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Save Time Painting, Skip the Tape

by SellingYourOwnHouseNow on November 27, 2011

Preparation is key when painting the interior of a house, but did you know you can save a significant amount of time by bypassing the tape and just cutting in the corners with a brush?  Now when I say brush, I’m not talking about one of those flat trim things with wheels on it, that’s just good marketing!  I’m referring to a good quality 2 and a half inch angle brush.  Most people look at me a bit strange when I tell them this, but once you get the hang of paining corners using an angle brush, you’ll wonder why you never did it before.  The best part is not only do you save time, but you also save good money on tape!  Masking tape is definitely not cheap, and when you use a roll or two per room, it gets expensive, especially if you are working on your home to sell and have lots of rooms to work on!

Here’s how to get started – first, go buy a good quality 2 and half inch angle brush.  This may cost you between $10 and $15 but remember, this same brush can be used for the rest of your renovation!  Have 5 rooms to work on – at the top end of the price point, your brush cost ($15 divided by 5 rooms) $3 per room – not a bad investment, especially when you think that blue tape is $5-$7 per roll! If you have delicate trim work which needs to be done as well, make sure you have 1 inch brush as well as some fine bristle hobby brushes as well.  Lastly, get a small roller you can use to add some texture and eliminate any hat banding that can occur when trimming.  With your applicators ready to go, pour some paint into a small container that is easily carried with you, this alone saves a ton of time getting up and down the ladder!  Now it’s time to paint.

Start by dipping 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch of your brush into the paint and wiggle it a bit, this wets the brush and loads the brush in preparation to paint a smooth line.  Next, drag the brush against the top of the paint container to remove any extra paint, then start by placing your brush on the wall with the paint parallel to the ceiling and the brush handle facing down about 2 inches from the corner you will be cutting in.  Run the brush downward and back up to remove the remaining excess paint and your brush is ready for the finesse work. to start with the ceiling, start about 1/2 inch from the ceiling, and hold your brush at about a 45 degree angle from the ceiling, with the angle of the brush flat against the wall.  The handle will be angled forward, and pointed in the direction you will be painting. For the first pass, do not try to get all the way into the corner, stay out about 1/8 inch – we will get the remaining line on the second pass, trust me!  As you start, apply gentle pressure to the brush, what happens is the bristles slightly curl out to lay flat against the wall and it makes a very sharp line with a bead of paint where the bristles end.  Continue along until your paint starts to fade, and when the line slowly gets less and less color, curl the brush down in a motion like you are making a comma.  Now it’s the time for a second pass.

Start at the beginning of the stroke, with your brush in the same position as before.  This time, as you start the action, put the bristles of the brush extremely close to the corner.  What will happen is the bristles will catch the ridge of paint, bring them to the edge and lightly kiss the corner leaving you a perfect corner of color.  Once you’ve done a section, use the small roller to apply a textured band from close to the ceiling down about 6 to 8 inches.  This will help avoid the hat banding that occurs from brushing alone.  Now just repeat the process, and trust me, you get better each and every time.  After the first room, you’ll be a pro and wonder why the heck you did it any other way!

Sometimes it’s a bit easier to learn by seeing, so to help demonstrate I wanted to include a video that helps detail out the process.  The presenter does a pretty good job explaining the details, but remember – everyone has their own style, experiment and see what works for you!

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