How To Cut In Paint Without Painter’s Tape

5 Materials
30 Minutes

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Want to learn how to cut in paint? In this step by step tutorial, we’ll teach you the whole process of how to cut in paint at ceiling and along the edges of trim and baseboards without tape (even if you’re a beginner)!!

How To Cut In Paint using Painter’s Tape

Hopefully by the end of this tutorial on how to cut in paint, we’ve convinced you that taking the time to practice the skill of cutting in is well worth your time. With a little bit of patience and practice, you can totally cut in WITHOUT painter’s tape.

But I understand that there’s probably still a few of you that are stuck in your ways and want to still use painter’s tape to cut in.

Here’s the best way to cut in with paint using painter’s tape:

  • Clean the areas where you need to cut in. You want the painter’s tape tp be able to stick to the surface well, so any dust need to be removed first.
  • Carefully tape the areas after they are dry with the wide painter’s tape (not the thin stuff).
  • After you apply tape, take the tip of your thumbnail (or a credit hard or putty knife…something hard and flat) and run it along the edge of the tape and press firmly. This will help seal the painter’s tape to the wall and hopefully avoid the paint from seeping under the tape. But it’s never perfect, so if you’re still having trouble you can try either running a thin bead of caulking along the edge of the tape to seal it or painting the underneath color along the edge of the painter’s tape to seal the edge. We explained more about that process in this tutorial for our two tone walls.
  • Brush over the tape with a paint brush. Be sure to not have too much paint on the brush though. Wipe both sides of the brush on the can before you apply to the wall.
  • Remove the painter’s tape from your edges as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. Don’t let the tape sit there all night long because the paint will start to cure and when the tape is removed, you may pull some of that paint up too, which you definitely don’t want to do.

Hopefully we’ve convinced you that even a beginner can cut in paint without using painter’s tape! With these simple steps you can learn how to cut in paint at the ceiling and how to paint edges of trim and baseboards. It all starts with using the right tools for the job so be sure you’re using the best paint brush for cutting in.

Armed with time to practice and a whole lot of patience, you can create beautiful straight lines between the wall and ceiling and edges when you’re painting a room.

Did you learn something new in this tutorial of how to cut in paint?

Let us know in the comments below!

If you love this, check out  all of my painting tutorials in the archive here!

Suggested materials:
  • Paint
  • Angeled sash brush with tapered filament
  • Paint stir stick
See all materials
Chelsea @ Making Manzanita
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Susan Susan on Dec 07, 2021

    the article was supposed to be about cutting in WITHOUT tape???

  • Gretchen Garza Gretchen Garza on Feb 27, 2022

    Ditto above. Typo- headline meant WITH tape?

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