Blog / Choosing the Right Dropcloth

July 10, 2023

Dropcloths are an essential product on residential and commercial painting and restoration projects. If you’re painting or doing drywall work, a dropcloth can help you keep the mess contained and the space you’re working in free of damage.

Whether you are a professional painter or a DIY enthusiast tackling a home improvement project, protecting your surfaces from damage provides the peace of mind you need to make sure your job is a successful one. Depending on your project, you can choose from different types of dropcloths. But how do you choose the right product for the job? We put together a guide to assist you in choosing the right dropcloth.

Factors to consider when choosing a dropcloth

There are a number of things to consider about dropcloths when you are starting your project:

Will you be working indoors or outdoors?

spray painting on plastic drop clothMany drops can be used outside the home and inside. Maybe you are staining or painting outdoors and need to cover landscaping or trim work from overspray and drips. Or perhaps you are prepping drywall for primer and paint inside and require surface protection from dust and paint spills. Versatile dropcloth options like canvas and plastic can protect your job both inside and outside.

How big of a space will you need to cover?

If you are doing wall or trim work, chances are you won’t need to cover the entire room. Whether you are painting overhead, installing and sanding drywall, or removing popcorn ceilings, you’ll want full coverage to protect from drips and dust. Dropcloths come in different sizes, from full size to smaller options like runners. Remember that you may need multiple drops to cover a large room. Look for a dropcloth that fits your needs and your space.

Do you need to wash a dropcloth?

Not all dropcloths are washable. A plastic drop can be easily disposed of after your project if you don’t need a dropcloth you can reuse. If you’re a professional painter, canvas dropcloths are washable and can be reused. Paint dropcloths made from other materials or with plastic or slip-resistant backing may not be machine washable, but you can spot treat them just as easily.

What surfaces are you protecting?

smart grip drop clothIf you’re covering non-slip surfaces such as carpet, concrete, and subfloor, traditional canvas dropcloths are versatile and can be used for light to heavy-duty jobs, depending on the thickness of the canvas you choose. For added spill protection, there are drops that have leak-resistant backing.

If you’re protecting hardwood floors, tile, laminate, or other potentially slippery surfaces such as stairs or countertops, finding a slip-resistant drop cloth is essential. Slipping and falling on the job is a real risk and can be prevented. Slip-resistant dropcloths are designed with a grippy backing and can be up to 300% more slip resistant than traditional canvas. Trimaco’s slip-resistant drops are stitched with orange thread around the border so you can identify its safety properties easily.

Which dropcloth is right for your project?

After these considerations, you should be closer to deciding which dropcloth is right for your project. Trimaco offers a wide range of dropcloths for practically any scenario. From vinyl and canvas, to butyl, paper/poly, and plastic, we offer comprehensive protection to fit your needs.

Explore Trimaco’s most popular dropcloth options

    • Canvas Dropcloths – Heavy-duty canvas drops are perfect for any and all projects – painting, staining, covering furniture, wallpapering, and more. We’ve also seen them used for curtains, slip covers and patio rugs. Canvas will protect against minor spills and splatters depending on the ounce weight. The thicker the ounce weight, the better protection. One major bonus of canvas fabric is that it is machine washable.
    • Stay Put® Canvas Plus – We’ve stitched the borders of all of our slip-resistant dropcloths with orange thread, so you know safety when you see it. This drop is lined with a non-slip rubber backing (like a rug pad), making it a smart choice for stairs, hardwood, tile, and other slippery surfaces when painting or staining. The top layer consists of absorbent canvas and the middle layer is plastic for leak resistance. With the slip-resistant layer on bottom, you are fully covered on the job with this canvas and plastic drop.
    • Quick Drop – This unique folded dropcloth opens easily and folds up quickly for mobility and storage. The top layer is made of absorbent and leak resistant fabric. The bottom layer is highly padded, which makes working on the ground more comfortable. It’s perfect for touch ups, painting, and working on countertops, carpet, hardwoods, vinyl, and tile floors.
    • One Tuff® – Lightweight, absorbent, leak-resistant – what more could you ask for in a dropcloth? The One Tuff® drop is perfect for painting, plastering and staining. The top layer consists of absorbent cloth while the coated side prevents spills and splatters leaking through. Don’t let the thin appearance fool you, once you try it, you’ll never go back!
    • Stay Put® Vinyl – This vinyl dropcloth features a textured slip-resistant technology, making it a safer option for hardwood, vinyl, tile, or carpet. This dropcloth can drape over furniture for extra protection during your job. The vinyl protects against spills and clings to surfaces. It’s an upgrade to traditional plastic but is worth the peace of mind on the job.

Trimaco has your paint needs covered

Check out our whole line of clean, safe, and heavy-duty painter’s drop cloths, painter’s tape, masking tape, and surface protection products online today! For more interesting ways to use dropcloths, check out our dropcloth DIY projects.



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