Painting a straight line next to the trim trick


How to make a straight line up against the trim with your wall paint.
Start by painting the trim first . You can pass over onto the wall by an inch or so.
Loading up your 3" brush full with paint helps you to 'find your line'. With subtle pressure, run the tips of the bristles to the corner. You will find the right resistance to your bristles in the corner to make the line straight.
To make the line even straighter, take your 5-in-1 tool wrapped with a wet rag and drag it down the corner. At just the right angle, this will give you a crisp, straight line.
A 5-in-1 tool and clean, wet rag can give you a laser straight line. That is if you don't drink too much coffee!

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Have a question about this project?

9 questions
  • Gir2905792
    on Nov 7, 2015

    what is a 5 in 1 tool?

  • Oll3412861
    on Dec 20, 2015

    What is the paint colour used in the photo showing how to paint next to trim pieces with a 5 in 1 tool?

    • Tabby
      on Mar 22, 2016

      perhaps this one Valspar™ 3005-5C Homestead Resort Gold

  • Oll3412861
    on Dec 20, 2015

    What is the paint colour used in the photo?

    • Tabby
      on Mar 22, 2016

      perhaps this Valspar™ 3005-5C Homestead Resort Gold

  • Paula Slatton
    on Jan 2, 2016

    I am not sure what the pointed part is for???? But the rounded out area is for getting paint out of your roller when done painting. makes for easy washing,

    • Hina
      on Feb 16, 2016

      opening cans? picking paint out of little grooves? the straight is a scapper

    • Sassafras Green
      on Apr 8, 2016

      A nail set

    • Joe Gemmill
      on Jun 30, 2018

      Cutting the paint line in old windows that are painted shut, or any other "stuck"object, like a switch plate, a ceiling fan housing, light fixture, etc. It is not a nail set. You can buy a spring-type that you put the tip on the nail, pull back on the spring and POW, it drives it home.


    • Joe Gemmill
      on Jun 30, 2018

      Cutting the paint line in old windows that are painted shut, or any other "stuck"object, like a switch plate, a ceiling fan housing, light fixture, etc. It is not a nail set. You can buy a spring-type that you put the tip on the nail, pull back on the spring and POW, it drives it home.


    • Joe Gemmill
      on Jun 30, 2018

      Cutting the paint line in old windows that are painted shut, or any other "stuck"object, like a switch plate, a ceiling fan housing, light fixture, etc. It is not a nail set. You can buy a spring-type that you put the tip on the nail, pull back on the spring and POW, it drives it home.


  • Jerry
    on Nov 24, 2016

    When you run the wet rag along the wall, what keeps it from picking up paint from the wall?

    • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
      on Nov 25, 2016

      The high quality of the paint.

    • John
      on Mar 2, 2017

      Best to let the trim paint dry completely before painting the wall. And this only works if you paint trim first witha semigloss paint. If you do it in reverse with flat wall paint the wet rag will change the texture and leave noticable markings.

    • Mary Walsh Davis
      on Jan 24, 2018

      Nothing..it is a tricky process and one not recommended by pros

    • Itsmemic
      on Mar 24, 2018

      ...I'll stick to painters tape.

  • GAGalNSC
    on Dec 19, 2017

    Great tip! What color did you use on the wall?
  • Teresa Nunn
    on Jul 31, 2018

    Will this trick work where wall meets ceiling or should I use the 5 in 1?

    • Deborah Morris
      on Aug 5, 2018

      As long as the ceiling doesn’t have popcorn. There’s no way that I know of to get a straight line next to a popcorn ceiling. Just go VERY slow.

    • Michela Dorman
      on Aug 24, 2018

      Professional painters will actually paint a small amount on the ceiling to give an appearance of a straight line. The focal point is the wall and not the ceiling.

    • Cindy
      on Jan 28, 2019

      A professional can cut a straight line beside trim or ceiling even down a wall. The only trick is experience!

    • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
      on Mar 23, 2019

      It won’t work at the ceiling but practice makes perfect!

    • Sherrie
      on Dec 2, 2019

      The best secret is to use a small sash brush, (angled) rest it on the wall, not floating in your hand. Just a little paint on it just to set the first line against the ceilling and then go back to add the additional paint against that set line. I have just done my cottage neighbour's wall, a deep colour against a black ceiling for a theatre effect. They watched me do it and said it looked like a laser line it was so clean. AND don't rush, take your time, Sherrie


  • Dar32131704
    on Aug 15, 2018

    Is a 45 degree angled brush

  • Grace
    on Mar 19, 2019

    Just wanted to know where you get this tool. ?I really messed up when I painted my living room

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