How Do Painters Get Perfect Edges?

How Do Painters Get Perfect Edges?

Have you ever found yourself marvelling at the flawless edges of a freshly painted wall, wondering whether professional painters are part of a secret pact that grants them the power of perfect edges?

Well, prepare to be pleasantly surprised!

When I was training to become a professional house painter, one of the hardest things to learn was getting perfect edges.

But with a lot of practice, I improved and slowly learned how to get those trademark straight lines professional painters are known for.

In this article, I will tell you how experts get perfect edges (with and without masking tape) and whether you need to cut in twice when painting.

Follow my expert tips and make painting perfectly painted edges a smooth and easy home improvement job!

Male painter and decorator painting the edges of a wall

How To Paint Perfect Edges?

Painting edges perfectly is a skill most professional painters learn through years of on-the-job experience.

So, if it’s your first time painting, it will be a challenge to paint perfect edges.

Follow my tips to get one step closer to those straight edges you dream of:

  • When painting the edges of your surface, masking tape is your best friend. Use the tape to cover plug sockets, light switches, fixings, and the edges of the area you want to paint.
  • The only edger tool you need to paint the edges of your walls and ceilings is an angled paintbrush. When you use this brush, you will find it much easier to get neat cutting in. That’s because the angle of these brushes gives you more control and precision in tight corners.
  • Don’t apply too much pressure on the paintbrush when you paint the corners of your surfaces. Applying too much pressure to your paintbrush can lead to streaks and drips that ruin your perfect edge.
  • Move quickly and confidently! The key to getting perfect paint edges is to not hesitate, as this will only lead to mistakes.
  • Always use a high-quality paintbrush when edging your wall or ceiling. That’s because better quality brushes have more secure and evenly shaped bristles, providing you with more control and precision, resulting in a more crisp edge.
  • Ensure you load your paintbrush correctly. Dip only 1/3 of your brush into the paint and tap off any excess paint to avoid a ‘fat edge’.

How To Paint Edges Between Wall And Ceiling?

To paint perfectly along the edges of your surface, you first need to thoroughly prepare your surfaces.

Assuming you have prepared, you can follow these steps to paint your edges:

  1. Begin by taping along the edge of where the wall meets the ceiling. Ensure the tape is firmly stuck to the wall to prevent it from lifting up while painting.
  2. Dip your brush into your paint tray so that about 1/3 of the brush is covered with paint. Tap off any excess paint.
  3. With the first stroke of your brush, leave a few centimetres gap between the edge of the wall because there will be too much paint on your brush, so you’ll end up with a ‘fat edge’ if you try to cut in now.
  4. With your second paint stroke, hold your angled brush at an angle so that the tip of the brush is in the absolute corner of the wall. And paint a straight line across the surface. Don’t worry about overlapping slightly onto the tape, as you’ll remove this when you’re finished.
  5. Work in 2-3 feet wide sections and use a roller to roll the rest of the area to avoid the paint drying out.
  6. Remove painter’s tape and touch up as needed. Remove the tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid the paint bleeding onto the covered surfaces.

How To Paint A Corner Where Two Colours Meet?

Painting the corner where two colours meet is more or less the same process as painting the edge between a wall and a ceiling.

But there are a few extra steps involved. Let’s take a look at what’s involved:

  • If the corner is on a newly plastered surface, use a primer first to ensure proper surface adhesion and an even finish.
  • Paint the first colour: begin painting the first colour up the edge of the corner line where the two colours meet – but make sure you don’t cover it.
  • Cut-in the corner where the other colour meets it – use slow and steady strokes to create the perfect edge and avoid overlapping onto the first colour.
  • To create a better finish – gently feather out the edges where the two colours meet – using a dries brush or a brush with very little paint to soften the transition between the two colours.
  • If you used painter’s tape, remove it – pulling it away at a 45-degree angle.
Man removing masking tape from wall after cutting in

How To Paint A Straight Edge Without Tape?

The method and technique are still the same when painting edges without tape.

The only difference is that instead of brushing against the edge of the tape, you need to use the tip of your brush to carefully apply the paint along the lines of your surface without overlapping the corners of your ceilings, walls, and trim.

But you need to be extra careful when painting to prevent any mistakes.

The key to getting perfect corners without masking tape is to keep a steady hand and brush control to paint a neat, straight line.

Painting your edges without tape is more suited to a professional painter. That’s because it’s a skill developed with lots of practice.

So, if you’re doing a DIY paint job, it’s probably better to tape your surfaces. You can also contact our local painters and decorators for help painting your room.

Painter using a paintbursh to cut in edges of wall without masking tape

Do You Edge Twice When Painting?

To achieve great results when painting, you must apply at least two coats of paint.

The same goes for cutting in.

So, always paint the edges of your walls and ceilings twice to get pro results.

The reason it’s an absolute must paint edges twice is because one coat won’t get your surface covered the way it needs to be. And you’ll often end up with spots and streaks that you missed. This is especially true if you paint over a dark colour or go from one colour to another.

Also, cutting in twice can help you get a more professional finish because you have a chance to ensure the edges are crisp and clean.