The Reasoning Through Language Arts section in the updated GED focuses more on nonfiction passages. Here is another nonfiction passage that tests your ability to make inferences, define words, and organize events that occur within a text. Carefully read the passage and then answer these GED Reading practice questions.
Directions: Read the passage and choose the best answer to each question that follows.
How to Paint a Floor Cloth
Floor cloths were used in the 18th century to protect wood floors from moisture in areas near an outside door, around the tub, or under the family table. Artists painted colorful designs on cloth that became popular because of their beauty as well as their usefulness.
Linoleum floors eventually replaced floor cloths in prevalence, but many people make floor cloths for their homes today or commission artists to create personalized floor cloths for them. Floor cloths are used under babies’ high chairs, near the kitchen sink, and even under the family pet’s water bowl. As it was in the early years of the floor cloth’s use, the ultimate goal for today’s floor cloth is to provide an attractive rug that protects the floor.
Artists apply color to a surface called a support base, or “support” for short. For floor cloths, the support is canvas that can be purchased from the fabric store, a hobby shop, or a boat supply company. Before painting, the artist will cut the fabric to the desired size and hem the edges. This can be done by hand stitching or by using a sewing machine. The fabric is tucked into the seams so that the fabric won’t unravel, leaving frayed edges.
Most artists apply two coats of sealant to the back side of the mat at 24-hour intervals and a single base coat to the front before applying even the first coat of paint. Both sides of the fabric are sealed so that water cannot seep into the cloth from the top or the underside. It is important for the floor cloth to be water resistant so that it doesn’t hold water next to the floor, causing damage to the wood, and this process begins with the first steps of its creation.
Next, the artist paints a background and allows this to dry thoroughly before adding the actual picture. Some artists paint scenes such as landscapes, animals, or floral arrangements. Others create designs or patterns that are comparable to those of the 18th century. Floor cloths can be painted with oil or acrylic paints, although the artist might want to consider that acrylic paint dries faster.
Complete drying is essential before adding the sealant so that the paint doesn’t smear. The artist applies at least two or three coats of sealant over the painted picture at 24-hour intervals. Some artists add as many as ten coats of sealant.
Polycrylic, varnish, and polyurethane are sealants that work well for floor cloths. Of the three, varnish requires more thought as to clean-up. Because varnish is oil-based, cleaning must include mineral spirits or paint thinner. Some artists feel it is worth the extra effort since the mats that are sealed with varnish tend to be stiffer than the mats sealed with protective topcoats that are water-based.
A floor cloth that is painted on canvas will last years with little visible wear.
Which sentence from the passage supports the idea that the modern creation and use of floor cloths to protect floors is a revival of an old custom?
"A floor cloth that is painted on canvas will last years with little visible wear."
"As it was in the early years of the floor cloth’s use, the ultimate goal for today’s floor cloth is to provide an attractive rug that protects the floor."
"Floor cloths were used in the 18th century to protect wood floors from moisture in areas near an outside door, around the tub, or under the family table."
"Linoleum floors eventually replaced floor cloths in prevalence, but many people make floor cloths for their homes today or commission artists to create personalized floor cloths for them."
Which definition best matches the use of the word support in paragraph 3?
show of approval
How does the author’s use of the words “most artists” in paragraph 4 function in the story?
It provides a criticism for a select group of artists.
It reveals the author’s point of view that two coats are better than one coat.
It points out that it is not standard for artists to use paint sealant on their floor cloths.
It indicates there is some sort of general standard procedure for applying sealant and paint.
Which fact can the reader infer about making a floor cloth?
Making a floor cloth is too hard for most people to attempt.
Proper drying time is important to the administration of paints and sealants.
Sealing with polyurethane or varnish does not make a difference in the final pliability of the finished floor cloth.
In keeping with tradition, artists must paint scenes such as landscapes, animals, or floral arrangements on the floor cloths they make.
Based on the article, what is NOT a step in preparing a floor cloth?
Painting a support base
Adding water-based or oil-based sealant
Drawing a background
Replacing linoleum floors
Read the following sentence from the passage.
Replacing the word “essential” with the word “beneficial” changes the meaning of the sentence to suggest that
it is imperative that paint be dry prior to sealant being added
the order in which paint and sealant is added is not important
it’s possible that sealant can be successfully added before drying is finished
sealant might not be necessary at all
How does paragraph 5 relate to paragraph 4?
It continues to outline the steps in a procedure.
It contradicts the information that preceded it.
It switches to a new topic.
It elaborates on details mentioned in the previous paragraph.
GED Reading Practice Test 4 >>