Masking/Dust Protection for Interior Furnished Areas

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Craftsman Operating Procedures (COPs), developed by the PDCA Craftsmanship Forum, establish a benchmark for how painting is done at a craftsman level so that individual painting companies can customize them for their own brand of craftsmanship. From jobsite setup to painting trim to cleanup and closeout, COPs constitute a readymade tool to help you standardize craftsmanship practices within your painting company. The COPs also help train employees in the consistent delivery of the quality that you promise your clients. Each month APC highlights a new COP. COP RI-GL-3 — Masking/Dust Protection for Interior Furnished Areas

  • Note any damages on surfaces not to be painted.
  • Test masking tape on surface prior to masking to prevent damage to existing coating.
  • Remove hardware, put it in a Ziplock bag and label it with the area name. Put all bags in secure area.
  • Cover walls not to be painted, including wallpapered walls, w/static-charged plastic sheeting. This plastic will usually adhere to the wall without the use of tape.
  • When moving a refrigerator, be careful not to damage the water supply line.
  • Be careful with floors when moving heavy furniture or a refrigerator. Use Masonite, thin plywood, furniture sliders or a clean and folded drop cloth.
  • In lieu of taping plastic over wall coverings, use pushpins to secure plastic sheeting.
  • Use blue booties on smoke detectors to keep dust from setting them off, if allowed by local fire regulations. Be sure to remove them at the end of every work day.
  • When covering furniture with plastic, spray adhesive may be used to secure the plastic to a drop cloth or protective paper.
  • Mark drop cloths for top and bottom to prevent placing the soiled side down.
  • It’s a good idea to photograph or draw a diagram of a room before you begin to work so you can return everything to its exact location.
  • Rather than masking door hinges, replace hinges with temporary hinges.
  • To prevent paint from seeping under tape, try burnishing the tape edge.
  • When putting plastic over an electric fixture, make sure to also tape the switch.
  • When covering dressers, make sure to have them facing outward to ensure easy access to the contents for the client.

A series of 20 Residential Interior COPs and a series of 25 Residential Exterior COPs can be purchased from PDCA’s online store. Visit for more information. 

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