I've been working on a painted floor cloth for the baby's room-- it's a koi pond. I purchased a length of white duckcloth, then applied several layers of gesso to one side (lightly sanding in between each layer of gesso). When the floor cloth is completed, it should be strong enough to hold up to normal foot traffic.
I've used acrylic paints in many layers to create the pond scene. The cloth is not yet finished. The finished product will not show the white around the edges after I use rubber cement to glue the edges to the back. The cloth should also have a glossier sheen to it, once I apply the polycrylic and furniture wax.