10 Tools You Need to Paint Your Home's Exterior

Drop Cloths
Drop cloths are a must outdoors to protect your garden. Tony Anderson/The Image Bank/Getty Images

It's quite possible that as your home gets prepared for a shiny new coat of paint, your landscaping ends up in a dull, lifeless state, thanks to the chemicals coming off the walls. You can avoid this by protecting your greenery.

Before scraping excess paint or using a pressure washer, cover trees, plants, grass and shrubs with plastic sheeting or drop cloths. Either will work, but some professional painters recommend drop cloths because they let water run through while still catching paint chips. They're also less likely to rip. It's a good idea to use only water during a high-pressure wash because chemicals can kill plants and grass. Avoid hitting trees, plants or shrubs with the high-pressure stream because the water blast can damage them.

Use landscaping staples or 2x4 boards to hold the plastic sheeting or drop cloths in place. Keep them there until the painting job is complete because they can catch paint drips, something that's especially prone to happen when using a paint roller [source: Johnson].