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The aesthetic beauty of your interior paint work can be compromised if your floor is not clear of paint. Indeed, there are ways to keep paint from splattering on your floors when painting walls. Specifically speaking, you can protect your flooring when you follow good guidelines on how to cover the floor while painting.

Read on as this article discusses the steps to cover floors while doing paint jobs. You can also learn how to protect floors with plastic sheets, canvas drop cloths, and masking tapes, and tips to protect floors when painting. Moreover, you can find other helpful floor cover information and how professional painting contractors can help.

Steps to Cover Floor While Painting

Step One: Clear the room

Remove items such as furniture and wall pictures from the room. It is worthwhile to leave the floor bare. You have another option if you do not have a place to store the items. You can keep them in the middle of the room. Cover them with plastic sheets or canvas tarps. After that, you can vacuum the carpet or sweep the floor. Clear the floor of debris to protect your floors from scratching.

Step Two: Cover the floor

You may need to lay several canvas drop cloths. Get them to extend up to the edges of the wall. You can also use canvas, rosin paper, blankets, or old bed sheets. However, plastic drop cloths are not recommended because they may slide or move.

Besides, you will not be able to wash and reuse them. Furthermore, you may get wet paint on your shoes and other surfaces more quickly as the plastic will not readily absorb paint splashes. Similarly, it is not ideal to use newspapers to cover your floors. They are too thin to offer needed floor protection.

Step Three: Tape the tarps

A light masking tape can come in handy here. Use it to tape the drop cloth near its base trim to the floor. Make sure you completely cover the perimeter of the room. One precaution to take for extra large drop cloths is to fold them rather than cut them. Otherwise, the resulting frayed edges can affect the paint finishes.

Step Four: Place an exit doormat

Indeed, you would not want to track paint from the sole of your shoes to other rooms. As such, place a doormat, rag, or old towel close to the door. This way, you can wipe your shoes as you leave the room.

How to Protect Your Floors with Plastic Sheets

One way to protect the floor before painting is to use plastic sheets. It is easy to buy plastic sheeting in paint stores. They are great for covering floors, furniture, and other items while painting.

While painting, you can follow the steps below to protect your floors with plastic sheets:

• You can mask baseboards by applying masking tape to them.

• Next, cover the entire floor – corner to corner – with protective plastic sheets.

• After that, you can tape the edges of the plastic sheets to the floor.

Use Masking Tapes

You can use masking tapes to secure drop cloths and protect your floors. An excellent protective measure is to measure a 2-inch (5.1 cm) wide masking tape and run it around all floor edges before laying down your covering. An efficient way of taping down the covering is to measure and rip out up to 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) of masking tape.

Then you can stick half of it on the covering and the remaining half onto the floor and baseboard. Do this around the perimeter of the covering to properly secure it to the floor. Remember to always stick the tape over with your hands.

How to Use Pre-Taped Masking Films

Here are some tips for using pre-taped masking films when covering floors for painting:

• Take note that pre-taped masking films have adhesive tapes on one side. You can apply the adhesive tape on the floor.

• Use multiple pre-tape masking films if one is not enough to cover the entire floor.

• You can use scissors to cut the pre-taped masking films into appropriate shapes as needed.

• Make sure you do not leave a space exposed.

Taking Care of Drop Cloths after Painting

After you’re done painting, allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Then you can remove the drop cloth or floor covering. This way, the covering can be cleaned without getting paint on your floors. After that, you can wash the drop cloths in cold water if there’s dirt on them. Allow them to air dry. Then, you can fold them up and store them for later reuse.

Other Useful Floor Covers When Painting

There are other good options that can help you protect your floor while painting the walls:

36 mil papers

36 mil paper gives good spill protection as you work over hard flooring.


Thick pads of newspapers can be used as floor covers if you frequently check for paint bleeds.

Old cardboard boxes

You can open up old cardboard boxes and lay them on the floor. Use duct tape to assemble them into long rows. Another option is to overlap them. Ultimately, the thick pads of cardboard can absorb a lot of liquid before it soaks through. However, you must keep checking for bleed-throughs, especially after heavy spills.

An advantage of using cardboard floor covers instead of plastic, paper, or canvas sheeting is that they are not slippery. As such, you can walk over them easily while you paint. Alternatively, you may place several layers of cardboard in wall areas where paint spills are most likely. Then, use paper, plastic, or canvas floor covers for areas away from the walls.

Masonite sheets

Sometimes, masonite sheets are used as floor covers to protect against paint spills and drops. The masonite sheets are simply placed over medium weights or rosin papers.

Rosin papers

Do not be surprised if your painting contractor uses rosin paper to protect your floors. It is pretty good as a floor barrier against spills and scratches. It is in the form of long rolls that are 3 feet (0.9 meters) wide.

You can lay them down in strips and tape them with masking tapes. As such, it will not slide around. After taping the edges to baseboards or cabinetry, you can also use special edge tapes to create a sharp painting line.

Tips to Protect Floors When Painting

 You can use the following tips to protect your floors from paint drips when painting:

• Prepare a damp cloth or paper towel beforehand to mop up accidental stray drops of paint.

• Rosin papers are great for protecting hard surface floorings. This applies to vinyl and tile floors.

• Plastic drop cloths are cheap and disposable. But they can be slippery, so use thick ones. They are also better used to cover furniture rather than as drop cloths.

• Again, maintain extra caution if you are using plastic drop cloths. They have slippery surfaces and can cause injuries.

Why Professional Painters Use Canvas Drop Cloths

Even though they can be expensive, many professional painters still prefer a heavy canvas floor covering. This is because canvas drop cloths are heavy-duty and are reusable for several painting projects.

They are easy to spread and offer great help in covering carpet flooring. However, if you use canvas, avoid heavy spills and correctly position your paint bucket or tray.

Hire a Professional Painting Contractor

You may feel like a competent family handyperson who can cover the floor while painting. You may also know more about using plastic sheets, masking tapes, canvas drop cloths, and other helpful floor covers. However, you may still want to invite a professional painting contractor to complete your paint job.

More importantly, they can provide the security of fully protected flooring. For instance, they will always have enough drop cloth or tarps to cover the floor as they paint walls. You can depend on them for excellent interior painting, ceiling painting, wall painting, floor painting, and even hardwood flooring services.

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