A canvas drop cloth. Amateur painters tend to put little thought into drop cloths-many just use old sheets or shower curtains. Only later do they learn that paint can soak right through bedsheets, ruining whatever is below…and it sometimes rolls off the edge of plastic shower curtains. It’s worth buying a canvas drop cloth-a 9′ by 12′ drop cloth can cost as little as $20 and last a lifetime. The thicker your canvas drop cloth, the longer-lasting the protection it will offer against major spills, such as knocked-over paint buckets. Or pay a bit more for a canvas drop cloth that has a rubber or plastic slip-resistant coating on one side to reduce the risk of falls. Drop cloths that lack this rubber can slide when placed on slick tile or hard-wood surfaces, which can cause people and ladders standing on the cloth to fall. Recommendation: CoverGrip canvas drop cloths have small plastic dots on the underside to prevent dangerous slips when used over a wood, tile or marble floor. The 8′ by 10’size costs around $50, but for around $25 you can get a 3.5′ by 12′ size that will protect the area immediately in front of one wall.