Painting Tips: Painting Perfect Edges

Don’t let a painted line that is less than straight can mock you every time you look at it. There are a few professional tips that can help you make those lines perfect. Painting perfect edges is easy with these tips of the trade.


Painter’s tape can seem like a perfect tool for a job, but it can lead to disaster if you don’t use it appropriately. First, make sure the paint is completely and 100% dry before you even think about taking it off. The paint that made it onto the tape makes a film between the wall and tape. Pulling it off can peel off your newly placed paint. To avoid this, wait until the paint is dry, then use a utility knife or box cutter to cut the edge of the tape. Pull it off at a 45 degree angle. This will break the film, ensuring your straight line when you remove the tape.


Painting your baseboards can be a disaster waiting to happen. Paint shields are available at supply stores but can cause a smeared mess. Instead, the professional go to is masking tape. Get a two-inch wide roll and tape it along the baseboards, with about ½ inch going up onto the board. Tuck the edge you’ve made between the carpet and baseboard with a putty knife. Paint the boards, wait for dry, then pull it up. Your lines will be perfect and baseboard painted with precision.


Cutting in is a technique professional painters swear by. When you need a good edge along a ceiling or trim, it’s the way to get the best outcome without the prep work. First, load the brush and wipe away the excess paint with the edge of the can. Brush along edges, but keep bristles ¼ inch away from the edge. Come back with another stroke a bit closer. Repeat until your edges are perfectly painted.


There is a ceiling painting tool to use around edges where the ceiling meets the wall. The roller wheels on it will allow you to fill the pad with paint and roll it along the edge. The stoppers on it will make sure you are far enough away from walls to avoid painting them. Go light on paint to avoid drips. You can always add another coat.