How to Paint a Straight Line


How to Paint a straight line? I’ve been asked this question many times. The term among professional painters for painting a straight line is “Cutting”.

Cutting is a method used by professional painting company’s such as Save on Painting Co. to paint a straight line on angles, most commonly where the wall meets the ceiling or the corner of a given area.

To properly cut a line the Pressure must be applied to the brush at an angle causing the bristles of the brush to thin and spread out.

Example: (Analogy) If you take a any piece of flat paper, hold it flat against the wall and run it up the wall towards the angle (or ceiling)
once it hits the angle it stops and cant go further.

Seeing that this paper is so thin (“like the spread out bristles of the brush when cutting”)it virtually only touches the wall your running the paper up along” once it hits that angle it can’t surpass it..

Other Factors: At Save on Painting, we only use quality brushes. These are essential to painting a straight line, a quality brush can run you upwards of $15 dollars and are not commonly available in most hardware stores.

Cutting Brushes are angled, usually made from nylon and most commonly 2.5 Inches in width.

Using tape: When tape is not used properly it can often lead to a false sense of security and essentially ruin a paint project.

The best Method for using tape is;

  1. Using the proper color coded tape according to the application which it is used for.
  2. When you are coating the straight line over or along tape the initial first time make sure to us very little paint. Paint in a motion slightly angled or away from the tape seam.This initial first coat will cause the paint over the tape seam to cause a bonding inpeneteral layer. Now the tape cant bleed any more.


Make sure to remove the tape before the paint is dry.

Hope this Helps!

One Response

  1. Using “angle edge” brushes specifically for cutting is a mistake… flat edge brushes will do the job if you take the time to learn how to cut… and then flat edge brushes will give you more versatility for laying out, and for general brushing requirements…

    Using tape for cutting a line is also a mistake and should be avoided… it will give sub-par results and is not necessary if you learn how to cut…

    Learning how to “cut” a line is probably the most crucial part of all painting. If you can master it you are on your way to Professionalism…

    This Technique applies to cutting a line anywhere: ceilings, casings, mouldings etc.

    First, get just the right amount of paint on your brush: keep it just short of dripping off. Now, the trick is to BEND the brush bristles and create a visible bristle line-edge of paint and slide this edge along the line you want to cut to…

    You have to PRESS DOWN quite a bit on the bristles against the surface to get the brush bristles to bend and give you a fine edge to cut with… Hint: Do not “overwork” your Brush… Let the paint “FLOW” onto the surface!

    Always take a stroke across first, just next to the cut line and apply some paint to give your brush a wet surface to slide on, instead of the dry surface…

    Remember to work out of a bucket that’s no more than 1/3 full, and smack the brush against the inside of the can to get the amount of paint on it, just right; don’t wipe it across the rim…

    To Cut into corners, you must “Point” the Bristles and Push them into the area, being careful to apply Paint only to the surface(s) desired…

    Professional Painters can Brush and Cut lines equally well using either hand… this is a firm requirement for all good Painting!

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