Wall Edge Painting Tips

Today Eddie writes:

Help! I always mess up on the edges when I’m painting. Do you have any painting tips that could help me out? Any advice is appreciated.

Eddie, as you well know, painting is not as easy as it appears on home improvement shows. But that’s probably just because we don’t have a highly trained team of painters to come in and do the work for us when the cameras aren’t rolling! That said, I do have three-time tested edge painting tips to help you out of your current crisis!

First of all, never trust that painters tape is going to work without any special help from you. I don’t care what color it is, either. The painters tape could be the old standby known as blue tape or the newer green Frogtape and you’ll still have very similar results with either. Especially if your wall is textured. A wall with even a minuscule texture such as orange peel will leave blemishes in your straight line. This is because the tape doesn’t settle down into all the ridges of the texture. Even if you spend extra time rubbing the tape into every crevice, you will no doubt miss a few spots and have some bleed through with the paint.

The best tip I’ve found to combat this is paint grade caulking. I prefer the kitchen and bath kind in white, but that is just because it’s what I usually have handy. Spread the caulking on the edge of the tape that you’ll be painting over. I usually only spread a bead of about 6 inches long at a time and then use my fingers to smooth it into the edge and spread it further down the line. It is very important to make sure that you are spreading the caulking over the edge of the tape in a direction that keeps the tape edge smooth. Otherwise you’ll just be raising the edge and causing more problems for yourself. Make sure that as you spread the caulking you are keeping it smooth. You don’t want to cause any high spots that will cause a noticeable blemish on your wall. Once you’ve spread the caulking over the entire area, wait until it is fully dry before painting over the area.

Edge Painting TipsSecond, use an angled paint brush when cutting in. An angled paint brush will help you cut in on places where walls meet. For me an angled brush is especially helpful when painting the top edge of the wall where it meets the ceiling. If you hold the paint brush so that the width of the bristles are parallel to where the wall and ceiling meet you can glide the paint brush across easily. It helps to make sure that you have just the right amount of paint on the bristles. You don’t want to overload the brush, as that will cause you to get paint on the ceiling.

You can also use an angled brush when cutting in around door frames and where walls meet. In this instance it is easier to use just the angled edge of the brush instead of using the entire width. Once again though it is best not to load the brush down with too much paint, otherwise you’ll get paint the door frame or opposite wall.

And lastly, have a paint rag ready. It never hurts to be prepared. That’s why I purchase painters rags in bulk and always have a few nearby when I’m painting. This is especially helpful when painting around doors and trim.  I always keep a rag or two sticking out of my pants pockets, so that I can grab one as needed.  Keeping one handy will make it easier to wipe off your hands or wipe down a door or baseboard quickly. A paint rag will keep you clean and it will help keep an accident from ruining your new paint job.

Eddie, these three tips are ones that I’ve learned over the years to just help make painting easier on me. Use them or adapt them to something that works best for you, just know that there are things you can do to make painting edges easier!  Also one last thing to mention, I don’t care how many of those edge painting tools are designed, I’ve never found one that worked as effortlessly and easily as was claimed. In fact most of the time they seemed to make more work for me.  It seems nothing beats experience when it comes to painting edges.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog.