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Old 12-20-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
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Cutting in and corners

I am struggling with cutting in and not getting paint on everything or leaving brush marks; also, we are using two different colors in our room and the corners where the colors meet look horrible as the paint has bled under the painters tape (even the corner we used fingernail stuff to attempt sealing the tape). We even tried some cheap corner and ceiling tools but without luck. Does anyone have any tips or tricks?


P.S. We are using a one inch brush for the cutting in and cornering.


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Old 12-21-2011, 12:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by fothrof4 View Post

P.S. We are using a one inch brush for the cutting in and cornering.
First, you need a better brush. 2 1/2 inch, name brand. A one inch brush is a real handicap.

Second, the way (some) pros do corners is to cut in the wall in one color (make sure to overlap onto the other wall) - let it dry overnight - and then freehand the adjacent color, using the line where the two walls meet as a guide. Alternately, after you let one color dry overnight, use blue painter tape and really press with your fingers along the edge where your straight line will be. Messing around with clear nail polish is a waste of time.

As for brushmarks - use a quality brush (like I suggested), a quality paint, and don't overwork your cut lines.


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Old 12-21-2011, 12:44 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for the tips; I will be attempting the overlap method first thing tomorrow.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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If you're insistent on using tape, I would do as Windows says, overlap the color on to the adjacent wall. Allow that to dry, run your painter's tape using the corner line as a guide, press it in lightly. Then take some of the overlap color and lightly brush some of the color over the tape edge and allow that to dry. Some of it seep under the edge of the tape but it's the same color, but it will also seal the tape preventing the second color from seeping under. When it's dry, couple of hours, then apply the second color. Pull the tape as soon as the second coat cut in has dried sufficiently to not damage the cut by removing. I would suggest a two inch brush. If you're not that experienced, a 2.5 could be a little unwieldly. With as much experience as I have, I would find it to be so at times. Too much brush. Finally, I'm not a fan of using tape to draw lines. Anytime you put tape on a surface you risk damage. On painted surfaces, you can't tell how past prep jobs were done and you could end up pulling paint off, which creates a lot of extra work. I'm working a ceiling only job right now, the blue tape used to help protect the walls has pulled blue paint off the walls I wasn't painting. I now own that and am required to fix it. It was even used to draw a line but help hold plastic, and I barely pressed it on the wall. I also think that freehand lines are part of painting, and learning that is no different than learning how to properly use a roller or brush technique in general. If you're interested, I have a tutorial on cutting in without using tape on my blog link in my signature below. Good Luck.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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Thank you very much. All the information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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I'm no pro painter, but taping off has always added far more time to cutting in than taking it slow and cutting in free-hand. By taking it slow you will also greatly reduce spatter and drippage.

Always start a "full of paint" brush away from the cut-in line and draw it into the edge.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #7
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For inside corners a trick that I use is to take a nail and scribe the corner, to make a little trough for the paint to run into. If you are putting two colors together, overlap with one color and let it dry then take a nail and make your trough (with special attention getting it straight), now with the other color cut in, and the paint will run into the trough and follow it. Try it out and see if it works for you.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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As alll have suggested, your brush is your biggest handicap next to the tape. I used a 2.5" angled sash brush more than any other and a 1" was only used when I just couldn't get in a tight spot with anything bigger. jsheridan is probably right. Until you get the hang of it start with a 2" brush but a good one. Something like a Wooster or Purdy will probably set you back $15 retail but if you take care of it you will have it for a long time.

If you are patient and allow for a learning curve? I think with you will find you can cut-in by hand, without tape, faster than you currently imagine.


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brush marks , cutting in , painting

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