A professional painter knows very well that drop cloths are equally essential during painting projects, just like rollers and brushes. Tarp painting in furniture often requires that the painter spreads four different types of drop cloths on the furniture they intend to paint. The four types include paper, canvas, plastic, or a blend of poly or paper.
Sometimes, a painter can use a black tarp for the painting project instead of drop cloths. The application of black tarps is often preferred to other drop cloths because of their extra strength. They also have small holes in their surfaces that ensure the pain is more compatible with the surface. As a result, the painting project can last for a more extended period than in others if other materials were used.
One can do several DIY projects using drop cloths and tarps. But before diving into the several uses of drop cloths in DIY painting projects, it is essential to have detailed information regarding the types of drop cloths.
Types of Drop Cloths That Are Best for Your Painting Projects
1. Canvas Drop Cloths
The most commonly used drop cloth in painting projects is canvas drop cloth. They get this high ranking because they are the most durable type. They are also made of thicker materials than other drop cloths; thus, they are thick enough to ensure efficient absorption of paint drops.
Another reason for their high application is that most are made with rubberized butyl backing. This butyl rubber backing is essential for ensuring a strong grip on the floor when painting the canvas. As a result, it prevents the paint spills from getting soaked through the cloth. The rubber backings are often virtually indestructible; thus, the reason for their high durability.
Moreover, canvas is the most expensive type of drop cloth. This may scare you away from buying the material, but it is worth that much since you are probably looking for something that will serve you for as long as you wish.
If you are a messy painter, you should use heavier canvas. It is because they are perfect at offering extra absorbency; thus, they significantly reduce the number of paint spills to the ground. This type of canvas is also tightly woven. As a result, it is perfect for resisting tearing that may come from external stress. Finally, the canvas is bulkier, heavier, and more complex than other drop cloths.
2. Plastic Drop Cloths
This painter drop cloth is often available in different thicknesses ranging from as low as 0.4 to 4 mills. Most painting projects require plastic painting drop cloths whose thicknesses range from 0.6 mills to 1 mill. This thickness is typically about that of a trash bag.
For painters specializing in cabinet covers and furniture, it is essential to use plastic drop cloths that are lightweight, economical, and paint-proof. Moreover, you can use heavy-duty plastic drop cloths, as they are more resistant to rips and reusable than light-duty ones.
Unlike canvas, plastic painter drop cloths do not absorb any paint spills. Instead, spills often run away on the surface of the plastic drop cloth during the project. This is why plastic drop cloths are used for outdoor paintings, the protection of lawns, and landscaping.
3. Paper Drop Cloths
This type of drop cloth is relatively less expensive than plastic drop cloths and canvas drop cloths. They are mostly used to cover furniture surfaces during a painting project. They are also excellent for small indoor jobs like touching up window trims.
Paper drop cloths are made of absorbent materials; thus, they are good at holding paint. They are also foldable, especially after the painting project ends. This capability allows them to be stored and reused for more jobs. Nevertheless, they are not a good option for floor jobs since they can easily rip away due to the friction and rapid movements involved on floors.
4. Paper/Poly Blends
It is a blend of both plastic and paper drop cloths. They have many advantages over individual plastic and paper drop cloths since the blend costs less and is more disposable than other drop cloths. Besides absorbing paint drips, paper/poly blend protects any material underneath them. Painters are also protected from slipping while using them.
There is also the possibility of cutting paper/poly drop cloths to the desired size that can fit the space of your choice. However, the major drawback of this drop cloth is that it is prone to tearing away, just like paper. Therefore, you should tape the edges before using the material to prevent them from wandering.
Uses of Drop Cloths in DIY Painting Projects
They cover the surfaces of the floor, furniture, countertops, and any other surface you wish to cover before or even when painting. This is because they prevent the paint from dripping onto the surfaces on which they are not intended.
Moreover, they prevent the covered surfaces from splattering, drippings, and larger spills that would otherwise lead to unintended painting patterns or color interference.
The most critical step when using the drop cloths is laying them down. This essential pre-painting step requires you to clear up the room by ensuring it is empty. That way, you can find ample space to make as frequent movements as possible with minimum confusion.
Moreover, you can leave behind only what you feel is necessary. This could be a material or an item you will need to aid you during the painting project. You can also leave behind the things that seem challenging to relocate, such as larger and heavier furniture.
After clearing the space or the floor, you can cover everything left behind using drop cloths; you can bring in all your necessary supplies and finish setting up everything. Now it is time for painting.
A well-laid down drop cloth ensures you have the most suitable pre-painting work. Drop cloths are also crucial in reducing the cost of painting that would have resulted if you hired a painter. Because you are at the lowest risk of paint spills; therefore, you can efficiently do the painting without any fear.
DIY painting projects are now made more accessible and fun due to using drop cloths. Four significant drop cloths are used for painting projects, including canvas, plastic, paper, and paper/poly blend. Canvas is the most commonly used drop cloth due to its strength and thickness. The primary step that needs to be considered with care when using drop cloths for painting is laying them down.