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Old 10-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #1
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Cutting in


I am having real trouble cutting in my ceiling corners. I use tape and either one of two things happens... the tape pulls the paint off of the ceiling or paint gets under the tape. I tried cutting in by hand, but I am miserable at it. Any tips one way or the other here so I don't spend forever redoing everything?

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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Cutting in


First, make sure you have a good strong light and position it so you avoid shadows -- a shop light will work. Use the blue painters tape and tear off a pieces in about 6-inch strips until you get the hang of it. Hold each end and really eyeball where the straight line is. If it's plaster, you just have to do the best you can and know you'll have to touch up in places. Put your tape in the corner and press your finger against the whole strip to make sure it's adhered. When painting -- this is key! -- pretend that the tape is not there and make a gentle line, as this will 1. avoid getting too much paint on the tape and 2. teach you how to do it without tape! When removing the tape (soon after finishing that area) pull it from an inch or so from the wall; don't pull a long strip from 3 feet away or you'll pull of the paint. Hope this helps -- hard to talk through this. Just go slow.

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Cutting in


2 things so far I have screwed up:

Quote:
When painting -- this is key! -- pretend that the tape is not there and make a gentle line
I have been slopping it on thinking the tape would seal.

and

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don't pull a long strip from 3 feet away or you'll pull of the paint
Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #4
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Cutting in


I use a Purdy 3.5 inch sash brush. (You might want a smaller brush) I also use a 5in1 tool. I will score lightly the edge of the wall to the ceiling. Then with a paint pot(Usually a one gallon can) and with my brush lightly filled with paint cut in the edge. You will find that the light scoring will hold the paint just fine. Remember Lightly score,Not gouge. Good Luck!!!
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:44 PM   #5
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Cutting in


If you are getting bleed through on the tape you are either using a substandard tape or it has not been pressed on firmly.
Another thing you could do is brush on some water based clear over the tape prior to painting, this will reduce any bleed through. Also as previously stated try to paint like the tape is not there and this will greatly reduce bleed through as well.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Workaholic View Post
If you are getting bleed through on the tape you are either using a substandard tape or it has not been pressed on firmly.
Another thing you could do is brush on some water based clear over the tape prior to painting, this will reduce any bleed through. Also as previously stated try to paint like the tape is not there and this will greatly reduce bleed through as well.
I am using the 3M blue painters tape and I know it is on firmly. I think i just slopped on too much paint.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bubbagump View Post
I am using the 3M blue painters tape and I know it is on firmly. I think i just slopped on too much paint.
Probably so, pretty common, next go around just pretend that the safety net is not there.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:51 PM   #8
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Cutting in


Perhaps another dumb question, but how do you keep the cut in from looking different texture wise from where you roll?
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:14 PM   #9
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Cutting in


You want to roll right after you cut in a wall. That will keep a "Wet Edge" and it will blend better. Thinner roller naps will leave less texture so the glossier the paint, the thinner the roller nap. Don't cut in a whole room and then roll. Then you may end up with three textures, the brush, the roller, and where the roller overlaps the brush.

For cutting in, don't go right up to the cut edge with a fully loaded brush. Work some of it off your brush about an inch or two below your cut line, then come back and cut in against the ceiling or wall.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:14 PM   #10
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Perhaps another dumb question, but how do you keep the cut in from looking different texture wise from where you roll?
I own a small apartment block, so when I repaint an apartment I'm almost always repainting it the same colour.

What I do is take a piece of sheet metal (about 2 feet long and 18 inches wide) and wrap some painter's masking tape along one edge. I put the taped edge in the corner (so as not to marr the paint with the bare metal) and spread the paint up to it with a 3 inch roller. That is, I use a roller to cut in, not a brush, and rely on the sheet metal to keep the paint from getting on the wrong side of the corner.

If you do this, don't load up your roller and start painting right at the sheet metal. If you do that, you'll just squeeze paint under the sheet metal and onto the other side of the corner. Start about a foot to 18 inches away from the corner, and spread the paint up to the sheet metal.

After a while, you working edge of the sheet metal will get all gunked up with partially dried paint. When that happens, just peel the painter's masking tape off that edge, put on new tape, and you're good to go again.

I paint the ceilings first, getting velvet gloss paint on the walls. Then, after ceilings are dry, I paint the walls with satin gloss and use the metal to prevent getting any satin gloss paint on the ceilings.

I rely heavily on that piece of sheet metal. So much so that I now have two pieces of sheet metal, both stainless steel, each about 14 inches long with a handle mounted along one edge. However, if you don't paint several times a year, you can just get by with an ordinary piece of sheet metal with no handle or anything. As long as it's wide enough to bend enough to allow you to get into a corner with a 3 inch paint roller, that's all you need.

In my case, because the paint on both sides of my corners are the same colour, only a different gloss, then the quality of the cutting in I get isn't an issue. You might find that if you have different colours on each side of the corner, the result is a fuzzy line using the sheet metal.

I will typically do all the cutting in with a 3 inch roller and my sheet metal and then fill in with a 10 inch roller, or do all the painting (both cutting in and filling in) with a 7 inch roller and the sheet metal. My wrists aren't strong enough to cut in with a 10 inch roller all day long.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 10-28-2008 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Cutting in


I had moderately better success last night. There were still places where the tape pulled off the paint under neath as well as the paint on the wall sticking to the tape and "tearing" the new paint. There has to be something else here I am doing fundamentally wrong. I am thinking I may try the super delicate surface tape so as to not pull the paint off the ceiling, but I think the only cure for the walls tearing is getting the cut in nearly perfect against the tape.

Here is another question, could dry time have something to do with it? The paint on the ceiling had probably 2-3 days of drying time. The wall I painted, waited about 3 hours, repainted, and pulled the tape immediately after the second coat was put on. Should I allow more dry time somewhere?

Last edited by Bubbagump; 10-29-2008 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #12
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Well crap... the 3M site says not to use standard blue tape on <30 day old painted surfaces. No wonder.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:59 PM   #13
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Yep, you hit the nail right on the head. While paint may "dry" in a few hours, it takes a week (or more, depending on the paint and humidity/temp) to "cure".

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Old 10-30-2008, 05:41 PM   #14
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Cutting in


I love to paint, cutting in gets to be relaxing, one thing I notice about ceilings is that they aren't square with the walls, and that someone else painted a crooked line before I got the chance to. I would never spend the time to tape a ceiling line. Slow and relaxed does the trick for me. And in the end, you find that you are not staring at that sight line. As for cut looking lighter then rolled areas, I always intend to put two coats anyway, it always blends in. I'll probably never be a hired painter but I can get by.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:41 AM   #15
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Cutting in


Quote:
I rely heavily on that piece of sheet metal. So much so that I now have two pieces of sheet metal, both stainless steel, each about 14 inches long with a handle mounted along one edge.
Nestor,
A several years ago, I started using a drywall taping knife- wide flexible blade with a handle- exactly as you described!

I used to have a steadier hand and didn't have to look through bi-focals. Hardly ever used tape- just fortunate to have a good hand. Your (our) method takes a few seconds longer on the wall, but in the long run, if you factor putting up tape and taking it down, I think it's quicker. At least for me.

mark942-
Never tried that technique with the scoring before. That's what I like about this forum. Been doing things forty years and picked up something new.

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