How to Cut the Walls for Painting a Room

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 72,422
    Mark Osbourne founder of Manor Works Painting discusses how to cut the walls for painting a room.

    Mark Osborne

    Mark Osborne is the owner and original founder of Manor Works Painting. After working his way through college running the painting operations of student-based companies, Mark went on to get an MBA in Entrepreneurship. While in school, Mark saw an unmet need by many homeowners. No company was offering year-round painting services in a consistent and professional manner. The idea behind Manor Works was born. In 1998, Mark started Manor Works on the principle of providing homeowners with consistent levels of quality on a year round basis. Over the last 10 years Mark has worked to build Manor Works into a full-service painting company servicing metropolitan Washington D.C. Mark intends to grow the company geographically and recently began an expansion into the North Carolina market. Mark continues to be interested in concepts he studied in school and is exploring the possibility of franchising and licensing.

    Hi! I am Mark Osbourne, the founder of Manor Works Painting and today we are talking about how to paint the interior of a bedroom. We have already finished our ceiling, and we are getting ready to move on to the walls, but before we do that this would be appropriate opportunity to talk a little bit about the various paints that are available.

    In most residential settings, we are going to be using a latex or whats called sometimes an acrylic based product, which is what we are going to be using in this application, but regardless what color you choose, there are variety of sheens that the product comes in. Sheen is simply a term to describe how much shine or how much gloss is in the product and its a scale. On one end, you would have a flat sheen, which would mean it would have zero or very low degrees of sheen and on the high end, you would have whats called a high gloss, which would be a very high degree of sheen and there are seams in between, like for instance, there are matt sheens, eggshell sheens, satin sheens, and semigloss sheens. For most walls a flat-latex application would be the best. However, there are situations where higher sheens might be required.

    The advantage of sheen is that the more sheen is in a product, the more resistant to scrubbing, the more resistant to water vapor, fingerprints, streaks and things of that nature. The downside of sheen is that the higher the sheen, the more imperfections are going to be visible. Another downside is that, the higher the sheen the more difficult that area would be to touch up if there was damage further down the road, so its trade off. When selecting the sheen, you have to realize that there is a trade off. In this case were painting a bedroom and we are going to go with a flat sheen, but it could also be very easily done with a matt sheen, which would be one step up from the flat. If we are painting a bathroom or a kitchen by contrast, we might want to use an eggshell or a satin sheen, which will have a higher degree of sheen, making it that much scrubable and resistant to the water vapor of a bathroom or a kitchen.

    Once the proper product has been selected, we ready to get started cutting the walls. Now, cutting the walls is where we are going to apply paint in about one to two inch stretch in the areas where the wall meets the ceiling or where it meets the trimming, for instance, door frames, baseboards, things of that nature. Once that step has done, we will be ready to move on to the next step, which would be rolling, but let me tell you a few tips and techniques before you start doing the cutting. There are a couple of ways it can be done. One way would be to wait for the ceiling paint to sufficiently dry and then to tape, using blue painters tape, a straight line between the ceiling and the wall. This is a great technique. It will allow it to achieve straight lines, but also not have to be as careful when your painting the wall that you will be getting paint on the ceiling and if you would like to do that, thats a great technique. It does take a little bit more time however.

    As a professional, what we are going to do in this case is actually free hand the line between the wall and the ceiling. Now, this does take a little bit skill and practice, but it can be done. Let me give you a quick tip. Now, this tip shouldnt be employed in every situation, but there are some situations where it is applicable. The issue is the line between where the ceiling and the wall meets is usually not square or straight, so what we need to do as professionals is sometimes whats called splitting the difference, meaning creating an artificial line between the ceiling and the wall. One way that this can be done is simply by free handing, another technique is to use a utility knife to score a very small V-shape valley in between the wall and the ceiling. This will not be visible to the naked eye, but by creating the small valley what will happen is as we paint the wall, the paint on the wall will roll into this valley, but not be able to go any further up the other side of the valley thus creating a straight line. Depending on the severity of the color change or the condition of what you are painting, you might have to do this step multiple times to ensure adequate coverage.

    Now that we have finished cutting the line between the wall and ceiling, were ready to cut the line between the wall and the trim, in this case, a door frame. Now, because we are going to be coming back and painting the trim, its less important that we not get any paint on the trim. So, in this case we have already taped off the trip, so we can do it a lot more rapidly than we did at that line between the ceilings. We also need to cut around areas that might be hard to roll around. In this case, we have some electrical outlets. We are going to go ahead and cut around those areas as well. Now that we finished cutting in room, we are ready to move on to the last and painting the walls enough to roll them.