After you’ve figured out the type and color of paint you want for a room, the next step isn’t to just slap the paint on the wall with a paint brush. You should first protect the room and contents from paint damage. Protecting your room before painting will involve making sure your floor, skirting boards and outlets are protected from paint splatter and making sure all your furniture is wither removed or covered with a drop cloth. In this post I’m going to take you through these steps, and help you get off to the best of starts on your painting project.
The first step you should take in protecting your room is laying down appropriate drop cloths. A drop cloth is a protective sheet that will prevent dropped paint from damaging your floor. A drop cloth is especially important if the floor of your room is carpet, as it is no easy job removing paint from carpet.
Drop cloths come in a few different forms. The most expensive of these are made from canvas. Canvas drop cloths are heavy duty, and you’ll likely be able to reuse them many times before having to throw them out. Water based paints can however soak through the canvas, so this is something you should keep in mind.
Cheap poly-sheets are also available. These are waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about paint working its way through it, and onto your floor. A downside of poly-sheeting is that it isn’t very durable, meaning you’ll likely have to throw it out after its first use. Also, some people don’t like the fact that it can become quite slippery underfoot. There are sheets available that have a paper upper-layer. This solves the problem of them being slippery, while continuing to be waterproof.
Whichever drop cloth you decide on, make sure you cover all your furniture and floors to ensure that you don’t accidently damage anything. A little effort covering everything here can save you from getting a few headaches once you start painting.
Once you have everything covered, it’s time to begin masking out the skirting boards and outlets. This step is needed to ensure no paint drops onto areas that have not been covered by the drop cloths. I recommend buying some painters tape for the masking process. Painters tape is usually more expensive than standard masking tape; however it does have an advantage over masking tape. Painters tape contains less adhesive than standard masking tape. This means that although it might not stay on the wall as well, it won’t remove any paint from the wall when you remove it.
Start by masking around the skirting boards. Some people prefer to use one continuous strip of tape when doing this. I would recommend against doing this. Instead, mask around the skirting board using four or five separate pieces. This should help prevent the tape from falling off the skirting board. Once you’ve masked all the skirting board, it’s time to move onto the outlets.
Some people like to remove the outlets from the wall. What you decide to do is up to you. I personally just mask around the outlets. If done right, you should be able to prevent any paint from touching the outlet.
Your room should now be fully protected from paint drips and spillage disasters. Before starting to prime your wall for paint, have one final look around your room. Make sure you haven’t missed out on any hidden areas that may need protecting. Once you’re happy you’ve done the best job possible at protecting your room, you can move on to priming the walls.
Hopefully after reading this you will always remember to properly protect your room before painting. A top tip is to always have some extra drop cloths and painters tape available. You never know when a drop cloth could get damaged or a roll of painters tape could go missing.
Adam Gibson is a freelance writer currently studying at Stirling University. This article was written on behalf of Kens Yard, a building supplies specialist online.