Painting Tarpaulin Protecting Surfaces from Drips

Why use tarpaulin when painting?

Using tarpaulins is an essential part of any painting project where protecting other surfaces is a priority. Tarpaulins provide a reliable way to prevent paint drips, splatters, and overspray from getting onto areas that you don’t want painted such as floors, lawns, siding, or automotive surfaces. Painting Tarpaulin helps you focus on the task at hand without worrying about the messy cleanup of unintended surfaces afterward.

Keep Your Work Area Protected

Even experienced painters can accidentally drip or spill small amounts of paint outside of the target area occasionally. Tarpaulins catch these drips and splatters before they hit the floor or ground below. Without tarpaulin protection underneath, minor spatters could mean having to scrub potentially stained surfaces.

Prevent Paint from Getting on Floors,

Paint overspray is inevitable to some degree with many types of painting projects like spraying paint or working with rollers on high surfaces. Tarpaulins intercept the majority of the tiny droplets of paint that may leave the surface if not sealed. This keeps nearby property surfaces like floors, decks, patios, and driveways paint-free.

Reduce cleanup time after a painting project

Less time is spent scrubbing up unwanted paint from non-target areas when using tarpaulins. They contain the mess to just the Clear Tarpaulin itself. Once dry, the tarp can be disposed of or stored for future projects with minimal additional cleanup required elsewhere.

Choosing the right tarpaulin material

The type of material used for the tarpaulin should be chosen based on the specific painting project and what surfaces need to be protected. Here are some popular options to consider:

Plastic tarpaulin

Plastic tarps are very durable and provide a strong barrier against liquid paint. They are a good standard option suitable for most indoor and outdoor uses. However, thin plastic can tear more easily than other materials if it snags or is over-stretched.

Canvas tarpaulin

Made of heavy-duty fabric, canvas tarps are very tough and resistant to punctures or tears. The breathable material is comfortable to work with. However, canvas tarpaulins are more expensive than plastic or drop cloth alternatives.

Drop cloth material

Sheets of light cotton or polyester drop cloth material are affordable and will contain paint drips and spatters adequately for most low-risk uses. But they are not as puncture or abrasion-resistant as heavier-duty plastic or canvas tarps.

Tarpaulin Sizes for Different Projects

The size of the tarpaulin you use will depend on the scale and scope of the painting project. Having a tarpaulin that is too small can defeat the purpose, while an overly large one wastes material and creates excess that is more difficult to manage. Here are recommendations for common project sizes:

Small Tarps for Furniture

Projects like painting cabinetry, railings, or shutters only require tarps in the 10-15 square foot range. Small tarps are easy to maneuver around delicate pieces.

Tarps for walls, doors, and windows

Most indoor wall space or exterior doors and window painting fall between 15-30 square feet. Medium tarps provide enough coverage without being unwieldy.

Tarps for the Entire Exterior

Full garage doors, sides of homes, or commercial buildings may need tarps 50 square feet or larger. Look for tarps labeled for “exterior painting” that are reinforced for wind.

Tarps for Multiple-Story Homes

Working on large multi-story homes may mean using tarps 100 square feet or more to fully shield multiple sides of the structure adequately.

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Properly Laying out and Securing a Tarpaulin

Taking the correct steps when laying out a tarpaulin is important to ensure it is positioned properly and will not shift or blow away during the painting process:

Unroll the Tarpaulin

Unfurling the entire tarp at once allows you to gauge appropriate sizing and position for the best coverage of the work area.

Use Weights like Paint

This is especially important for exterior tarps that may flap in the wind. Weights keep edges securely in place.

Adjust the Flat Tarpaulin

For uneven ground, use your foot to tighten any ripples or folds in the flat part of the tarpaulin. A smooth, taut surface prevents paint from accumulating in low spots.