Tools for Paint
Masking and Covering

There are relatively few tools necessary to accomplish paint masking and covering.

Painters Drop Cloths / Tarps
Painters drop cloths can be classified as a tool because they are reusable. With proper care, drop cloths can last for years. The canvas variety are even machine washable.

Painters drop cloths are typically produced with canvas material. Canvas tarps are available in several different grades. Painters drop cloths are rated based upon their density measured in ounces per square yard. For example, a light weight inexpensive drop cloth would weigh about 6-7 ounces per square yard while a more expensive, super heavy duty tarp would weigh 11-12 ounces per square yard. Spill proof painters drop cloths –canvas tarps coated on one side with a butyl rubber compound – are also available.

Below is a list of common grades and sizes of drop cloths. Sizes and grades may vary between manufacturers. Remember that the heavier duty a tarp is, the more expensive it is to purchase. Try to select the drop cloths that are right for your job.

Painters Drop Cloths - Types and grades:
       6 to 7 ounce - light weight
       8 to 9 ounce - professional
       9 to 10 ounce - heavy duty
      11 to 12 ounce - super heavy duty
Butyl Backed Canvas - heavy duty
Multi Coated Butyl - super heavy duty

Painters Drop Cloths - Sizes:

  • 4 ft. by 12 ft. (runner)
  • 4 ft. by 15 ft. (runner)
  • 9 ft. by 12 ft.
  • 12 ft. by 15 ft.
  • 5 ft. by 5 ft. (closet)

Hand Masker
A hand masker is a painter’s tool that combines masking tape with masking paper or folded masking film in one simple step. This tool is a huge time saver for any painting project requiring extensive paint masking and covering. Trying to apply masking tape to masking paper or masking film without a hand masker is awkward and very time consuming.

Cut-off blades for hand maskers are generally constructed from stainless steel. There are two types of cut off blades that are available. A coarser tooth cutting blade is used in conjunction with masking paper. These blades are available in three popular sizes, 6, 9, and 12 inches. A sharper, finer tooth blade is used with masking film. These blades are available in 12 inch size. Cut off blades are usually sold separately.

Utility Knife
A utility knife is a basic cutting tool that uses disposable razor blades. A utility knife is well suited to cut paint masking materials such as painters plastic and red rosin paper. Replacement blades are sold separately. It is a good idea to keep a small pack on hand so you have them when you need them.

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Professional Painting, Inc. is a full service painting company serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988.