Painting with Drop Cloths

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When it comes time to do some interior painting, it is important to keep the paint on the walls of your home rather than getting it in places you do not want it to be. One such place in need of protection is your floor, due to the effect gravity can have when paint is present combined with exposed flooring. Because of this, it is important to plan to use a drop cloth to keep flooring safe. The only time you might wish to avoid using a drop cloth is if the flooring beneath your feet is bare foundation or subfloor, which is frequently not the case as we go about our home improvements and upgrades.

The first option for a drop cloth is plastic sheeting. This can be used to cover floors and prevent paint from coming into contact with them. While it is inexpensive and easy to lay down and pick back up, it does have one major flaw. That flaw is that when paint comes into contact with plastic sheeting, it will take a long time to dry. This means paint droplets will remain wet while you work, presenting opportunities for you to step in and track wet paint wherever you go. If you opt to use plastic sheeting, take your shoes off before departing from the area you are painting and clean them well after you are done to avoid tracking paint throughout your home.



Canvas drop cloths cost more but have longevity on their side. While a plastic sheet will give you a couple of uses at best, canvas will serve you for years to come. When paint drops onto canvas, it will absorb and dry in place much faster, making tracking paint on shoes less of a problem. Canvas can be rolled up and easily stored once dry and will remain ready to serve you time and time again as painting jobs arise in your home. Whether the added expense and storage space needed to keep canvas around in comparison to cheap, disposable plastic sheeting are worth it is a decision only you can make based on your own personal painting needs.



Regardless of whichever type of drop cloth you use, something else to keep in mind is that those cloths naturally move beneath your feet as you work and walk about. This means that paint can get on your flooring even though you took precautions to prevent that from happening. To ensure your drop cloths stay in place, lay a piece of wide painter's or masking tape against the area where the wall meets the floor. Atop that tape, position your drop cloth. Then place another layer of masking tape over the edge of the drop cloth, adhering it to the first layer. This will keep your drop cloth in place until the job is done, at which point it can be peeled up with ease. Through the use of the drop cloth of your choice in combination with a couple layers of tape, you are sure to complete your painting tasks without mistakenly discoloring your floors with paint. All that is left to do now is check the bottom of those shoes!


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