Do I Need to Cut In Twice When Painting?

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Painting a room yourself is often the more affordable option, as all it will cost you is the paint and the tools required for the job. You are also able to tackle this task when it suits you, and not have to conform to a painter’s schedule. 

However, as you are not an expert yourself, you may be wondering what the best way to paint a room is. Let’s try to answer one very common dilemma first.

Do I Need to Cut In Twice When Painting? 

Yes, you do need to cut in twice when painting a room. In fact, you should cut in for every layer of paint you add to your walls – whether that is once, twice, or even four times. 

Cut in your walls first, and then roll out. Wait for the layer of paint to dry before cutting in for the second time, and then roll out again. 

If you were to cut in only your first layer of paint, the edges would remain slightly lighter than the rest of the wall. 

Is it OK to Cut In One Day and Paint the Next?

You will get a much better result if you cut in and paint on the same day. 

In fact, for the smoothest and most even results, try to cut in just one wall, and then immediately roll it out. That way, the paint will blend much better, as it is still wet. Letting paint dry overnight and then rolling out will not only make the task more difficult, it will most likely result in different shades. 

You should still get a very decent result if you cut in an entire room and roll it out layer by layer as well, if you prefer working this way. If you are able to rope a friend or family member in to help you out, one of you can cut in while the other rolls out. This will both be the fastest way to paint a room, and it will achieve the best results. 

Do You Let Paint Dry After Cutting In?

No, you shouldn’t let your paint dry after cutting in. Rolling out over dry paint may cause the edges to flake, and it won’t get you that smooth and even effect you are looking for. 

This is especially important for darker colours, as rolling out with dry edges is very difficult, and you will most likely be left with some markings and smudges that could have been prevented. 

How Do I Cut in Paint Like a Pro?

There are several things you can do to make sure there are no cutting in lines visible when painting. 

First, you should always mix all of the paint (yes, one and the same colour) you think you will need to use in a room together. There can sometimes be subtle differences between the same shade of paint made by the same manufacturer, and this can show up on your walls, in a difference between the cutting in lines and the rolled out paint. There also may be a visible demarcation line that will show exactly where you opened that new can of paint. 

To prevent these potential discrepancies, pour all the paint you will need into a bucket, mix them together, and then just pour the paint back into its original cans. This will ensure that your paint is the exact same colour everywhere.

You also want to make sure to overlap your cut lines when rolling as much as you can. Bring the roller as close to the edge as you dare, as this will mix the paint together well, and ensure there are no visible lines or harsh segments. 

Rolling out over still wet cutting in lines will ensure the paint mixes well, and that there are no harsh transitions. 

How Do You Get Rid of Cutting In Lines When Painting?

If your cutting in lines aren’t as smooth as you would like them to be, you can try to fix them using a simple technique. 

If it’s the first coat that you are not happy with, you should be able to do a better job with the second one. Start by mixing the paint well, to ensure it is smooth and not starting to clog up. 

Clean your cutting in brush before you apply another coat of paint. Dry paint on the brush can lead to a very uneven result that will show up after the paint dries. Also make sure to store your brushes carefully overnight, as you wait for your layers of paint to dry. 

If you feel the result is very poor, you can try sanding the cutting in edges to remove any dry and uneven paint. Then wipe all the dust off several times, so that it isn’t caught under the new layer of paint you are about to apply, and then roll over. 

Can You Cut In With a Roller?

Yes, you can use a mini roller to cut in, if you feel uncomfortable using a brush. However, you should be extra careful, as the roller’s edges might roll a bit over, and you might end up with paint on areas you didn’t want it to go. 

Don’t use a large roller to cut in, as it will be a very clumsy job, and you probably won’t be satisfied with the results. 

A brush is still your best choice, an angled bristle paint brush to be very specific. A flat brush will not provide as smooth of a result. A 35-millimetre angled brush should be small enough to get into the crevices, but still large enough to ensure you are able to paint inside the lines. 

What Happens if You Paint a Second Coat Too Soon?

If you paint a second coat on too soon, you will probably see streaks and the colour will be uneven. The paint may also start to peel, in which case you will need to remove it and start all over again, costing you both time, effort and money.

While watching paint dry has become a metaphor with good reason, always give your first (and every subsequent) coat of paint enough time to dry, to ensure you get the best possible and most even result.

Is 3 Coats of Paint Too Much?

No, not in most cases. In order to get the best result, you will likely need to use one coat of primer, and two coats of paint. 

For lighter colours, this should be all you need to achieve an even and fresh result.

If you are painting a dark wall light, you will probably need more than two coats of paint though, so don’t be alarmed. Try not to spread your paint to thin, at the same time keeping it even across the board. 

Darker colours will often require three or more coats as well, as any streaks and uneven areas will be easier to spot if you use too thin coats. Remember to let each layer dry well before applying the next one!

Is it Better to Paint the Ceiling or Walls First?

You should always paint the ceiling first, and once that’s completely dried, move on to the walls. 

Two coats of paint will be required in most cases, or more if the ceiling has gone particularly yellow, or hasn’t been painted in a long time. 

Cut in your walls one by one after that, then roll out. 

Wrapping It Up 

Painting a room can be a very soothing and relaxing experience, especially if you know what you are doing and have some company to help you out. Bear my cutting in tips in mind during your next painting project, and let me know how satisfied you are with the results! 

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