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Old 08-27-2008, 06:50 AM   #1
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


I am cutting on the walls of my house. The rolled part looks great but when I cut in on the corners or edges it leaves brush marks. I am using very high quality brushes. They are top of the line Wooster brushes and angled. Any info would be appreciated on the best way to cut in and be just as smooth as a roller or close. Thanks.

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Old 08-27-2008, 07:58 AM   #2
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


What paint are you using?

The most common cause of brush marks is over-brushing. Apply the paint with one stroke, back-brush it once or twice, and then move on. If you "work" it too much, it will leave marks.

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Old 08-27-2008, 11:29 AM   #3
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


Have you tried an edger? it's that square pad you stick onto a holder, and that uses little wheels to get right up close to the other surface (the one you're not painting), Look up the Painthelpers Accubrush system for one I use...it does the job nicely and is a time-saver.

The Accubrush is a fancy system; but I've seen something similar in my local HD.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


Some people swear by painting pads, and some hate them.

If you like the rolled areas, why not do your edging with a roller. I use a piece of thin sheet metal about 12 inches wide by about 18 inches long. I wrap painter's masking tape around the edge that'll be going into the corners so it doesn't mark the walls. Then fill up a 3 inch roller sleeve and start painting about a foot away from the corner and spread the paint up to your sheet metal. (If you start with a full roller sleeve right in the corner, you'll just squeeze paint up under the metal and get it all over the side of the corner you don't want to paint.

Alternatively, do your edging with a brush just to get a nice sharp line, and then when that paint is dry, tape something like a paint mixing stick to the back of your sheet metal (to hold the metal about 1/8 to 3/16 inch away from your corner and go over the brush strokes using the sheet metal and a 3 inch roller.

Over brushing is a common cause of brush strokes, but by far the most common mistake people make is that they don't thin their paint. Latex paint right out of the gallon is a compromise between how thick it needs to be so as not to spatter when rolled and how thick it needs to be to allow brush strokes to self level by themselves. Load your brush with latex paint and scrape it off the brush bristles into a tin can. Do that several times to accumulate some paint in the can. Now add 15 to 20 percent water, and mix it in with the brush. Try painting with that, and remember not to brush over paint that's drying.

AND, if you have high quality brushes, you need to take good care of them. Before painting with a latex paint, wash the brush out in water. If you'll be using the brush for oil based paint, wash it out in paint thinner. The idea here is to understand that as you're painting, wet paint will be drawn up into the "heel" of the brush where the bristles are very tight and almost don't move as you paint. Any paint that gets up there will dry gradually as you're painting. And that causes dry paint to accumulate in the heel of the brush, ruining the brush. By washing the brush out with water or paint thinner first, you fill all those tiny capillaries between the bristles in the heel of the brush with the thinner for the paint. Now, when paint gets up there, it doesn't dry, but stays wet. So, when the time comes to wash out the brush, not only does it wash out faster, it washes out much more completely. But, keep in mind that the water or paint thinner in the heel of the brush will gradually evaporate while you're painting too, so it's a good idea to put a few drops on the bristles right near the metal ferrule as you're painting to keep the capillaries full of thinner.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:57 PM   #5
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


Nestor, I'm not sure I would go so far as to call not thinning a "mistake". At least I've never seen it referred to as a standard practice, certainly not 15-20%. (Wouldn't that compromise hide by quite a bit?) Some paints go so far as to be marked "do not thin" on the can.

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Old 08-27-2008, 06:43 PM   #6
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


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Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
Nestor, I'm not sure I would go so far as to call not thinning a "mistake". At least I've never seen it referred to as a standard practice, certainly not 15-20%. (Wouldn't that compromise hide by quite a bit?) Some paints go so far as to be marked "do not thin" on the can.

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SirWired:

My experience has been that thinning latex paint that much has produced good results. I agree, 20 percent sounds like a lot, but try it and you'll find you need to thin more than you expect to get good results.

About: "Do Not Thin"

Notice that you never used to see that warning on oil based products years ago.

The ONLY reason you see "Do Not Thin" on some oil based paint products nowadays is because the manufacturer's back is up against the wall, and the only way he can get his product to meet rigid VOC regulations is by putting less VOC in when making the product. The idea here is that if the manufacturer tells you not to thin the product, the vast majority of people would follow that advice and the product will remain within the VOC requirements to be legally marketable.

That is, the easiest way to meet VOC requirements it to simply put less VOCs in the product at the factory. Simple!

You have little to lose by using a brush to dip some of that "Do Not Thin" product into an empty soup can, thinning with a bit of mineral spirits and seeing if it works better or not. Chances are it will because that "don't thin me" warning is there to meet VOC requirements, not cuz you'll harm the product or how well it performs.

About thinning:

As a landlord, my job description revolves mostly around cleaning up other people's messes, paying bills and fixing nail holes. I also had problems with brush strokes over every repaired nail hole until I started thinning my latex paints quite a bit. Next time you need to do a good job with a brush, dip some of your latex paint into an empty container and thin it quite a bit with water. Apply the thinned paint with horizontal brush strokes and let them self level by themselves. Don't put on so much that the paint drips down the wall or sags as it dries; it's better to put on two thin coats than one thick coat. And, as you advised, don't over brush.

Once you discover how much better a paint job you can do with a brush by just thinning your latex (or oil based) paints, you'll be a convert just like me.

About hide:

Good point.

ALL of the thinner that you add to oil based or latex paints will evaporate out of the paint while it's drying. The result of this is that if you thin your paint, then the dry film thickness will be smaller than you'll get with unthinned paint. If you thin the paint 10 percent by volume with thinner, the resulting dry film thickness will be smaller, but it won't necessarily be 10 percent smaller because the original paint contained a lot of thinner too. As a result of the smallery dry film thickness you'll get less hide per coat if you thin your paint.

About the only time all the thinner you add doesn't evaporate from the coating as it dries is in the case of thinning true drying oils with turpentine. Some of the turpentine actually gets chemically bound up in the drying oil film, so not all of the turpentine you add to thin the drying oil based paint evaporates from it as it dries. It may be a mute point nowadays since no one sells drying oil based paints or varnishes anymore, but you can still buy Tung Oil and Boiled Linseed Oil, and if you thin them, use turpentine.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-27-2008 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:13 AM   #7
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


I'm not a professional painter, but I have painted 6 houses myself, and I'm really good at it. I don't need to tape off my edges or anthing anymore. So I think I'm qualified to interject my advice here.

I agree about avoiding over-working the paint when you cut in with a brush. Also, don't use too much paint on the brush.

I have found that any brush strokes that do show up are much less a problem if you cut in first and then roll your walls. With practice, you can roll over a good portion of the cut-in paint, and you just don't notice much. Most people are excited to get the walls painted and start by rolling the walls, but I think it's better to cut in first.

I have had little success with pad-style edgers and other gadgets, although I'll admit maybe I have yet to find the right tool or just need a little more practice with them.

Hope the advice here helps. :-)
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:38 AM   #8
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


I get to practice my painting at home and work, not a painter by trade though, I get the brush marks on my cut-in's but seems to disappear with the second coat. Guy at the paint store must love me but I'm a firm believer that I'm putting two coats no matter what. I also try to extend my cut because when I try to get close with the roller I tend to bang the ajoining wall and leave marks. I've tried various tools to help but tend to just stick to my brush and roller. One side note, I sometimes tape my baseboards with the blue tape, works good but if that tape is not put on exactly straight, you'll know it when you take it off.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


For me this is a simple bullet list of advice

* Use quality paint products like Sherwin and Benjamin Moore
* Use quality brushes like Purdy
* Choose the right material brush for your project
* Do not overbrush
* Treat your brushes well. Clean them THOROUGHLY, condition them and always put them back in their cases.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


I had the same problem try a Corona chinex brush. Great for cutting in.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:34 PM   #11
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


Quote:
Originally Posted by J187 View Post
For me this is a simple bullet list of advice

* Use quality paint products like Sherwin and Benjamin Moore
* Use quality brushes like Purdy
* Choose the right material brush for your project
* Do not overbrush
* Treat your brushes well. Clean them THOROUGHLY, condition them and always put them back in their cases.
I just bought a purdy brush and I'm picking brush hairs out of my paint.
The effing brush is going back to home depot tommorow.
$10, 2 inch brush and I had 20 brush hairs in 25 feet of trim.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:39 PM   #12
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


some claim that the purdy brushes sold at the home depot and lowes are "seconds". I've used them from there and haven't had any problems. As a side note, the dog did eat the handle off one but I can't blame that on home depot.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:57 PM   #13
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


lots of great info and some funny stuff above..

I don't think anybody advised...cut in 1st,, and while wet roll to it.. this is all from the same can ...right?

PS. if the dog eats the brush: then the glue made from hoofed animal parts ran down the handle...and ..well ..was fair game for the dog...

PS PS you did prime and light sand as needed?

PS PS to PS... as OP has not responded ...we can assume they decided to live with the results, torn it all out and started again, or called in a pro... LOL

Last edited by Big Bob; 09-03-2008 at 09:02 PM. Reason: add another ps
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #14
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExperience View Post
I just bought a purdy brush and I'm picking brush hairs out of my paint.
The effing brush is going back to home depot tommorow.
$10, 2 inch brush and I had 20 brush hairs in 25 feet of trim.
Hunh. I have a fistful of them, all from HD, and none of them has givne up a single hair. I think you got a bad one.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:19 AM   #15
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Best way to cut in and not leave brush marks?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironlight View Post
Hunh. I have a fistful of them, all from HD, and none of them has givne up a single hair. I think you got a bad one.

all 4 years ago
he probably fixed it by now

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