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How to you cut a perfectly straight line between wall and cornice

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  1. #1
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    Default How to you cut a perfectly straight line between wall and cornice

    OK so I'm painting the front bedroom in a light grey (previous owner painted the ceiling and walls in the same white paint )

    Have patched up all the imperfections and given the ceiling a fresh coat of ceiling white and myself and the quality control department decided on the light grey we were going to use. Happy Days .

    I have a pretty steady hand and in my opinion I can do a reasonable job but despite having really high ceilings my work is never good enough according to the eagle eyed quality control department.

    So apart from cutting in by hand, I tried one of those edging tools you can buy with the nifty little wheels on them. That resulted in smearing of grey paint all over the cornices. edging tool into the bin, back to square 1.

    Then tried taping the cornices, paint bled behind the tape and ripped off white paint when removing the tape. Fail, back to square 1.

    Then tried holding a piece of thin cardboard between the wall and the cornice while cutting the edge in, same deal. square 1 again.

    I just can't do it straight enough to pass quality control and am close to chucking it in and telling her to get a professional in or get up the ladder and do it yourself, but I have reservations about paying someone to do the same job I do, and have quality control mention "it's just not right" each time she enters the room.

    So before I give up, can anyone tell me the secret of how to cut a perfectly straight line between the wall and the cornice?

  2. #2
    1K Club Member Spottiswoode's Avatar
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    Not fun is it. I've used the edging tool with the wheels and while it is quick, it doesn't do a job better than by hand and you need to be careful about keeping the wheels and edges of the tool clean. I'm a fair way from being a pro painter, but have done a reasonable amount of painting and find that the steady hand method seems to work well enough for me. I reckon taping or using a backing board is just asking for trouble with paint getting in behind and makes the job more time consuming.

    One of those TV reno shows had a pro painter as a contestant and while everyone else was taping up their joints, he was doing them all freehand, quicker.

    Time to get the quality control dept up the ladder!
    Measure twice, cut once, trim some off the end, trim some more. Too short. Rinse, Repeat.

  3. #3
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Forget tape, cardboard, wheelie thingy, buy a good quality cutting brush, they are not cheap but they make a big difference. I have one that is cut at an angle but there are different ones, go to a paint shop where tradies go not bunnings or mitre ten.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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  4. #4
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Hire a pro to do the cutting in or try a good 4 inch brush.

  5. #5
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    agree with marc and phil..cut it in freehand...lay some paint under the cornice about 10mm first then paint from left to right and flatten the brush, dont be afraid to push up hard under the cornice..youll know when youve gone to far.. long slow strokes..not sure if that makes sense but works for me..we have got square set everywhere here and was a pain to do but got it done and looks fine..i do the cut in and the wife rolls the walls.. suits me fine...

  6. #6
    NRB
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    Yeah ,do it by hand
    Lots of people who don't do much painting think that for a job like that you use a small brush-- no good they won't hold any paint-in fact a good 100 mm brush does the trick ,load it up and do it like sol381 says long slow strokes

  7. #7
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    I get decent results by doing the best freehand I can, and the bits that do land on the cornice I go over the cornice as required once dry. I use a straight plastic 'knife' edge about a foot long, use very little paint to prevent bleeding and do it 2 or 3 times. It's ready to go over again pretty soon as you haven't used much paint.

  8. #8
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    I was really proud of my last effort freehand. Nice straight lines (using a good quality 75mm brush with long slow strokes). Looking really good and then last minute I was brushing the cutting in smooth and got a great big arc over the ceilIng on near fresh ceiling paint so I couldn't scrub it off. . It's still there awaiting the next room's ceiling coats so I can touch it up.
    Measure twice, cut once, trim some off the end, trim some more. Too short. Rinse, Repeat.

  9. #9
    1K Club Member Random Username's Avatar
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    Give her the brush.
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  10. #10
    1K Club Member paddyjoy's Avatar
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    I agree with the flattening of the brush, works really well for me also.

    Sent from my HTC_0P6B6 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. Picked up a 75mm "cutting brush". Not sure if its beacuse it's a new brush, a 75mm brush or marketed as a "cutting brush" but it sure did the trick. Thanks again - happy wife happy life

  12. #12
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    There is no secret just a good quality bush and lots of practice. By the time the boss has made you

    do about five times you will get it right

  13. #13
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    I give the you beaut cutting brush to the M'lady...double win.
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

  14. #14
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    I found this video really helpful.

    nesbit

  15. #15
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    So I was having issues cutting in to a square set ceiling, going to get myself a new brush to start with, I also watched the above video pretty helpful, the next video YouTube recommended was this one, which explains it in a lot more detail with a lot of tips along the way.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xdSm_k...LZ0KderjEVxFpQGadgets

  16. #16
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    I start the brush on the wall, then give it a slight twist as I move it up to the cornice. The twist seems to help rein in and stray bristles on the brush. I also find hat it helps to have a slight bead of paint on the brush just near the cornice - the slight twist seems to help thus paint bead form and the surface tension seems the help the paint flow.

    ymmv
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  17. #17
    1K Club Member Spottiswoode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgets View Post
    So I was having issues cutting in to a square set ceiling, going to get myself a new brush to start with, I also watched the above video pretty helpful, the next video YouTube recommended was this one, which explains it in a lot more detail with a lot of tips along the way.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xdSm_k...LZ0KderjEVxFpQGadgets
    No way I'm cutting in, then using a small roller to do the edges, then a proper roller for the rest. It's bad enough washing out one roller, let alone two. Just seems like a waste of effort.
    Measure twice, cut once, trim some off the end, trim some more. Too short. Rinse, Repeat.

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