When it comes to do it yourself (DIY) decorating, a lot of people are actually put off by the mess it can cause. If painting, there is the potential for drips to get onto skirting boards and carpets or for splashes and paint splatter to end up on furniture, paintings or ornaments. When it comes to wallpapering yourself, sticky wallpaper paste might end up on your curtains or sofa whilst tasks such as sanding can cause even more mess with dust often being cleaned up weeks and weeks later from flooring, windowsills and furniture tops. However all this mess can be avoided thanks to decorator’s dust sheets. In this article, we take a look at the types of dust sheet available and how to use them effectively. Dust Sheets Types Dust sheets for decorating have actually been around for years with decorators and home owners using old bed sheets or pieces of fabric to cover items prior to decorating but let’s face it, not all of us have the luxury to have old linen available for trashing whilst decorating. Luckily a number of DIY suppliers realised this and made dust sheets specifically for this purpose Now the first thing to acknowledge is that not all dust sheets are made from fabric. In fact most commonly found are plastic dust sheets, typically made out of a thin plastic such as polythene. This is similar to the thin plastic that carrier bags are made from and offers the advantage of creating a complete barrier against both dust and moisture, such as spilt paints or adhesives, from getting onto your furniture or carpets. They are typically lightweight, making them easy to manoeuvre and when folded or rolled, are compact enough to store. A simple shake or wipe down will make them suitable for reuse, although due to the thin nature of the material, tears are common. Some manufacturers of dust sheets therefore still provide dust sheets made from cotton as an alternative. These are usually relatively thick which offers better protection from dust although, rarely are they waterproof. They are often more expensive, reflecting the cost of the production materials and can be cumbersome and heavy to move. Although they can be easily folded or rolled up, they are slightly bulkier then their polythene counterparts when it comes to storage. However they are more suitable for re-use as they can be beaten to remove dust and laundered at home. How to Use Dust Sheets Dust sheets have a wide range of uses. They can be used to cover flooring, door frames and doors or furniture with ease in most cases. Here are a couple of tips to ensure the least amount of mess as possible.  
  • When covering floors, be sure to tack the dust sheet in place with something like masking tape along the edges. This not only holds the dust sheet in place, allowing you to walk on it, but also stops dust or other debris from getting underneath it.
  • When covering furniture, again tack the dustsheet in place and when more than one dust sheet is required for a large piece of furniture, ensure that you overlap the dust sheets so there are no gaps for decorating grime to penetrate.
  • When you’ve finished with a dust sheet, either fabric or polythene, gently untape it and fold into the centre of the sheet. Then pick up the corners and carry outside before unravelling. This will ensure any debris the duct sheet caught ends up outside and not on your flooring.
By using dust sheets and keeping these simple tips in mind, you can be assured of the minimal amount of mess whilst decorating your home.