Should I 'cut in' or use a paint edger?

Old 07-31-03, 09:40 PM
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Question Should I 'cut in' or use a paint edger?

I'm a newbie to both this forum, and painting. My questions are: What is the best technique to ensure a razor sharp line between the ceiling (white) and the walls or our kitchen (yellow)? We're painting the walls yellow and leaving the ceiling the existing white. Being a newbie, I'm not sure I have the skillset for 'cutting in' and wonder if a paint edger really works all that well.

Perhaps naively, I thought I'd use a straight edge of sorts (like a 10" putty blade) to delineate between ceiling and wall to provide that straight line, moving the straight edge down the wall making sure not to get paint on the ceiling. Is this a good idea?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.
Old 07-31-03, 10:13 PM
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I've never used a paint edger so I can't help you there. I always use a 3" sash type brush. A HIGH QUALITY brush helps alot. To make a crisp looking line at the ceiling, when I cut in I wrap my paint up on the ceiling just the tiniest fraction. When you step back, it will look nice and straight, its much harder to cut in the exact corner of ceiling and wall.

I wouldn't suggest using a straight edge either because I haven't found a ceiling or wall thats completely straight yet

Old 08-01-03, 03:47 AM
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It is better to freehand the line. Straight edges and tape just don't work well enough to rely upon them. I run the ceiling paint onto the wall just a bit. When you paint the wall, any imperfection won't leave you with an unpainted area. As you do some of this, it will become easier. Besides, the intersection between wall and ceiling is not that easy to see, the viewing angle is not good, the lighting is generally poor, nobody looks up anyway, and only your mother-in-law would have the gall to say anything.
Old 08-01-03, 07:48 AM
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Welcome! prowallguy and chfite are right on when they say it is better to use a brush & freehand your intersection at the wall and ceiling. The edger pad type tools you can buy will leave a gap of 1/8" or more and with the walls and ceilings not ever straight, as prowallguy points out, the gap will be very noticeable over the length of your project. The straight edge works okay some of the time but you have to clean the blade after every pass and sometimes the paint still bleeds through (straight edges are better for keeping paint off the floor if you re-do the trim). Freehanding with a good sash brush isn't that hard once you've tried it, practice at your wall to upper cabinet intersections and you will get the feel for doing it this way. Take your time and expect mistakes! Besides, Chris is right about the angle, lighting and the MIL!!! I hope you enjoy it here as much as I have! It's a great place!
Old 08-01-03, 07:53 AM
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Agreed that freehand is the way to go. I tried the tape method in my kitchen a while ago and it ended up looking like crap. Invest in a good brush and clean it well after use and it'll last a long time. You get what you pay for when it comes to brushes.
Old 08-02-03, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for the input.

I'll attempt to 'cut in' and hope things work out. I'll try to find the time to post about my results.

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