Painting--where the walls meet the ceiling

Last weekend, I masked the edges of my bedroom walls with green painter's tape, painted the ceiling, and took down the tape after the paint was dry. So far so good. Yesterday I masked the edges of the ceiling and painted the walls a different color from the ceiling.
This morning I took down the tape. As expected, there are places where the second taping went slightly beyond the edges of the ceiling paint, so I have some gaps to fill in. What's the best way to do that?
Also, along just one wall, the tape brought a couple of narrow strips of ceiling paint down along with it. How can I best fill those channels? I guess in both cases an important concern is filling the gaps to the same depth as the finished surfaces. Or higher--I guess sanding afterwards is an option.
Any tips for the future on preventing these problems? I'm going to be tackling the trim next so I'm wondering how I can avoid these glitches.
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Harlan Messinger wrote:

Frankly I don't tape a textured ceiling. I would tape the wall if doing the ceiling however. For painting a wall, I just cut it in by hand.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

My ceiling isn't textured. In any event, I don't trust my hand to be that steady. When trying that in the past, I haven't been successful at keeping the paint from crossing over the joint and, frankly, don't see quite how to do it. Certainly not with a roller. With a brush I must be unable to control the flair of the bristles that finely.
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Practice.
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wrote:

Or buy one of these tools: http://www.toolspotting.net/2006/03/shurline_paint_edger_1.html
I've been using them for nearly 20 years, and they are invaluable. Available at your local hardware store!
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KLS wrote:

I'm embarrassed to say that I used one *with* the tape. The reason is that I assumed it would be impossible to keep the wheels themselves clean while loading the pad, and they would wind up leaving tracks on the ceiling. That's because of the excess paint mentioned on the page you cited. It gives a great tip about not starting at the edge! That would have made a big difference.
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You avoid them by not using tape.
Paint the ceiling first. If a little ceiling paint gets on the wall, don't worry about it.
Next, you "cut in" the walls. This is done by using a good brush, loading it with paint, then making a horizontal stroke across the joint. You start out just below the ceiling, bring the brush up to it, and pull straight across. It will be very close to perfect. Does perfect matter? no.
It is a visual thing. They eye will easily see that ceiling paint that is 1/4" down on the wall. The eye won't notice the wall paint that comes up a tiny bit at the ceiling joint.
Just use a small brush to go over the spots that you pulled down. After it dries, I doubt you will see the imperfection. None of your guests ever will. Oh, sanding will probably make things worse.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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And no Demon Rum the night before.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Thanks very much for the tips.
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Harlan Messinger wrote:

Do what I did, when done painting, put up crown molding to hide the corner :\\
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MB wrote:

Ah! You know, I was thinking about that anyway. More incentive for crown molding!
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Easier now, but twice the work later. You have not one, but two lines to cut in.
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wrote:

Detachable crown molding.
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wrote in

One of those designers on Trading Spaces uses rope. He nailguns it to the where the walls meet the ceiling with small nails. Looks good. Cheap and easy and quick. We recently remodeled my disabled brother's room. Someone threw away the smaller brushes, so I had to paint the trim with a cheapie 4 inch brush! But I have a steady hand. Too lazy to go to the hardware store! I did the whole project for $500. Remmant carpet with installation was $350. Paint, materials, shelving system, misc. was $150. Bang for the buck.
-
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The correct way is to cut in with a brush.
I think the quality of the brush is more important that than the technique. You need to spend at least 15 to 20 dollars for a good angled trim 2 inch brush. A larger brush is easier to control than a smaller one. I have a 2" Linzer nylon polyester brush that is tapered. To use the brush you have to finesse the brush into the corner.

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Cliff Hartle wrote:

I agree with Cliff. I like to use a 2 1/2" sash brush for all my trim work. A sash brush has the bristles cut at an angle. I like china bristles (mix of synthetic and natural). On a good brush, the bristles have split ends. They fray slightly at the tip and feel very soft.
Hand edging is very forgiving if you know how to lay the bristles in. My hands are never steady - I drink lots of coffee - and I can't draw a straight line to save my life. My edging, however, always comes out great.
Here's my $0.02 on it. If anyone wants to disagree on anything I say here then please do. I'm always looking to learn something new.
Never load your brush more than a third and always keep paint out of the ferrell. The ferrell is the part where the bristles go into the handle.
If you let your brush sit, even for 5 minutes, wrap it in plastic. Store bags work well for this.
Wash your brush once an hour (described below). Washing takes less than five minutes if you keep the paint in the lower third. Brush care is important, because if the paint gets stiff then the bristles will clump together (bad).
Load the brush and swipe one half on the edge of the can. Don't get enthusiastic about this; just swipe it lightly. The edge with the paint will be the business end. I'll call it the top.
If you punch a few holes in the rim of your can, paint won't make a mess and run down the side. Don't worry, they won't hurt the seal.
Paint a swipe onto the wall with the top and swipe the same spot with the bottom. This forces the paint evenly into the bristles and gets that big drippy gob of paint off the tip.
This is the part that's a little hard to describe without photos, but I'll try. Grip the brush at the part where the handle widens out. Hold it like a pencil. Put the heel of your hand on the surface like you're going to write. Place what I called the "top" of the brush to the wall. The brush should be at around a 30 to 45 degree angle to the surface. The angle on the sash brush should be parallel with the corner.
Now, touch the bristles to the wall about a 1/4" shy of your target, and move into the line. You should be "stabbing", or "poking" the bristles into the corner and they should bend slightly away as you move along the line. No wrist in this movement. Use your entire arm.
Slowly swipe along the corner. As you do this, you shouldn't be laying more than a half inch of paint. You just want the tips of the bristles to touch the surface. The sides do nothing for you. When used properly, a brush acts like a fountain pen. It "draws" the paint onto the wall.
"Feather" out your strokes by quickly following behind and knocking down any paint "ridges" left on the surface. Just smooth it out by smearing it across the wall. That way, your brush work won't show under the roller work.
When it runs dry, do the same thing again. Pick up where you left off, start a 1/4" shy, cut in. Nothing to it.
You might experiment with painting toward you (reach out, move in), and painting away from you. Different situations call for different approaches.
Master this technique, and you'll forever be glad. It saves lots of time.
When you wash the brush, the trick that works for me is to submerge it in water instead of just letting a faucet run over it. I have an old Pyrex casserole dish that I fill and stab the brush into vigorously a few times. Drain it, refill it, and shake most of the water our the brush out while it's filling. Repeat. I usually do this 5 or 6 times. You know you're done when the water stays perfectly clear. It's pretty fast.
Last step is to spin the brush. This is tough to do the first time, but not hard once you get it. Put the handle flat between your palms and rub them together like you're trying to warm them on a cold day. The brush will spin very quickly, expelling the water as it goes. You'll drop it a lot first, but you eventually learn how much pressure to use.
Reshape the bristles, and let it dry. Store it in its original packaging. A properly cared for brush can last a lifetime -- literally.
Good luck.
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AMEN AMEN Take care of your brushes!!
I don't know why it's SO hard to get people to take good care of their brushes. Maybe because they don't know how to properly clean and shape a brush they buy cheap junk brushes and they get a cheap junk looking paint job.
The quality of the brush is just as important as skill in using it - learning how to load a brush with paint and how NOT to scrape paint off of it (tap it off) makes all the difference in the world too.
I paint ceiling color down the side of the wall a few inches, let it dry and then I hand paint/cut in my wall color only up to about 1/4" below the ceiling/wall joint. This way I can paint a perfectly (or close to perfect) straight line (I have yet to see a ceiling/wall joint that is straight) along/just below the ceiling/wall joint It is a wonderful effect and really plays with light nicely.
If you DO use tape, paint the wall color first up onto the ceiling (just a little) and let it dry, then use Scotch or 3M BLUE painters tape to make a straight horizontal line just below the ceiling line. After getting the tape line nice and straight (use one long piece of tape if possible) BURNISH the tape line in with the end of the handle of your brush. Take the wall color and paint over the tape line (not too wet) and let it dry. Now paint your ceiling paint down from the ceiling down ONTO the tape. When you peel it off there won't be any paint run under the tape (since you sealed it by burnishing it and painting the wall color on it) Be sure to peel it off as soon as possible (paint dry) so the tape will still come off easily.
Jeff
trbo20 wrote:

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Harlan Messinger wrote:

Take tape off before the paint dries - when dry, the paint film is part of the tape and might pull off with the tape.
Press down edges of the tape so paint doesn't get under it.
When painting adjoining surfaces different colors, I wait until the first dries a few days (so tape doesn't pull it off).
When removing tape, don't pull it straight out from the surface. Pull it back on itself.
Unless you pulled out some joint compound, you shouldn't need to "fill" anything (depth wise). I would just touch up straight edge with the right color. If you can still see a dip (from the floor), patch with spackle when paint is dry and touch it up when the spackle is dry.
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First, you must learn to cut in ceilings by hand. Don't use tape. With a little practice, you'll be doing fine. After a few weeks, you'll stop noticing your minor screw-ups. Major screw-ups should be addressed, obviously.
Second, there are some ceiling lines out there that defy a straight line. You'll only see this if you stand back and look at it; it won't necessarily be obvious as you're painting. The way to tackle this problem is to purposely run the wall paint a bit high on the ceiling. Then, *tape the wall*. Run as straight of a line as possible with the tape at the top of the wall, as close to the ceiling as you can without jeopardizing your line. Then, since ceiling paint is flat, you can repaint the border of the ceiling. The result will be a perfect straight line. It's a little bit more work, but some customers are worth it.
If you have a situation where you pull tape and the tape in turn pulls paint, you'll need to sand the area lightly (no heavy sanding on fresh paint - you'll get gum) and knife in some spackle. You know what to do from there.
I think it best to paint the trim before the walls, as that is the best way to get straight lines where the wall meets the trim.
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