Professional Painter’s Tips to make you Paint like a Pro

Most homeowners have done at least some painting around their home; and those who have, know the worst part is cutting in at the edges. Professionals have a whole spectrum of little secrets to help them save time, energy, and money while completing a project that looks professional. Here are a few of those handy tips to help you with your next painting project.

Taping Trim

This may be a no brainer, that you should tape along the trim to avoid splatter or mishaps. However taping properly is another story. Taping certain areas, like along popcorn ceilings or tight corners can be especially difficult. But, taking the time to do it correctly could save you from disappointment later. When taping you want to make sure you have a clean surface for tape to adhere to. Pealing or bubbling tape will leave areas for paint to run into on ceiling and trim molding. Tuck the edge of the tape along the wall and then fold the tape back over trim molding, outlets or other places that you don’t want paint to end up on. For ceilings, since they are usually not straight, you should run a straight line of tape along the ceiling to create as straight of a line as possible to follow as you paint. This will create an optical illusion of a straight line when you are finished.


Another technique that expert painters use when preparing to cut in along the ceiling is the scoring technique. Using a utility knife you will score a straight v-shaped shallow trench between the ceiling and the wall. This provides a small barrier to keep bleeding paint from passing and spreading out onto the ceiling. Scoring allows you to begin cutting in along your edges without the need of taping. The score mark will not be visible to the naked eye after painting. Although this technique is useful and time saving to a skilled professional, it may take practice for a beginner to perform this technique correctly. Keep in mind that scoring is not a good option for all cutting areas.

Where and How to Cut your paint

Cutting is the process of hand painting with a brush those tight areas where the walls and other features, such as the ceiling, light switches, molding, etc. come into contact with each other. The purpose of cutting is to create a seamless appearance without paint running or bleeding over onto other areas. When cutting is done properly, you should paint a one to two inch section working its way out from the feature that is not to be painted. This provides adequate room between the roller and the feature once you start painting, without having a patch of non-painted wall in between. By cutting first you are able to roll over brush marks that might be visible as long as you don’t get too close to the feature that you were trying to avoid painting.

Painting can be a fun and cathartic activity if you know what you’re doing. Use these simple hints from the professionals next time you have a painting project and see how much better your project turns out.