Why A Shower Curtain Might Be The Ultimate Drop Cloth While Painting

Painting is a messy endeavor, and it's easy to get your house just as messy if you're not watching what you're doing. Rogue brush flicks can splatter nearby furniture, rollers can accidentally brush a floorboard, and thick drips can fall and splatter on your flooring. While it's inevitable, there is one common bathroom item that can help you contain the mess to a minimum: a shower curtain.

While cloth coverings are the preferred choice of many amateur and professional painters alike, they can sometimes let paint seep through due to their absorbent material. Since they're made from canvas, paint can leak through the fibers and onto the flooring below. This can be especially bad if you're protecting carpeting or hardwood flooring. However, a shower curtain can act as a plastic tarp, ensuring nothing gets through. You could theoretically spill a whole can of paint onto the curtain, and the flooring underneath would stay paint-stain-free.

Some caveats to keep in mind

While this painting hack will undoubtedly come in handy, there are some things to consider before ripping your plastic liner down from the curtain pole. First, a shower curtain will be smaller than a traditional painting tarp. A standard shower curtain is usually 70 by 70 inches, while standard drop cloths can vary anywhere from 4 by 12 feet to 30 by 30 feet, depending on how big of a room you're trying to cover. Keeping that in mind, this shower curtain hack will be best for smaller painting jobs unless you're comfortable moving it as you paint.

Second, you may need to overlap several shower curtains together to make a bigger sheet, but be conscious of the overlaps so you don't accidentally trip on them. It might be best to tape those parts down with painter's tape, which will also ensure sneaky paint splatters won't get through the overlaps.

This can also be eco-friendly

We know what you're thinking — how can using plastic be eco-friendly? There are two things to consider here. First, you can use this hack to give an old curtain new life. If you have a worn or dingy plastic shower liner, it's perfect to use for some protection from painting, giving it a second purpose. And since it's recommended to replace your shower curtain once a year, this can be a handy way to make use of old ones.

Second, this is an eco-friendly hack due to the fact that shower curtains are thicker than the flimsy plastic tarps you can buy at hardware stores. Cheap tarps can be quite thin and are often sold to be used one to two times before needing to be tossed. But since you can wash a curtain liner, you can use it as often as you would like before retiring it to the recycle bin, especially if it only has minimal splattering.