Learn how to 'cut in' for a flawless finish
If your home decor ideas mean walls and ceiling will be in different paint colours, you’ll need to ‘cut in’ the corners for a flawless finish. Cutting in can also be used to achieve straight lines when painting around windows, skirting board and other woodwork. For best results, follow our step-by-step guide:
To get started, you’ll need an angled 8 cm brush. Hold your brush like a pencil, gripping the handle of the brush near the bristles, and keep it vertical so the long edge of the brush is parallel with the wall.
Dip your brush straight down into the paint, just enough to cover the first third of the bristles and tap off the excess (tip: stretch a rubber band around your open paint tin – you can use this to wipe your brush against when removing the excess paint).
If you’re cutting in along a vertical line (such as where your walls and ceiling meet) we recommend you start painting about 5 cm from where the corners meet. Paint in a single downward stroke along your wall – this will help push the paint from the bristles and create a smooth surface for the brush to glide along.
If you’re cutting in along a horizontal line (such as where your walls meet the skirting board), use the same technique as described above, but move the paint brush across in smooth, horizontal lines.
Work down the wall from wet to dry and eliminate brush marks by gently sweeping back over painted areas.
- To achieve as straight a line as possible, we recommend painting in short bursts, reloading your brush with just a little bit of paint each time. Try to keep a steady hand and use a light touch – if you squeeze the brush against the wall you may experience pesky paint drips.
If you feel like you need a helping hand, apply masking tape along the edges where you’re painting. Just remember to use ‘low-tack’ tape (this can be purchased from hardware stores) and remove the tape before the paint dries. This will ensure the paint doesn’t seep under the tape while it's drying – and you won’t pull non-masked paint off when you remove it.
Remember, it can take a few goes to master the DIY home decor technique of cutting in – but the results make it absolutely worth the effort. To boost your confidence before starting on joining walls, try practising on a piece of board or a cupboard box first. Practice makes perfect!