1. Start by covering up any sensitive plants with drop cloths or old sheets. This will help prevent paint from splattering on them—and it will also protect them from any stray paintbrushes or ladders. sensitive plants include delicate flowers, herbs, and vegetables. If you’re not sure whether or not a plant is delicate, err on the side of caution and cover it up anyway.

2. Once your plants are safely covered, take a look at your hardscape features—things like pavers, stone walkways, and sitting areas. These can be more difficult to protect than plants, so it’s important to take some extra time to make sure they’re well covered. We recommend using heavy-duty tarps that are secured with painter’s tape or bungee cords.

3. If possible, try to avoid painting on windy days. This will help prevent paint from accidentally blowing onto your landscaping—or worse, into your neighbor’s yard!

4. Be extra careful when laddering up to reach high places. Lean your ladder against the house (away from any windows) and have someone hold it steady while you work. This will help prevent accidents—and it will also help ensure that you don’t damage your landscaping while trying to reach those high places.

5. And finally, take your time when cleaning up after yourself. Thoroughly rinse all brushes and rollers before putting them away, and dispose of any leftover paint properly (most hardware stores offer recycling services for latex paint). Once everything is clean and dry, carefully remove all tarps and drop cloths from your landscaping—being careful not to drag any dirt or debris along with them. Doing all of this will help minimize the impact that painting has on your beautiful yard.