I've done both. Pro's are usually expert enough + have the best paint for
the job to get along without tape.
I've used tape - an hour or two applying tape does make a fiddly paint job
go quicker if you're not so confident.
Also depends a lot on the paint. Non drip is evil. It's too thick and
gunky and assumes it will be brushed out a couple of times - so it's hard
to control the brush and going along the same line 2-3 times ruins your
chances of getting a clean line. Howver, when I used a paint called
"Period Colours" (can't remember if it was Dulux or Crown - Crown I
think... It applied beautifully. Very light, needed no excessive brushing,
so it was possible to cut a line in one sweep. Seemed to not run too. Best
paint I ever used (being a thicky with paint and drinking far too much
coffee to have a steady hand).
What I used to do was cut a slight angle on the end of a 1/2 in brush with
a good pair of scissors - helped a lot.
Website: http://www.dionic.net /
I usually paint the skirting boards first then emulsion pain if I get
emulsion on the paint work I use a scraper covered in a damp cloth and with
my knuckles against the skirting wipe the straight edge of the scraper along
the skirting. changing the position of the cloth on the straight edge to
ensure a clean piece of cloth at each sweep.
Having hand painted along the peripherals I them apply emulsion on the walls
with a roller.
When applying emulsion on walls having painted the skirting board I have a
damp rag that I wipe over the paint work to get rid of emulsion spots in the
I note professionals emulsion first and paint skirting board last. but the
cutting in is not as good and its difficult to remove surplus oil paint from
emulsion paint. DIY method takes longer but is neater.
Practice, steady hand, good eye and patience, I'm afraid.
You can use low-tack masking tape if you want, but that just adds to the
time of the job.
Cutting in is a bit of an art really, a good pro can do it with amazing
speed and accuracy. A decent well worked-in brush properly loaded with
paint makes the job possible.
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