How-To Videos

Drop Cloth and Painting Clean Up Tips

By: Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford with felt lined vinyl tablecloth to use as drop cloth for painting.

Felt lined vinyl tablecloths make good drop cloths for painting.

No matter how careful you are when painting, you still need to put down a good drop cloth before getting started, and clean your brushes and rollers thoroughly once you’re through. Here’s how to go about it.

Types of drop cloths:

  • Canvas Drop Cloth: While expensive, canvas drop cloths work the best, since they absorb any spilled paint to prevent tracking all over the house.
  • Plastic Drop Cloth: This inexpensive drop cloth comes in various thicknesses. Thinner plastic drop cloths are easy to tear. Plastic also tends to slip and slide on a smooth floor, which can result in falls.
  • Vinyl Tablecloth: An old vinyl tablecloth makes a good drop cloth, since the felt backing absorbs spill, and it’s less expensive than a canvas drop cloth.

How to clean paintbrushes and rollers:

  • Remove any excess paint from rollers before cleaning them with the curved edge of a 5-in-1 painter’s tool.
  • Clean brushes and rollers in the appropriate solvent (mineral spirits for oil-based paint, soap and water for latex paint).
  • Run a wire brush or special brush comb through the bristles to loosen and remove any dried paint.
  • Lay bushes out on a flat surface and allow them to dry before storing.
  • Store brushes in the cardboard cover they came in, or wrap them in paper.

Further Information


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Drop Cloth and Painting Clean Up Tips