Painting: Best tips for cutting in.

“Cutting in” while painting can be a difficult process, so here are a list of useful tips that might help you avoid some of the more common mistakes.

Get a good cutting in brush.

That five dollar brush that you picked up at a local hardware store might have seemed like a good bargain at the time, but trust me when I say that it is going to cause you more hassle than it’s worth. In the end, you will end up paying for it with both your time and a lot of swearing.

Try and find a good angled sash brush. Below is a photo of a Hamilton Performance 2″ Cutting in brush:

Cutting In brush

The Hamilton Performance 2″ Cutting in brush.

Paint the ceiling first.

Don’t start with the walls. If you intend on painting the ceiling, then start with that. That way, you won’t have to worry about paint dripping down onto the walls while you are cutting in around the ceiling.

PS: It is usually a good idea to paint the ceiling as well. It might look pretty OK now, but it might seem a little faded or yellowy in comparison to your freshly-painted walls.

You don’t want to spend hours painting your walls, only to finish up and think “damn, I should have really painted the ceiling as well.”

Let the ceiling dry before cutting in on the walls.

If you have just finished painting the ceiling, then let it dry before trying to cut in on the walls. This tip is relevant because of my next one.

Have a damp cloth nearby.

If you are a relatively new to this, then you are going to get dabs of paint on the ceiling while cutting in on the walls. That is just how it is. Having a damp cloth nearby means that you can easily wipe the paint off the ceiling and try again.

This is why I recommend letting the ceiling dry first. If it is dry, then the paint will wipe straight off and you won’t be smudging up your ceiling’s paint job.

Added tip: Lightly wrap a putty / spackle knife in a damp cloth to create a more precise cleaning tool.

Remember: Mistakes will happen. You just have to be prepared for them.

Cut in before you roll the walls.

You should always cut in on a wall before you use the roller.

Hold the brush like a pen.

By holding the brush like a pen, you can prevent your arms, wrists and hands from getting tired too quickly. This will also allow for more accurate brush strokes.

Use a small paint container.

Use a small container that you can pour paint into and carry around with you. This can be useful because of two reasons:

  1. You won’t have to carry around a full bucket of paint.
  2. It will help prevent you from getting too much paint on your brush.

Only pour about an inch of paint into this small container, as that will help you to avoid over submerging your brush in paint.

Start about an inch away from the “danger zone”.

To avoid dabbing too much paint in the corner, start about an inch away from the area you are cutting in on. Then, once your brush has made contact with the wall, drag it upwards in a diagonal line towards the “danger zone.” Finally, drag it along the edge of the “danger zone” in a straight line.

While doing this, you should try and maintain a quick and steady pace. If you go too slowly, the line will probably end up looking uneven.

A good example of this can be seen in the video below:

Hopefully, you found these cutting in tips to be handy and straight forward!