Cutting clean straight lines?

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  #1  
Old 02-19-04, 08:58 PM
asennad
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Cutting clean straight lines?

How do you get PERFECT lines between ceiling and wall or on uneven molding?

I just canít do a straight line with a brush. Iíve tried different sized/ quality brushes and bought some of those fancy edging gadgets with rollers and pads.

My biggest beef is the line between a white ceiling and colored wall. By hand it take so long and my lines follow the same path as a dolphin swiming in water. \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
 
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Old 02-20-04, 06:11 AM
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I struggled to acheive a clean straight line at the wall/ceiling for a long time until an oldtimer finally told me how to do it.

When cutting a color onto a wall against a white ceiling, let your brush ride up onto the ceiling just the tiniest bit possible. When you look up, you won't be able to see any on the ceiling if the line is straight. But if you stand back and look, the line will appear very straight and clean.

This only comes with practice and experience.

This is the first thing I check when a new employee says 'I can paint'. Let me see your ceiling cut-in and that tells all. That is the first thing I look at when entering a room to tell if it was painted by a pro or not.
 
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Old 02-20-04, 10:06 AM
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asennad,

I struggled with this also. I re-did the ceiling to wall cut in of a half bath 3 or 4 times before I was satisfied.

First of all, in my house the small bathrooms have terrible wall to ceiling joints (very bumpy) probably because it's so confined the drywall guy couldn't move as easily as normal. So I put a line of caulk in all of the ceiling/wall joints (smooth it with your finger). This makes a huge difference if you have a lot of texture or bumpy compound.

As far as brush technique, I use a small 1.5" sash brush because they seem to have a sharper chisel end to them (if you use a cheap brush you have no chance). Load the brush about a quarter inch. You will use the end of the brush to cut the line, not the side. Bring you brush to within about 1/2" of the line with chisel end parallel to line.

Now, keeping the chisel end parallel to line, place the brush on the wall and bring the edge up to the line while moving it along the line (never stop moving the brush). You should see a small bead of paint being applied by the end of the brush as you move it along. This bead allows you to accurately place the paint. As the bead runs out after a few inches, move the brush away from line while lifting it. You need some brush speed because if you go to slow your hand may shake. This should all be done with one fluid stroke. It takes a little practice to prevent from overshooting the line but at least for me trying to do it by dabbing etc. only leads to madness. I only do the very accurate cut in on the second coat.

I can't do this if I'm tired or frustrated. Don't be afraid to practice, you can easily fix your mistakes. Also, body position is critical. You have to be in a comfortable position, not straining or reaching.
 

Last edited by AlexH; 02-20-04 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 02-20-04, 11:32 AM
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Hey prowallguy,

Do you charge more if you have to cut a lot of lines with highly constrasting colors?


I have 5" tall base and 4" crown in every room, painted white with fairly bright wall colors. I use tape on the baseboard because I find it's too hard to cut that in but I basically have to cut 2 lines for the crown, one for base and casings. When the colors contrast, the slightest errors shows like crazy. It takes me a long time to finish a room but it's well worth it because the look is unbeatable if your smart about color choice (which is a whole art in itself).
 
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Old 02-20-04, 02:44 PM
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Yeah, we charge more for that. Its a 'time' factor. If it takes longer than average to do it, somebody's gonna pay.


And as for the 1 1/2" sash brush you use, I think I have one of those in my brush bag, not sure. If so, I haven't seen it in a long time.

I have all our apprentices use a 3" sash brush, no angle, all the time for everything. After you can paint mullions with a 3", you can do it all. Once they have mastered that, I let them use whatever they want. Some will use angles, but most stay with the 3" sash because it holds a lot of paint. Less dipping, less arm fatigue, more production. Now, if I could just get them to skip lunch and work 10 hour days.........
 
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Old 02-20-04, 03:00 PM
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I only said 1 1/2" sash because the edge seems to flatten more when you press it against the wall. I need every advantage I can get.

Now don't tell me you are painting mutton bars with a 3" brush!
 
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Old 02-20-04, 03:06 PM
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I use a 3" for everything. No, really, I do.
 
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Old 02-20-04, 06:25 PM
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3 inch flat brush (numero uno !)
 
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