Amazon has it at $5, too.