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Illinois G.C. 11-10-2008 09:48 PM

Cutting - in
I suck at cutting in. Is ther a tool that can give me a nice straight clean line???:mad:

Blondesense 11-11-2008 12:06 PM

I use a lightweight piece of plastic about 14" x 5". Place it along the edge, paint, then wipe the plastic off on a towel kept over my shoulder. But then I'm a DIYer. If you are a GC this probably isn't the most efficient solution.

slickshift 11-11-2008 02:29 PM

A quality brush, quality paint, and a steady hand, are the best tools

drewhart 11-13-2008 08:32 PM


CrpntrFrk 11-13-2008 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by drewhart (Post 184587)

Tape will bleed!

Originally Posted by slickshift (Post 183364)
A quality brush, quality paint, and a steady hand, are the best tools

This gets my vote!

Nestor_Kelebay 11-13-2008 09:32 PM

Well, here's two ideas:

1. I use a piece of sheet metal and do all my cutting in with a 3 inch paint roller. I just wrap some painter's masking tape around the business end of a piece of sheet metal about 18 inches long and a foot wide, bend the taped end into the corner and paint up to it with the roller, similar to the way Blondesense described. Never start with a fully loaded roller right next to the sheet metal or you'll squeeze paint under it onto the side you're trying to avoid getting paint on. Also, eventually your sheet metal will get all gunked up with partially dried paint. When that happens just pull the masking tape off and put new masking tape on, and you're good to go.

Now, when I paint I'm almost always repainting an apartment the same colour, so a sharp edge isn't important to me because the ceilings and walls are the same colour, only a different gloss. But, if the roller/sheet metal method results in a fuzzy line between two colours, you could always then correct the problem by using a brush... and artist's paint brush, which is much smaller and therefore allows you much more control over the brush. However, if you go this route, I think it would be better to do the cutting in with the artist's paint brush first, allow time to dry, and then paint up to that corner with the roller and sheet metal.

2. You need to be using your sash brush properly. Lots of people think that the reason why a sash brush is cut at an angle is so that the longer bristles will reach into the corner, and that's completely wrong. In fact, the correct way of understanding it is that a sash brush has the bristles on one side of the brush cut SHORTER so they won't flare out to the side when the brush is being used properly as depicted in this photo:

You see. When cutting-in a horizontal line (like the corner between a wall and a ceilng), the sash brush is held horizontally with the shorter bristles at the leading edge of the brush. If you were to use a regular paint brush in the same fashion the bristles at the leading edge of the brush would flare out more, resulting in your making a mess of the line. By having the bristles on one side cut shorter, and if you hold the brush at the proper angle, you have the same amount of flaring out of the bristles all along the width of the brush, and that allows you to paint a much sharper line with either the top or bottom of the brush.

The above web page also recommends pushing the brush away from you as you exhale. I think it would be easy to get into the habit of doing the cutting in when you exhale and pulling the brush back as you inhale.

Rots O' Ruck

drewhart 11-14-2008 08:01 AM

make sure to push the tape down good. only let the brush touch it when cutting in. dont let the roller globber all over it. it shouldn't bleed. is the wall color similar to the trim? if so, it doesn't really matter.

Illinois G.C. 11-14-2008 09:47 AM

Thanks for all the advice guys

downunder 11-14-2008 06:32 PM


A quality brush, quality paint, and a steady hand, are the best tools
Aside from this excellent advice, I lay the paint on close, but not right up to, the edge, then pull it a second time to finish. If it's a little thin on that last 1/16th of an inch, you will never notice. At least not as much as one color all over another.

heathr 11-15-2008 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by Illinois G.C. (Post 183058)
I suck at cutting in. Is ther a tool that can give me a nice straight clean line???:mad:

:wink:If you can get a pencil-start(say) to the left-and draw a straight line to the right 20 inches. then, draw a straight line from top to bottom about 20 inches- see how straight it is- keep practicing-then start with a good brush-no cheapie-don't use the flat part of the brush--use abouttwo inches of the tip of the brush- try this for about 10 inches-(do not dry brush-put plenty of paint on the brush-when you dip the brush in the can.let the paint come up to about two inches up onto the brush--then bring the brush up to the lip of the can and tap the brush to the left ,then to the riight on the lip-(this takes some paint off the brush so you don't drip from the can the what ever you are painting- after you brush the first stroke of the brush on the wall say(next to the ceiling,--come back again with more paint on the brush to the wall with the flat part of the brusk ,right below where you just began-practce makes perfect-Good luck--Roy(The Painter)

steve1234 11-20-2008 05:36 PM

sometimes I have an issue with wall texture in that there is no clean line to cut to. I saw a painter use a piece of sandpaper folded in half (grit side out) and run the edge of the folded sandpaper along the corner of the surfaces being painted. That made a smooth line, which is much easier to cut to (using the techniques described above).

Bubbagump 11-24-2008 02:04 PM

I have been doing a complete repaint and asked this same question a few weeks back. i found practice really worked out... and the line may be a bit onto the ceiling... which is undetectable from the floor. I was sweating it way too much. Cutting in is half optical illusion. A 2.5inch sash brush has worked great for me. Just take it slow. The 15 mins you may save rushing costs hours of touch up later.

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