Keep Home Furnishings Safe From Paint

If this is your first home interior painting job, you may be anticipating a mess. After all, paint has all the properties of a potential disaster. It drips, spatters, and runs, getting on everything in its near and not so near vicinity. Rollers are especially notorious for spattering during the rolling process, even though in theory, they make a substantial cut in the amount of time you spend on a painting job and are easier to use than brushes. But there are ways and means to protect the items in a room from paint spatters and it pays to learn how before painting day arrives.

Total Protection

Start by removing the furniture from the room. What if you don't have extra room for storing your furniture, even temporarily? Or say that a particular piece of furniture is just too heavy to move with ease. Not to worry. Just move the furniture to the center of the room. Then take old shower curtains or plastic sheeting and cover every inch of the items for total protection.

The next step is to remove from the room all wall hangings, lamps, rugs, sculptures, and knickknacks. Follow this by unscrewing and removing all the light switch covers with the help of a flat-head screwdriver. You can also remove the outlet covers at this time. Keep all covers and screws in a plastic bag so they don't get separated or lost.

Then, take painter's masking tape and "mask off" baseboard if you intend to paint them a different color than your walls. This type of tape is designed for easy removal on completion of a paint job and is a better option than regular masking tape. You can tape the windows and frames, too. Try to tape as close to the edges as possible.

Cover Up

If there's wainscoting at the bottom of the walls, you'll need to cover it up with plastic sheeting. You can measure and cut the pieces to fit and use the painter's tape to secure the plastic to the wainscoting. You'll also want to tape off light fixtures, thermostats, pipes, registers, and anything else that can't be removed from the area. Cover them in the same manner as wainscoting.

The final step in protecting the room is to cover the floor with drop cloths, cardboard or newspaper. Drop cloths are superior to newspaper, since the latter tends to tear and create channels where paint can get in. Cloth is preferable to plastic sheeting too, since the sheeting can cause slippage which might lead to accidents. Cloth also stays in place better than plastic.