Move Furnishings for Easy Access to the Walls and Ceiling
Cramped working conditions lead to messy accidents. Remove furniture or stack it up. Set upholstered chairs upside down on the sofa. Cover the dining room tabletop with cardboard and set chairs on top of it. But make sure the stack doesn't become an obstacle. Get out the ladder and roller and make a dry run to be sure you can easily reach all parts of the ceiling. In some cases, two smaller stacks with space for a ladder between them is better than one. Maintain a generous workspace of at least 3 ft. between the stack and the walls. Cover your furniture stack with plastic. Even if you're careful, some drips and splatters are likely. Duct tape will keep the plastic in place and hold the stack together if you bump into it.
Cover the Carpet With Canvas Drop Cloths
Canvas drop cloths are absolutely the best coverings for carpet. They're easy to spread out, and unlike plastic, they stay put without tape. And they won't cause your ladder to slip-slide on carpet. Just bunch them up a bit along walls and they'll stay where you want them. Normal drips and splatter won't soak through canvas, but heavy spills will. Pick up the drop cloths and scoop up spills with a broad putty knife or dustpan. These drop cloths aren't cheap, but you don't have to cover the entire floor. A long, narrow 'runner' is a good choice. You can drag it around the room as you go. A runner is also perfect for carpeted stairs; just fasten it to the steps with small nails so you don't trip.