How To Paint Trim Like A Pro

We actually get a lot of edging, cutting in, and trim-painting questions so we figured we’d share our secret… this amazing little short handled 2″ angled brush:


Whipping it out to clean up the baseboards and paint a crisp line where the walls meet the ceilings in our recent bathroom striping project reminded us just how stellar this little guy really is. Things were so smooth and fabulous that I ended up touching up nearly every baseboard in the house while I was at it. It’s kind of addicting when things are so easy.

So here’s the scoop: it’s available at Duron and Sherwin-Williams stores and it’s called the Premium XL Tight Spots 2″ Angle Short Handle Brush (with comfort grip- ooh la la). I should also clarify that we don’t work for Duron or Sherwin Williams, nor are they paying us to write about this magical little brush, we’ve just tried a ton of products and approaches to cutting in, edging, and painting trim and this baby is by far the easiest to control. In short: the short handled easy-grip design makes staying in the lines like loving Nate Berkus (read: super easy).

Before we discovered this miracle worker we tried painter’s tape (time consuming and not as crisp) and cutting in by hand with a regular angled brush (better but still a bit nerve-wracking and not at all error-proof). Enter this lifesaver, stage left. Rooms that once would have taken a full day to paint the baseboards, trim around the windows and crown molding with tongue-sticking-out-intensity can now be completed in less than two hours (and my tongue remains in my mouth). Really. It’s awesome. And it’s only… wait for it… $4.99.

Life is good.

Update: They now sell an extremely similar brush on Amazon (we’ve personally bought it and it works just as well), so here’s an affiliate link for anyone who can’t track down the original one we mentioned above. 


  1. Johnna says

    So – call me dense but does this mean that you have eliminated your need for painters tape when cutting out ceilings and corners?!?!?!?


    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Johnna,

      We haven’t completely eliminated the need for painters tape (in fact we used it to make those bathroom stripes) but we don’t regularly use it for ceilings and baseboards anymore. This brush is quicker and produces smoother results than the semi-reliable blue tape (and there’s a lot less waste!).


  2. says

    Hm… I didn’t think it was possible to do trim without painters tape! Perhaps I’m just too impatient to take my time painting. Thanks for sharing the awesome tool though!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Laura,

      That was totally me. And the beauty of this brush is that it’s so easy to control you have to TRY to go out of the lines. The angled bristles and the short handle make it so easy to make a nice smooth line between the trim and the wall (smoother than a tape line) and it’s so much faster than taping the room off first. Definitely give it a whirl!


  3. Vanessa says

    We will have to give this a shot on the next project! My bf is a huge fan of the little pad on wheels for getting a great line without paint on the ceiling (as long as you are super careful not to get paint on the wheels). We are thinking of taking on a beadboard project in our small dining room. Any helpful tips?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Vanessa,

      No beadboard tips here (we haven’t taken that on yet) but we’d love to hear from anyone who has! Any tips guys? Do tell.


  4. says

    Getting ready to paint the trim in my living room today–will have to stop and grab this brush. It sounds amazing!
    We found a sweet tool for our ceiling, window, etc., edges: Shur-line edger pro ( I was dubious but it came with a paint set we bought (our first time painting and we’re tackling 60% of our new house… yikes!!) and my hubs gave it a whirl. One word: amazing. Oh, and fast. Love it!

    • KK says

      Yes! I love that thing too. It made painting the walls next to our trim and ceilings so ridiculously easy.

    • Elise says

      I thought that tool was awful – try dipping it in paint without getting paint on the rolly edge! Then the paint got on the ceiling where it wasn’t supposed to be. Never again.

    • Stephen says

      Here’s my tip for the Shur Line. I’m using the new one where the guides flip up. I had issues at first and about gave up. First, don’t dip. Load the Shur Line using that 2″ angled brush of yours. Don’t try to load up the edges, just load the middle of the pad. Second, about an inch below your ceiling, blot the pad leaving a nice (ugly) spot of paint. Third, guides still up, push the pad up through the blot toward the ceiling, lowering the guides right as you get up to the ceiling. I also find arcing into the ceiling prevents you from pushing any excess paint onto the ceiling edge (rare but can happen if you are being careless or to heavy). Easy. Works like a champ.

  5. Sarah says

    My house was built in 1914 and has TONS of wood, moldings, built-ins, the works. I love it, but the thought of painting made me want to die. I am also a “no tape” painter. I have found that good quality, short handled brushes make ALL the difference. And practice. After edging my whole house, I don’t have to stick my tongue out as far. I am about to do my bathroom this weekend where there are some intense angles and corners. I may have to pick up that little guy to try him out!

  6. Johnna says


    What a blessing…I am the WORST taper EVER…my husband always has to do it for me. Now maybe I’ll be able to paint on my own! Not that i don’t love his company…he talks to me the whole time – but we know who is better with a paintbrush and roller and who is better with a baseball. There are some battles you can’t fight.

    Imaging how much money you’d save not buying that roll of tape just to do a room! I love this story!


  7. Julia says

    The best paint brush I’ve ever used, bar none, is the Purdy XL Cub. I bought it because I painted my kitchen cabinets, and I was going to do the insides of a couple of them. I’d seen a few blogs where peeps had done it, and I really liked the look. Anyhow, there were lots of corners involved, and tight spaces, and I figured my usual 2½” sash brush would be getting in the way.

    I’m about to tackle the trim in my foyer, and I think I’ll use it there too… and you’re right about painter’s tape. It takes longer to use it, and once you figure out how to hold the brush correctly, you have to go out of your way to mess up. (A tip for your readers – try holding your brush like you hold a pencil… and hold it sideways!)

    Purdy brushes rock!

  8. Jen Z. says

    Thanks for this tip Sherry. I just might have to go and buy one of these. We painted an accent wall and the corners need to be redone. This brush might just do the trick. We also painted the risers on our stairs white and we used the blue tape. Well 25 year old steps and blue tape doesn’t always work. Now we have to clean up the stairs because the white paint bleed through onto the stained steps. Ugh! Any tips for getting the paint off of the stained steps? Please!

  9. Rebecca says

    So excited to read this post today! I am a teacher and one of my summer projects while off school is to repaint my baseboards, trim, and interior doors a bright white…they are currently a yucky off-white color. What kind of brush do you recommend for doors that have lots of grooves (and therefore can’t use a roller on)? Also, any tips on picking a good white that will look crisp and clean?

  10. says

    You couldn’t have posted this at a better time – I have to paint the trim in my bedroom TONIGHT if I want to be able to set up our new (to us – actually my grandfather’s) bedroom suite (queen-sized bed for the first time in our married lives!) this weekend. I might just squeal with happiness if I really don’t have to use painter’s tape!! Holy cow, I can’t even imagine. I’m stopping by Sherwin Williams on my way home, and I can test it out with training wheels on the window I already taped last night. Do you wash and re-use this guy over an over again, or buy a new one every job or two? I’d expect you to wash and re-use, but the pic above is new in its packaging, so I had to ask.

    Here’s another question: what about getting in corners created by the window sill? If I still have to tape for a couple of corners I won’t complain. We’ll see how it works tonight I guess…

    THANK YOU!!! It’s almost eerie sometimes how perfectly the timing of your posts mesh with my DIY home improvement needs!!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Meredith- Of course we wash and reuse (which is oh so easy with latex paint). The only reason we had one laying around in packaging was actually because it was an Easter gift from John’s cute mom who knows how much we love those brushes and picked one up for our “Easter Basket.” It was a small miracle that I remembered to take a picture of it still in the packaging for this post! It should work pretty wall in those windowsill corners (the bathroom stripe project dealt with those areas and we were able to maneuver without blue tape using the brush- so hopefully it’ll work for you!).

      Rebecca- And 2″ angled brush will do the trick for your grooved door. I would actually roll the door first and then use a brush to get into the grooves so you’re not painting the entire surface with a little brush. As for our favorite white paint, it’s Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White (we keep a gallon of semi-gloss around for furniture projects, trim, etc. Hope it helps.

      Jen Z.- So sorry to hear about your paint bleed issue! I think you could hit up Lowe’s or Home Depot and explain your situation and the person at the paint desk should be able to show you to a product that will lift the paint without lifting the poly on your stairs. You can also try a Magic Eraser and see what happens…


  11. Jen Z. says

    I’ll try the Magic Eraser first. Hadn’t thought about that. If that doesn’t work, off to Lowe’s we go. Thanks.

  12. Lindsay says

    Alas, the perfectionist of the house (can you tell that isn’t me?) will just NOT allow anything to be free-handed. The man has gone around every inch of this house with a mini watercolor type brush (think: kid-sized small) touching up invisible imperfections.

    For anyone else living with such a lovably crazy person (note that I’m SO INCREDIBLY NOT recommending this for everyone as it’s insanely time consuming and only like 1% of the population could ever tell the difference) the only sure-fire way to get a CRISP line where two paint colors meet? After you tape, paint the “wrong” color over the edge of the tape. THEN, after that dries, paint the right color. Painting the wrong color over the edge first seals the tape up – absolutely no jaggedy weird seep-through funky lines. I guarantee it will be crisp. The effort is almost not worth it though. ;)

  13. Christin says

    I just discovered your blog yesterday through The Nest. It’s fantastic! I already have so many ideas of what to do with our home. Of course, my husband and I are renting right now and therefore don’t have much to work with, so I’m stockpiling ideas for when we own our home and can do whatever we want to the walls, floors, etc. I’m looking forward to checking in with this site frequently. Thanks and keep up the amazing work!

    • Renee G. says

      I saw this brush cleaning trick and it works fabulous! Rinse out as much of the paint out of your brushes as possible. Once that is done, fill up our kitchen sink with a few inches of warm / hot water and add a little fabric softener. This will help get rid of the stuck on dried paint. Rub the bristles with your fingers and you will be amazed at how easy the paint comes off. My purdy brush that I have had for years still looks like new, and smells good to boot! Also, I just, purchased that little brush from Sherwin Williams you suggested. I practiced a little last night before starting my painting project today. I have to say I am impressed how well it works and so happy I don’t have to do any taping! Thank you so much for sharing that little wonder brush secret!

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