Cutting in Corners with a Paint Brush

Cutting in corners: it’s a term that means painting one side of a sharp corner without painting the other.

There are many ways to cut in corners when you’re painting a room. During my remodel I tried several specialty tools that claim to make the task dummy proof. In the end I found that none of those gimmicks and gadgets were superior to familiarizing myself with an angled paintbrush and learning to cut in corners the old-fashioned way.

Cutting in corners with an angled paintbrush isn’t a skill I can really explain in words or even in still pictures. You really need to see it happen to understand just how simple it actually is. So watch the video that I’ve provided.

The key is in the angle of attack and paying attention to the feedback the brush will give you. I’m sure that sounds like some straight up Mr. Miyagi jibberish, but you’ll understand the moment you hold the brush to a corner and feel what I mean. Present the brush to the corner with the longer end to the back of the stroke and the shorter bristles at the front. Hold the brush at an angle that pushes the bristles at the top of the brush into the corner and the bristles at the bottom of the brush into the surface that’s being painted. Then slowly pull the brush toward you.

Remember: you only want the bristles making contact on the side of the corner you intend to paint. If your paint line begins to stray to the other side then stop and adjust your angle.

Cutting in a ceiling is pretty difficult, so paint the ceiling first and then cut in the walls that butt against it.

Try the motions without paint on the brush a few times just to get comfortable.  You’re going to make mistakes at first. That’s fine. Just keep a damp cloth handy to wipe up the mistake before it dries. Before you know it you’ll be cutting in corners like a pro!