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Interior house painting cutting-in before rolling paint: basic technique

Cutting-in is the first task in the paint rolling process. It involves brushing paint to cover areas that are difficult, or impossible, to roll. Once ceiling and wall surfaces are cut-in, primer or paint can be rolled efficiently using a roller frame, roller cover, and either a rolling pan or five-gallon bucket with a rolling screen.

Apply paint from an empty metal one-gallon can using the dunk-and-tap method

Purchase a few empty one-gallon paint cans from your paint store or home center.

After stirring, pour a few inches of paint into an empty can. When dipping the paintbrush into the paint, do not dip the bristles of the brush more than halfway into the paint. After dipping (also called dunking) the brush bristles halfway into the paint, tap the paint-loaded bristles gently on each side of the can a time or two. This action helps to tap-off the excess. When the brush is removed from the can, the bristles should not be dripping with paint.

Remove any heavy edges of applied paint

Remove any heavy paint edges by lightly brushing over them with a “dry brush”. A “dry brush” is a paintbrush that has applied its loaded paint and now has very little paint left in its bristles. Stroking over the edges with a dry brush helps to eliminate edge lines that would be noticeable after drying. This technique is also referred to as “feathering” the edges.


Detailed information about interior house painting surface preparation can be found in the book:

The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting.

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