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Old 03-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
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Painting an archway


Hi there,

I am currently in the process of repainting my entire house. I have an archway between my foyer and my living room that has been giving me trouble because I am painting all three a different color. However I cannot seem to get a nice clean line on the edges where the archway meets either wall; the colors just keep spilling over onto either side. I have tried every trick that I know of to do this but it just doesn't come out as clean as I would. I have used tape, a flat piece of wood up against the wall and both of them combined, all to no avail. If anyone has any helpful tips or tricks I would greatly appreciate it. I can include pictures if its not clear but unfortunately right now I am in a bit of a rush and will have to take/post them later.

Thanks Again

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
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Painting an archway


Learn how to use a 2-1/2 sash brush or just hold a foam roller flat.

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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Painting an archway


Sounds like your overloading the roller with paint, either use a smaller one or ease up on loading the roller.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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Painting an archway


Over the years I have simply resorted to using my angled sash brush to apply paint to that meeting point between archway and the other side. Then I lightly roll the rest of the archway being careful not to overlap with the roller spilling paint contents onto the other colored wall. It does take some extra time but beats the heck out of trying to mask off the otherside of the arch. Keep a wet rag handy in case you do get a little bit of paint overlapping into the other color.

Other expert painters on here may have better, more original ideas.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:01 PM   #5
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Painting an archway


We are talking about outside corners, right?
I agree it is a brush that gets it. the angle of attack- that is be angled away from the corner back towards the color you are applying , and getting just the right amount to the line are all important. I will first brush just shy of the line and leave a small deposit, then without reloading do it again and slightly push that deposit right up to the line.
Long even strokes.

Oh and I can do it with any quality brush. Flat, angled, oval.
Makes no big deal if it's a 2.5. I almost never use a 2.5. ( joe..)

Takes a bit of practice, but it sounds like you are getting that!
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Last edited by Brushjockey; 03-04-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #6
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Painting an archway


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Originally Posted by EpsteinD91 View Post
Hi there,

I am currently in the process of repainting my entire house. I have an archway between my foyer and my living room that has been giving me trouble because I am painting all three a different color. However I cannot seem to get a nice clean line on the edges where the archway meets either wall; the colors just keep spilling over onto either side. I have tried every trick that I know of to do this but it just doesn't come out as clean as I would. I have used tape, a flat piece of wood up against the wall and both of them combined, all to no avail. If anyone has any helpful tips or tricks I would greatly appreciate it. I can include pictures if its not clear but unfortunately right now I am in a bit of a rush and will have to take/post them later.

Thanks Again
Ok...try this. I'm gonna assume this is an older house since there's an archway - and chances are there have been many coats of paint applied over the years. If so: (If not, move on to step # 2)

1) sand the outside corners of the archway to smooth out any roller texture that may have built up over the years - you don't wan't any ridges between the three surfaces.

2) Once smooth, paint the archway and extend an inch or so (on both sides) into the foyer and the living room with the archway color, and allow the paint to dry...

3) For this next step, I use a 12" steel level but any sturdy straight edge will work. Tape a sharpened pencil to the end of the straight edge with the pointed edge pointing in (eraser at the end of the straight edge). I usually use electrical tape to affix pencil secure. The part of the straight edge beyond the pencil will need to be slightly wider than the archway...

4) Lay your straight edge flush against the newly painted arch, then position your pencil point to just lightly touch the living room wall (remember, you've painted some of the arch color onto the living room wall)...

5) Starting at the baseboard, strike your straight edge up to the arch - across the arch - then down the other side to the opposite baseboard...(Once done, flip the straight edge over and repeat on the foyer side...

In step 5, you have created a pencil line, 1/8 of an inch beyond the arch, in a perfect template of the arch on both sides (foyer and living room)...Also, and especially if your archway color is kinda light, it may not be a bad idea to wrap your straight edge in wax paper to avoid burnishing or stiker marks (which may eliminate the need to touch up later).

6) Using a steady hand and a high quality sash brush, cut the living room color against the pencil mark for a perfect line that follows the contour of the arch exactly and with a professional looking finish to it...do the same on the foyer side...

7) Allow for all colors to dry a day or so. If any of the pencil line remains visible, you can remove the pencil mark with a kneaded or elastomer compound pencil eraser (neither will hurt the paint film if used carefully)...

In my experience, this has been a much faster, cleaner and better looking way to paint outside (or inside) corners than trying to trim freehand or with tape.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out (send before and after pics if possible).

Last edited by ric knows paint; 03-04-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
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Painting an archway


Thanks all for the help. I will definitely try to tackle it again tomorrow with the level/pencil method. It is an old house and the corners arent even close to smooth, which has also given me trouble with the ceiling and the trim but luckily I found a way to overcome that obstacle. Ill post some pictures tomorrow after and I am done to show y'all how it came out.

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