22 May 2012

Painting Into a Corner

Posted by bcsands

Painting can be really easy, especially on those flat, even surfaces when a whole room is the same colour. But what about painting into the corners and along cornices, especially where the colour changes?

You can watch every YouTube video about this subject and still make a mess of it when you do it yourself, because cutting paint, as it is called by the professionals, is a skill that can only be learned by practice, not by watching others doing it.

Preparing to Paint Into a Corner

The first thing you need is the right equipment. It is worth buying an expensive small angle brush, because a cheap one will make the job long and difficult. The best cutting brush is angled for ease of use, and the brush width can be anything from 10mm to 50mm depending on how you prefer to work.

If you find you really need a guide, choose a long, very thin object like a steel ruler or strip of aluminium. Be aware that you will need to wipe it clean and dry after every brush load.

A word about masking tape: People do use it for painting into corners but it has drawbacks, like being difficult to apply absolutely straight, bleeding underneath, splashing paint around if removed too quickly and peeling new paint off if pulled off too late.

How To Paint Into Corners

You can paint corners first or last, it’s up to you. The only concern with leaving it to the end is that you could ruin all that careful work with an over-enthusiastic roller-stroke.  Here is a tried and true method:-

  • Paint the lightest colour first. If you are painting the cornice white, paint it first and don’t worry about getting white paint on the walls.
  • If you are creating a feature wall in a darker colour, paint the meeting point corners with the lighter colour first.
  • Wait for the light colour to dry (about 3 hours) before tackling the cutting-in job.
  • Dip your corner brush into the paint about 2cm.
  • Wipe the excess paint off the bristles but leave the tip of the brush loaded with paint.
  • Working from the outside inwards place the paintbrush about 10mm from the absolute corner and allow the bristles to spread towards the join.
  • Allow the end bristles to deliver the drop of paint to the edge and keep twisting the brush gently in your fingers to release more paint.
  • Wipe up any overspill with a clean, damp cloth if you are using acrylic paint and turps if using oil based paint.
  • Continue on as seamlessly as possible, never putting too much paint on the brush or trying to make the paint stretch further than it naturally does.
  • If your corner is slightly rounded make sure the lighter colour is on the rounded area and the darker colour is in a straight line down on the very edge of the wall.

You can transform rooms into interesting spaces with paint – the limit is only governed by your imagination. So if you are planning to paint a room or even a whole house, then go ahead, paint yourself into a corner! It’s worth the effort.

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