The Best Tips for Cutting in Paint
Where beginners run into trouble is cutting in along ceilings, moldings and other areas that require a perfectly straight line of paint. We’ll give you some tips and pointers to help you increase the speed and improve the accuracy of your cutting-in technique.
Work From a Paint Pail
Pat, Don’t Wipe, to Load the Brush
Here’s a video of tips on how to prevent a paint job from getting messy.
Wiggle Into Corners
Mask Only the Tops
Buy a Good-Quality, Angled Sash Brush
Get in a Good Position with Bright Light
Work Up to the Line
Mix in Conditioner for Easier Brushing
Wipe Off Goofs
Feather the Edge
Groove Textured Ceilings
It’s almost impossible to paint right next to rough-textured ceilings (a process called ‘cutting in’) without getting paint on the ceiling. Taping off the ceiling doesn’t work either. The solution? Knock off the texture at the edge with a putty knife. Hold the knife at a 45-degree angle to the wall and run the blade along the edge of the ceiling. The blade scrapes away the texture and leaves a small groove in the ceiling. Clean out the groove with a duster or a dry paintbrush. If you’ve got damage to a textured ceiling, check out these tips on how to repair a textured ceiling.
Now when you cut in along the top of the wall, the paintbrush bristles will slide into the groove, giving you a crisp paint line without getting paint on the ceiling. And you’ll never notice the thin line of missing texture.
Cut in Quickly with a Steady Hand
Cutting in along trim that’s not protected by masking tape takes a steady hand. And once you get the knack for it, you’ll never want to fuss with taping trim again. Sure, cutting in can be hard for some DIYers, but you can learn to do it effectively.
Use a tapered paintbrush. The angled bristles uniformly unload the paint as you cut in. Dip the brush into the paint, then tap (don’t wipe) each side against your container to knock off the excess. Brush the paint on the wall, about 1/2 in. from the trim. Then make a second pass, cutting in all the way to the trim. Avoid ‘pushing’ the paint with your bristles or you’ll leave a ridge where you’re cutting in. Apply just enough pressure to let the bristle ends glide next to the trim. To help keep the brush steady, move your entire arm as you paint instead of moving your arm only from the elbow down.
Cut in One Wall at a Time
Mini Hand Masker
Easy-Clean Chinex Brush
A Better Edge-Painting Tool
If you don’t paint every day, “cutting-in” a room can be frustrating. It’s no wonder there have been so many attempts over the years to make a tool that simplifies the task. The Accubrush edge-painting tool is one of the best we’ve tried. It makes cutting-in quick and easy. With just a little practice, you can paint perfectly straight lines along ceilings and moldings. You’ll still have to finish some areas with a brush, though, since the tool can’t paint right up to adjacent edges. Connect a pole to the ceiling-edging tool and you can paint along the ceiling without even getting on a ladder. Get it on Amazon today.