Painting where walls meet a trim or ceiling can be very tricky. Users want a nice, straight line and for the edging to match the paint. However, this is not an easy task to accomplish without the proper technique. Learn how to cut in paint – top 10 DIY painting hacks review.
To obtain a good paint job, it is all in preparation. Cutting in around ceilings, trims, and baseboards is essential before rolling paint. With the right equipment and instruction, any DIYer can obtain that perfect paint job.
Table of Contents
- How to Cut in Paint
- Tips for Increasing Your Success
- Be gentle
- Refrain from using excessive paint
- Invest in a good-quality brush
- Transfer a small amount of paint to a paint pail.
- Load the brush by patting it, not wiping it
- Wiggle the paintbrush into corners
- Only mask the tops of trims
- Use an angled sash brush, as they are easy to control
- When painting, paint at eye level with a bright light
- Work slowly to the line.
- Add conditioner to make brushing easier
- Remove paint mistakes before they dry
- Feather the edge when you are content with the cut-in line
- Cut only one wall at a time
How to Cut in Paint
1. Even with small amounts of paint, spills and drips do happen. Begin the paint job by preparing the room. Ensure all floors and surfaces are covered. You can use a drop cloth and move it around the room as you work or cover all furniture at once.
2. Painter’s tape should be used to mask only tough-to-reach or awkward areas of the room. These are the areas that you can’t guarantee clean results otherwise. Tape needs to be properly applied or it will bleed through.
3. Load the paint brush, paint roller, or paint edger. Two inches of paint should be placed in the bucket. Use a pencil grip to hold the brush. The longer side should be in line with the index finger. Dip the brush 2/3 of the bristle’s length into the paint. Tap the brush against the bucket to remove any excess paint.
4. Start one inch from the area you are cutting in. The brush should be held horizontally. Then paint about a 12” stripe along the wall by using a downward stroke (if you’re painting a corner). Paint sideways if you are going along the ceiling, trim, or baseboard.
5. Turn the brush 90° so that the wall is angled. Return to the start of the stroke. By using lengthy, even strokes of paint, cut in thinner lines that reach up to the wall, corner, or trim.
6. When you are satisfied, turn the brush horizontally. Gently go over the section to eliminate brush marks. Feather the outer edges of the painted surface. This will create a seamless finish after rolling.
7. Work around the room and overlap sections, keeping a wet edge. If paint hits the baseboard or trim, place a damp cloth against a spackling knife and remove any excess paint.
While this takes practice, it makes a difference in a room. The rolling and edges will blend easily. You will not see any bleed through and you will have crisp edges.
Tips for Increasing Your Success
Excessive pressure will result in paint oozing out of the paint roller or paint brush and cause drips.
Refrain from using excessive paint
Heavy lines and drips will result. The bristles of the brush will cake with crusty, dry paint in the process.
Invest in a good-quality brush
The better the brush, the less taping is required. This will make the job go faster.
Transfer a small amount of paint to a paint pail.
Only use an inch of paint. This eliminates placing the brush too deep into the paint, makes cleanup quicker in the event of a spill, and is lighter.
Load the brush by patting it, not wiping it
Leave a bit more paint on the brush by placing it only an inch into the pail. Then pat it against opposing sides of the pail to remove the excess. This tip allows you to cover more surface before reloading.
Wiggle the paintbrush into corners
It is an excellent technique in getting missed areas after a second pass. Just wiggle a bit for good results.
Only mask the tops of trims
This will avoid having any splatter on the woodwork while rolling.
Use an angled sash brush, as they are easy to control
The tips can be fanned to achieve fine paint lines and to reach into corners.
When painting, paint at eye level with a bright light
You need to clearly view the line. Headlamps are a great tool to use especially when cutting along the ceiling.
Work slowly to the line.
Begin by sweeping into a line to unload paint. Do not be concerned about not getting close enough. Without reloading, do a second pass to paint closer to the first line. The bristles should be fanned slightly.
Add conditioner to make brushing easier
Pros include conditioner to water-based paint to cut in. The paint extender and paint conditioner will both work. All you need to do is place a small amount into the pail at every refill. Then, mix it completely. If measuring, use one tablespoon of conditioner to one cup of paint. This helps paint to flow easier, and the paint becomes easy to apply.
Remove paint mistakes before they dry
A quick tip is wrapping around a slightly wet rag around a flat knife.
Feather the edge when you are content with the cut-in line
This will guarantee there are no ridges or buildup of paint.
Cut only one wall at a time
Better results will be received if you do it this way. Since the walls are damp, it is easier to blend the cut-in with the roller.
These tips and techniques will enable you to achieve a nice blend between the cut-in areas and the rolled walls. These areas should be well-blended and feathered together for a seamless look. You want to avoid being able to see where one area began and ended.
While cutting in may not be an easy thing to master, if you practice it, it will become easier with time. It is also better to get it right the first time than fight with it upon completion. By incorporating these small, simple steps, the process becomes much easier.
Whether you mask areas or use painter’s tape is completely up to the individual. There are pros and cons to each. However, be sure that you invest in a good product that has the right features for the job. To avoid doing due diligence will result in great frustration.