How To Paint Edges Without Tape - Cutting In, The Ins & Outs

Dec 27, 2023

Understanding the Art of Cutting In

Painting a room can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to painting edges or corners without the use of tape. But don't fret, there's a technique called 'cutting in' that can make this task a breeze. 'Cutting in' is a method where you paint a straight line freehand without the use of tape. It might sound difficult, but with some practice and the right tools, you can master this skill.

painting tools

Choosing the Right Tools

Having the right tools is crucial for cutting in. The most important tool is a good quality brush. A 2-3 inch angled brush is ideal for this task. The angled bristles allow for more control when painting straight lines. Additionally, a paint bucket with a wide rim can be handy to wipe off excess paint from the brush.

Preparing Your Brush

The way you load your brush with paint will significantly impact your cutting in experience. Dip the brush into the paint, covering no more than half of the bristles. Tap the brush against the sides of the bucket to remove excess paint, but avoid dragging the brush across the rim as this can cause the bristles to fan out, making it harder to paint a straight line.

paint brush

Mastering the Technique

Now, let's get to the actual process of cutting in. Start by positioning the brush a few inches away from the edge you want to paint. Gradually move the brush towards the edge, allowing the bristles to fan out against the wall. The key is to move slowly and steadily, maintaining a firm pressure on the brush.

Perfecting Your Line

If you find that your line isn't as straight as you'd like, don't worry. You can make minor adjustments by going over the line while the paint is still wet. Use the corner of the brush to nudge the line into the desired shape. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be discouraged if your first few attempts aren't flawless.

Cleaning Up

Once you've finished painting, it's time to clean up. Rinse your brush thoroughly under running water if you're using water-based paint, or use a paint thinner for oil-based paint. Dry the brush with a clean cloth and store it in its original packaging to maintain its shape.


Learning to cut in can take some time and patience, but it's a valuable skill that can save you time and effort in the long run. By choosing the right tools, preparing your brush properly, and practicing your technique, you'll be cutting in like a pro in no time. Happy painting!