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The Art of Cutting-In: Tips for Painting Precise Edges and Corners

The Art of Cutting-In: Tips for Painting Precise Edges and Corners

What is Cutting-In?

Cutting-in is a technique used in painting to create clean and precise edges and corners without using masking tape. It involves using a paintbrush to carefully paint along the edges where two different colors or surfaces meet. This technique is commonly used when painting walls in the home.

Why is Cutting-In Important?

Mastering the art of cutting-in is essential for achieving a professional-looking paint job. It allows you to create sharp lines and seamless transitions between different colors or surfaces, giving your walls a polished and finished appearance.

Tools You'll Need

Before you start cutting-in, make sure you have the right tools on hand:

  • A high-quality angled paintbrush
  • A small paint tray
  • A damp cloth for wiping off any mistakes

Preparation is Key

Prior to cutting-in, it's important to prepare the area properly:

  • Cover the floor and furniture with drop cloths to protect them from paint splatters.
  • Remove any switch plates, outlet covers, or other obstacles that may get in the way.
  • Clean the walls to ensure a smooth and even paint application.

Techniques for Precise Edges and Corners

Here are some tips to help you master the art of cutting-in:

1. Load the Brush Properly

Dip the brush about one-third of the way into the paint and tap off any excess. This will prevent drips and ensure a smooth application.

2. Start with the Edges

Begin by painting along the edges of the wall, working your way from top to bottom. Use steady and controlled strokes to create a straight line.

3. Use a Steady Hand

Keep your hand steady while cutting-in to maintain a consistent line. Rest your arm on a stable surface or use a painter's tape as a guide if needed.

4. Feather the Edges

To blend the cut-in areas with the rest of the wall, lightly brush over the painted edge with a dry brush. This will create a smooth transition and eliminate any visible brush marks.

5. Take Breaks

Painting can be tiring, especially when focusing on precise edges and corners. Take regular breaks to rest your hand and maintain your concentration.

Practice Makes Perfect

Mastering the art of cutting-in takes practice. Don't be discouraged if your first attempts aren't perfect. With time and experience, you'll become more confident and skilled at achieving precise edges and corners.


By following these tips and practicing the art of cutting-in, you'll be able to paint walls in your home with professional-looking results. Say goodbye to messy edges and corners, and hello to a beautifully painted space!