How to the Best Drop Cloths for Every Project at Home

Professional painters won’t consider tackling a job without covering all surfaces that could be splashed or splashed on — because, unfortunately, those messes are pretty much inevitable. While drop cloths are standard tools for painters, they’re also a good idea to have on hand for home tinkerers and crafters.

Drop cloths, in their simplest forms, are pieces of material that can be used anywhere to protect surfaces from dirt. They come in a variety of colors and materials: paper works best for dry messes, tarps work better for larger oily messes, and canvas or plastic ones work best indoors or outdoors for most minor dry or liquid messes. Before you shop, check out our recommendations for the best drop cloths on the market today.

What to consider

Drop clothes may seem like a purchase you don’t need to think too much about, but they come in so many shapes and sizes that there’s a lot to think about before you click “buy.”


Drop dresses have a wide range of sizes. In addition to the traditional square or rectangular shapes, they sometimes come in long strips or rolls that you can cut to size yourself. Make sure you know how much space you’re covering before you buy.


Drop cloths can be made from light or heavy-duty plastics, canvas, and other fabrics. Think about how often you’ll want to use your drop cloth, and whether you want it to be washable and/or waterproof.

Internal external

Some drop cloths were engineered to be used outdoors, while others work best indoors. Some can be used anywhere. Make sure you buy the right model for your specific project.

How we evaluated

We thought about all the different uses people could have for drop cloths, and what sizes and materials would work best for certain types of painting or DIY jobs. We also consulted with home renovation and painting experts and reviewed hundreds of user ratings to determine the best drop cloths on the market.

All-purpose canvas drop cloth

This water-resistant, durable canvas drop cloth works wonders for both indoor and outdoor projects. While it works for virtually any DIY project, its heavy-duty nature makes it an obvious choice if you’re painting or staining furniture, and it can be machine washed and Can be kept in the dryer without affecting quality. Strong, double-stitched hems mean it will serve you well for years to come and can be used endlessly.

The cloth comes in 10 sizes, meaning you can find at least one that fits the job you have in mind, and it comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Klomo Drop Cloth

Klomo Drop Cloth

If you want a heavy-duty canvas drop cloth that’s durable, water-resistant, and eco-friendly, look no further. It is made from regenerated cotton fiber and pre-consumer waste and is recyclable, reusable, bleach-free, and dye-free.

It’s leak- and tear-proof, highly absorbent, and extra-reinforced, with seams and edges that are double-stitched and double-stitched to prevent fraying. The rot-resistant tarp works well indoors and outdoors, protecting floors, patios, carpets, and furniture from stains and spills when work is underway around the house, and is available in multiple sizes.

Reviewers say these “excellent” drop cloths also work well as flooring on camping trips.

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Slip-resistant drop cloth

If you’re doing a home project and need to cover delicate furniture or textiles, this adhesive vinyl cloth is a wonderful asset. It drapes well, but also sticks to surfaces easily, making it difficult for spills and sprinklers to get into the cracks.

This cloth will be placed on any surface, protecting wood, vinyl, tile, carpet, cabinets, and furniture. It is also lightweight, reusable, and budget-friendly. Reviewers love using this drop cloth when they’re working barefoot, saying it “never slips or slides.”

Builder’s Paper Drop Cloth

If you or a family member is a fan of messy arts and crafts projects, this Trimaco Paper Drop Fabric is a must-buy. It comes in giant rolls that can be unrolled as needed and works well for finger paint, baking mess, mud, and other spills.

Many reviewers say it’s a mealtime sun saver for toddlers who are just learning the finer points of careful eating. A temporary surface protector/drop cloth can also be used as craft paper for hobby doodlers and drawers.

10 Piece Blue Painter Plastic Drop Cloth

10 Piece Blue Painter Plastic Drop Cloth

These plastic drop cloths—which come in packs of 10—are versatile, easy to use, and can be applied to any surface to protect against paint, water, or rust. Drop cloths are individually wrapped, which means if you only need a few for a job, the rest can be saved for later.

The set comes with a pair of plastic gloves, which also help keep your hands clean if you’re painting. These drop cloths can be reused a few times, and once worn out, they can be recycled.

Reviewers love how these drop cloths protect surfaces, but warn that they are fragile and can easily tear when removed from their packaging.


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