Painting tarps are as important to a paint job as are rollers, brushes and the paint itself. Interior paint jobs can get pretty messy with drips, splatters and spills, and a quality tarp is essential for protecting your floor, furniture, furnishings and other valuables as you paint your walls or ceiling. Here are guidelines on how to get the right tarp for your painting project and utilise it effectively for the best results.

Choose the right material

Tarps come in a variety of materials, and there are ones that are ideal for covering and protecting valuables during a painting job. Here are some of the best tarp materials you can choose.


The material is durable and thick enough to absorb paint drips and spills. Some versions of canvas tarps come with a butyl backing that prevents paint from seeping into the material and onto the floor. There are heavy-duty canvas tarps with extra thickness for paint jobs that can get messy. Canvas is ideal if you are looking for a painting tarp that you can use for many years.


Plastic tarps are also good choices for painting jobs. They are available in different sizes with the heavy duty ones being resistant to ripping and tearing and can be reused. Although the material is durable, it is non-absorbent; therefore, you need to be careful when removing it after the painting job as the spills can run and ruin your valuables.


Paper tarps are ideal for one-time paint projects as they are low-cost and disposable after use. They also absorb paint spills effectively. The downside of using paper tarps is that they rip easily; therefore, you may need to be extra careful when using them.

Tarps that are designed specifically for painting jobs do not have grommets on them. You can save money by purchasing the tarps without grommets.

Secure the tarps

Tarps tend to wander and expose the floor, furniture and other valuables when left loose. To avoid spills on your valuables, tape the tarp to the floor using a quality tarp tape. In the case of furniture, tie down the tarps around the furniture using rope.

Store tarps correctly

Canvas and plastic tarps can be reused; therefore, you should store them properly for your next painting project. Allow the paint to dry on the surface of the material and store the tarp in a dry place. If you want to wash your canvas tarps, do it in cold water and leave it to air dry before storage.

Painting tarps are practical solutions for protecting furniture, furnishings and other valuables from paint spills. Follow these tips to get the best value out of your home painting project. If your tarps do sustain damage, sometimes tarp repairs can be done to ensure their continued use.