painting up to ceiling

I am a bit of a novice as far as DIY is concerned, but I am tackling our smallest bedroom :o)
The walls are painted blue and the ceiling white. I am finding it very difficult to get a smooth line where they meet. Are there any techniques to doing this? Or do I just need a steady hand?
Any help appreciated
Chris.
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If you do nothing else, yes! Use a quality used brush. Do the best you can and then touch up (laboriously) using a artists paint brush.
Alternatively, fit coving. Even better is picture rail, which is why I have kept mine and added more in a new extension.
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<snip>
Well, coving is often in a contrasting colour, so you've then got two lines to deal with. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Nah. Coving is white, like the ceiling. You still need to cut into the wall, but at least it is 10cm lower with gravity on your side wrt runs (and often on a smoother surface).
Christian.
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Ornamental stuff may be white (casting plaster) but the normal 'half round' is covered in off white cardboard, like plasterboard.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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I meant it is white after I've painted it!
Christian.
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A steady hand is best. The problem with using masking tape is that it's very likely to remove the paint it's stuck to, and emulsion can soak into the edge anyway.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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chris wrote:

Apparently you could try masking tape (make sure it's the very low tack stuff, and put on to very dry paint, not stuff that might still be fully drying) - though I've never tried it cos I'm not convinced it wouldn't take the paint back off with it ;-)
Other than that, practice and a steady hand. What you see as terrible wiggles in the painted line while you're doing it aren't anywhere near as noticeable from the bottom of the ladder too. Try and position the ladder not too far but not too close when you're doing that bit - I find myself moving the ladder far more frequently when cutting in around the ceiling than anywhere else, because if you're reaching for it, you'll lose the stability of the arm (and end up with a very wriggly line!).
Using a smaller brush, making sure it's a well-cared for one, and (if you're using emulsion) wrapping it in kitchen paper between uses (after washing out) can help - wrap it quite tightly so the bristles lie flat and together rather than drying splayed out will help keep the shape of the brush better for cutting in. I also tend to keep the brush with a reasonable amount of paint on it, and try to get the edge done in one stroke, rather than having to go back over it - it's very hard to explain but having enough paint for the brush to glide over helps keep it smooth too.
Practice practice practice :-) Try practicing (if you're painting the walls a different colour to previously) between wall to wall too, before you get to the ceiling join...
Velvet
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Ah, cutting in.
Afraid that there's not much more to it than practise and a steady hand. You need to load the brush so that there is just enough to create a small "bead" as you're painting - not too little so that you dont have sufficient to cover up to the join, and not too much so that it bleeds and catches on the ceiling.
A slightly used brush is best for this - new brushes often need the stray bristles trimming.
If you use masking tape to stop you catching the ceiling then either use the expensive low-tack stuff, or alternatively pull off the desired length from the roll and push it onto some fabric first to reduce the adhesion. Otherwise you end up pulling off the ceiling emulsion. Don't try and rely on the edge of the tape to produce the nice clean edge because it never works perfectly IME.
Finally, it helps to paint using a steady motion - too slow and it's difficult to get a nice straight edge. When things have dried and if there are small areas of white on the walls still, then be prepared to go round and touch up carefully with a small artists brush.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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Just one thing to add to what everyone else has said...
Get yourself a "cutting in" brush! Thats one where the bristles are cut at an angle, or cut one yourself (easier to buy one). I've seen them in most diy shed labeled "windows frame" brushes but if you go to a trade paint place like a dulux centre you'll get a propper 1.5 or 2" cutting in brush for a couple of quid. Makes life sooo much easier!
Tony
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I have the same problem as you. I have had some success using a piece of thin plastic (A B&Q drilling guide for handles for instance) against one edge as a shield, but you must wipe it every time or it just spreads the paint around. I have found, as mentioned by others, the easiest way is to fit coving. Takes longer, but you only need to do it once.
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Break the handle off a saw or buy a painters thingie. They have a sort of edging tool/spreader made of plastic with a wooden edge the length of one side for an handle. A steel ruler will do but is a little on the thin side.
The problem is uneveness in the surface in the angle. Have you tried a paint pad?
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A sheet of cardboard with a straight edge, and run this along with your brush. Make sure to put enough paint on the brush and do little runs to begin with until you get used to using both hands in sync' with each other. Also, wipe the edge of cardboard with a dry cloth to remove the excess paint if you're going to leave it lying around, or moving it over to another part of the room.
I don't know if you've seen paint rollers with a guard that flaps down on edge to stop it touching woodwork etc. Well the cardboard can be used in the same way, and is much cheaper to obtain.
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On 15 Dec 2003 01:09:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net (chris) wrote:

Having tried a device to do this (which didn't work very well), have watched how the professionals do this job, and I think I have worked out a couple of tips...
Use quite a wide brush as you will effectively be running the end along the line, and the longer it is, the easier it is to get a straight line.
It seems to actually help not to try and get the line exactly in the corner, especially if this is a bit uneven. The pros actually seem to overlap the line slightly onto the ceiling, which seems to make it easier to get an even line.
-- Colin Swan
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chris wrote:

Steady hand, and not too much paint on a small brush.
Operating at a decent height on a platform of planks over e.g. beer crates helps.

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On 15 Dec 2003 01:09:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net (chris) wrote:

One thing you can do is after you've painted stick up some dado (the paper stuff). It depends on your personal taste but it can look quite attractive - and is available in different widths.
Usually used with wallpaper, but just as good (and neat) with paintwork.
Then you overpaint the ceiling edge, and not quite up to the wall top, and the dado masks the join quite nicely.
PoP
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On 15 Dec 2003 01:09:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net (chris) wrote:

Get yourself a paint lining wheel. This is a device shaped like a fat pen with a wheel at one end (about the size of a five pence piece) and a tube to contain the paint. The one I've got came with three wheels of different widths from 1/16 to 3/32 - yes, I bought it about 25 years ago!
However, its use and the efficacy thereof is dependent to a degree on the surface you're painting. If smooth, you can obtain a dead straight line with practice. You then paint up to the line with the fill-in colour.
Here's a link: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/zebracolor/index36.html
MM
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