How to Choose a Drop Cloth | Ask This Old House

27November 2019


Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique explains which type of drop cloth he selects for which project

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Cost: $15 and up, depending on the drop cloth

Skill Level: Beginner

Steps:
1. Professional painters avoid standard canvas drop cloths, as they’re not great at preventing paint spills from absorbing and staining the floor. Instead, they prefer canvas backed, plastic lined drop cloths.
2. Thick plastic drop cloths should be used outdoors, particularly for covering plants, shrubs, etc. Mauro recommends not using them on the ground or on the floor because they can get slippery.
3. Thin plastic drop cloths are used for protecting furniture and other materials that can’t be removed from the room being worked in. They should not be used on the floor because they can tear easily and because they also can get slippery.
4. Tarps are good for exterior projects, particularly scraping paint off the sides of a house. They shouldn’t be used when it’s time to start painting.
5. Paper drop cloths are great for trim and edge work. Mauro likes to cut 4-5 inch sections of paper, tape it along the bottom edge of the baseboard, and then lay his canvas drop cloth on top of that to work.

Resources:
All the drop cloths Mauro mentioned he uses, including the canvas, plastic, and tarps, can all be found at home centers and painting supply stores

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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Keywords: Ask This Old House, painting, drop cloth, Mauro Henrique, Kevin O'Connor

Watch the full episode:
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/watch/polybutylene-squeaky-door-ask-toh

How to Choose a Drop Cloth | Ask This Old House
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