Canvas vs. Plastic Drop Cloths – Which Option is Best?

There are many options available in the market for choosing a drop cloth. So, in this article, you will get to know about the pros and cons of both.

A good drop cloth is as essential to a painter’s toolkit as a paintbrush or paint can. Floors and furnishings are shielded from paint splatters and drip with the help of drop cloths. While there are many materials from which to choose, canvas and plastic are two of the most common for use as drop cloths. Which type of a painter’s drop cloth will best safeguard your possessions? Differences between canvas and plastic drop cloths are discussed.

Canvas vs Plastic Drop Cloths


Costs for drop cloths can range from cheap to expensive, depending on factors like the fabric used and the merchant. However, plastic drop cloths are typically less expensive than canvas drop cloths. Canvas drop cloths, in particular, are the most expensive option. Price is an important consideration when shopping for a tarp drop cloth, but it shouldn’t be your only one.


The drop cloth’s longevity is another crucial aspect to think about. True to its reputation, the canvas is considered virtually indestructible by the world’s finest artists. When covering something sharp that could penetrate other materials, plastic is not the best option because it tears easily.

Nevertheless, you can rest easy knowing your canvas drop cloth won’t get ripped or punctured. A canvas drop cloth is a worthwhile investment because it may be used repeatedly without showing signs of wear and tear if cared for properly.

Slippery Surface

Due to their placement on the floor, drop cloths must be non slip. These days, most canvas drop cloths come with a rubberized butyl backing that grabs onto surfaces like furniture or carpeting and keeps the drop cloth in place while you paint. The non-slip backing prevents a canvas drop cloth from moving around when you walk on it.

Unfortunately, drop cloths made of plastic are not typically constructed with this function; thus, they may not remain in place. Having your plastic drop cloth blown across the yard by a strong breeze is a huge issue while painting outside.

When used indoors or out, a plastic drop cloth poses a significant risk because of its poor traction. You should wear slip-resistant shoes and pay close attention to your footing if you lay your flooring with a plastic drop cloth. The plastic drop cloth could be taped to the floor, or the edges may be weighted to keep them from blowing away.


Canvas, as was noted, is a tangible medium that can take in voluminous amounts of color. Unlike paper, plastic cannot let moisture in or out. An advantage of using a plastic drop cloth is that paint spills will run off the cloth rather than being absorbed. Even though paint cannot penetrate plastic, it can make a large mess if you don’t cover every inch of your furnishings and floor with a drop cloth before you start painting.

Impact on the Environment

Consumers concerned about their carbon footprint can investigate the environmental effects of various drop cloth materials. Compared to buying a new plastic drop cloth for every painting job, the environmental impact of using a canvas drop cloth is substantially lower because it can be reused multiple times.

Canvas, like cotton, may be recycled at most centers because it is a natural fiber. The cotton in the drop cloth will decompose in a landfill because it is biodegradable. Nonetheless, plastic cannot make the same claim. Canvas is preferable to plastic if being ecologically conscious is a priority when selecting a drop cloth.


For their durability and versatility, canvas drop cloths are the preferred choice of most professional painters. You can reuse a canvas drop cloth indefinitely after washing it. However, drop cloths made of plastic are often one-time-use items. In contrast to the frequent painting done by professionals, homeowners who need a drop cloth for only one project may find it more cost-effective to purchase a plastic one.

The Weight of the Material

Plastic’s minimal weight makes it a suitable material for this purpose. The lightweight and compact nature of plastic makes it an ideal covering material for unconventionally formed furniture. Even while plastic has a lot of benefits, its lightweight construction can be a problem in some situations. Painters who have experience using drop cloths know that heavier textiles are preferable since they are more robust than thinner ones. Paint can’t seep through thicker materials since they absorb more of it.

Although it may be challenging to toss a big piece of canvas over a piece of furniture yourself, this should not dissuade you from using canvas. To avoid having to resort to a more manageable material, have a friend assist you in setting up the drop cloths. If you’re worried about the canvas being too heavy to work with, you can choose from several different weights.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button