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 will 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!