4 Types of Drop Cloths for Painting Classes You Can Use

Sharing is caring!

Sip and paint parties are loads of fun, but they can also get pretty messy at times. I always make sure that when I teach at a painting party, both in the clients’ homes and in my studio, I use drop cloths to protect flooring from paint spills.

No matter how careful you are, chances are there is going to be at least some paint or water spilled during a painting party.

But, if you have a decent painting drop cloth, you don’t have to worry about trying to get paint off flooring and carpeting.

There are a few different options available when it comes to drop cloths. Let’s take a look at the ones that I tend to use most often.

#1. Canvas Drop Cloths

I don’t use canvas drop cloths when I teach painting classes in someone’s home. These drop cloths are the most costly, and they are large and cumbersome.

In most cases, I don’t really feel like lugging around any more than is absolutely necessary, so I usually keep the canvas drop sheets for my own studio.

Of course, if you are hosting a paint party and you just happen to have a canvas drop cloth from home painting projects, I would always suggest that you use it for paint and sip night.

One of the best things about a canvas drop cloth is that it is reusable. This is an eco-friendly option because you aren’t going to be throwing it away at the end of the painting session.

As I mentioned, the cost of a canvas drop sheet is a lot higher than what you might expect. But, if you are going to be setting up a studio for paint and sip classes, I would say it is the best option.

#2. Plastic Drop Cloths

The type of drop cloth for painting you will most often see at painting classes are those that are made from plastic. These are available at any stores that sell hardware and paint, and you can often find them at dollar stores.

These drop cloths are usually made from thin plastic. They are often clear and see-through, and they are tough enough to withstand people walking on top of them.

These are great when you have a lot of floor space to cover. Chances are you would rather spend more money on art supplies and less on drop cloths, making plastic drop cloths the best option.

If you want to save money, I suggest getting something from a dollar store. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be a true drop cloth. Any cheap plastic table cloth or tarp will do the trick nicely.

There are a few drawbacks to using plastic drop cloths. If your paint and sip class is being held outdoors, you will need to find something to weigh down the drop cloths so they don’t blow away if it is windy.

Also, when plastic drop cloths get wet, it is all too easy to slip and fall. Plastic drop cloths are less eco-friendly than those made from canvas, but they can be used several times before you have to replace them. 

#3. Paper Drop Cloths

If you want drop cloths that are both disposable and eco-friendly, try using paper. You can buy paper drop cloths for a relatively low price.

Or, you can simply spread out old newspapers on the floor. I do suggest taping them down so they don’t move around. If they do happen to move and something is spilled, they aren’t going to do much to protect your flooring.

Also, if the paper gets wet, the water is going to absorb and go through to your flooring. Paper drop cloths are also not the best choice for painting outdoors.

While this is a cheaper option, I do not recommend it unless there are no other options available.

#4. Paper/Poly Drop Cloths

Finally, I would like to mention drop cloths that are made out of paper/poly. These drop sheets have the qualities of paper and plastic. They are lightweight, making them easier to move around than canvas drop cloths.

While I don’t use these drop cloths often for my paint and sip classes, I have tried them, and they have some benefits. For instance, unlike paper, if water is spilled, the poly will ensure that it doesn’t leak through onto your flooring.

These drop cloths are more expensive than plastic drop cloths, but they aren’t as durable. Remember, they are lightweight so if you are using them outdoors they will need to be weighted down.


When you come right down to it, you can use just about anything as a drop cloth in a pinch. I’ve even used old bed sheets or thin blankets when I couldn’t find a drop cloth.

For paint and sip parties, I generally tell hosts that cheap, plastic drop cloths are the best option. They are reusable, and no water or paint will leak through to the flooring. If worse comes to worst, I tell them they can use paper if there is nothing else available.

The last thing a painting party host wants is to spend the evening worried about messes. The host should be able to enjoy the paint and sip event as much as their guests. So, use a drop cloth, and there will be very little to worry about.

*image by wirestock_creators/depositphotos