Posts Tagged ‘dropcloths’

Protecting Baseboards from Splatter

February 23, 2021

No matter how careful you are, splatters and drips from paint and primers are going to fall – and onto the baseboard and floor. I hate seeing little “speckles” all over homeowners’ floors, moldings, countertops, etc.

I’ve cut thin dropcloth into strips which I tack above the baseboard or vanity top, to catch splatters. The material is absorbent on the surface, and liquid-proof on the back. They are thin and pliable.

And – oh, yes – occasionally you need a damp terry-cloth rag to cover a doorknob or projecting faucet.

New Label Material Allows Drips

December 26, 2020

Here is my favorite wallpaper primer – Ultra Prime Pro 977 by Romans.

It appears the composition of their paper label has changed. Previously, the label was absorbent, so any drips that formed would soak into the paper.

But now, even though the label looks the same, it’s made of a new material that allows drips to run all the way down the side of the can. Even if I wipe them away, they reform and continue to slide down the can.

This means there is great potential for these drips to reach my dropcloths (see photo). The dropcloths will protect the floor, no problem. But once they get a certain amount of drips and splotches, even though they may still be serviceable, they don’t look good in a client’s home, so have to be discarded.

Besides ruining the dropcloths, there is also the chance that an errant drip of primer might find its way to the homeowner’s floor, carpet, countertop, or furniture.

I have written to the Romans company, and I hope they listen to my feedback and go back to their former type of label on their cans.

UPDATE: I chatted with the company rep today, and she confirms that they have, indeed, changed to a new manufacturer, and that company does use a plasticized coating on the label. That explains why the primer slides rather than soaks in.

My Work Table On Client’s Dining Table

December 15, 2020

My folding work table and trestle legs take up a space about 5′ x 8.’ Usually there is space for me to set it up somewhere near where I am working.

But sometimes it works better for me to use the homeowner’s dining room table.

With their permission, I place a padded moving blanket over the table, spread dropcloths around and under, and put my table (a set of three boards) on top.

All ready now to hang wallpaper!

Getting Smoothing Compound To Dry

June 13, 2019


The walls in this powder room were textured. (see top photo) To ensure that the new wallpaper looks good, and that it has a solid surface to cling to, the walls need to be smoothed. This is called floating, or skim coating, and I do a lot of it here in Houston. To do that, I trowel on a plaster-like substance, let it dry, then sand it, vacuum up the dust, wipe residual dust off the walls with a damp sponge, and then prime.

What takes the most time is waiting for the smoothing compound (drywall joint compound, which we also call “mud”) to dry. If the texture is heavy, often it has to dry overnight. The downside of this is that it adds an extra day of labor and expense. But when the texture is lighter, the drying can be speeded along.

In the second photo, you see some of the ways I get mud to dry more quickly. On the counter* you see two box fans, and on the floor is a much stronger fan. On the counter is also a space heater. Hot air in the room absorbs moisture, sucking it out of the wet smoothing compound. I let the room heat up, and then I have to open the door and let the moist air out – over and over again.

The yellow objet on the floor is a heat gun. A heat gun acts like a hair dryer on steroids, and can get small stubborn areas to dry pretty quickly.

A few other things help speed drying … Walls coated with flat paint will dry more quickly than with glossy paint. And having the air conditioning and / or heat cranking away will help, because, while regulating the temperature, these climate-control systems also pull humidity out of the air. I also like to turn the HVAC system’s fan from “Auto” to “On,” so that air is circulating continuously, which also pulls humidity out of the air and helps the walls to dry.

*I normally keep a dropcloth on the vanity counter. But the vibrating fans can cause the dropcloths to slip, and you don’t want anything crashing down on the homeowner’s countertop. I do have lengths of self-grip shelf liner that help keep the fans from moving around too much.

Paint Splatters on Baseboards, Floor, and Countertops

March 24, 2015

Digital Image

Digital Image

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See these little grey specks of paint? This is because whoever painted the wall using a roller did not put blue painter’s tape on the baseboards, to protect them from splatters. There were a few specks on the floor, as well. This was an expensive new home in the Heights.

In the last photo, a powder room in the Rice U. area, you can see splatters all over this nice slate countertop. The floor in this powder room was equally marred. What a shame.

The primers I use are clear or white and don’t splatter much. But still, I usually use push-pins to hold the dropcloths up over the baseboards, to catch any drops that might fall.

Hmmm. I Guess the TV Guys Forgot to Bring a Dropcloth

July 20, 2014

Digital ImageThat’s the homeowner’s embroidered satin bed spread they’ve chosen to lay the big screen TV on. The mounting bracket for the TV got plopped on top of the homeowner’s shelving unit.

Added one day later: I posted this photo on the Facebook page of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers (NGPP), and it received mixed comments. Some people thought it is perfectly OK, another pointed out that dropcloths can be dirtier than a television set, etc.

Here’s my take on it: We all know that the TV monitor is not going to do any damage to the bedspread. In fact, with the exception of priming (which can splatter) or stripping wallpaper (using lots of drippy water), there is little I do that will cause any damage to the client’s home.

Paper and plastic sheeting are expensive and time consuming. And I hate dropcloths, because they get all bunched up and snarled in the legs of the ladder, and most of the time they’re unnecessary anyway, because I leave my shoes at the front door and I keep cushioned booties on the feet of my ladder to avoid scratching floors, and the process of putting paper on a wall doesn’t result in much of anything getting on the floor. But you can bet that I put those dropcloths down before I start working!

You see, it boils down to the client’s perception that you are careful in her home, respectful of her belongings, and taking steps to ensure that everything stays safe and clean.

So, maybe there wasn’t really a need for a dropcloth or sheet under the monitor. But I think the homeowner would have appreciated the TV guys making a little effort to protect her bedspread – or, better yet, put the thing on the floor. With a dropcloth underneath it, of course.