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:

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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. 

Comments

  1. Kate says

    Lindsay, I’m with you on the watercolor brush. I love painting and hate taping so I always grab a tiny, narrow art brush for edge work.

    It normally works out great, until my most recent project. I dusted the walls of my new bedroom before painting and I guess the dust hadn’t settled yet because while rolling paint onto the walls, a sneeze came out of nowhere and boom! An entire smudge of blue-grey paint on my white ceiling. Now I’m spending far too much time trying to find the right ceiling color so I can do a touch-up. Dang! ;)

  2. says

    This comes at the perfect time!! My husband and I are working on getting my inlaw’s old house up for sale and have to paint all of the trim/windowsills and it’s been taking us forever with the brush we’ve been using. I can’t wait to pick this up before painting some more this weekend – hopefully it will make our lives a lot easier!

  3. says

    Ok, I’m so off to the store right now to buy that brush! I’m the queen of cutting in here at Casa Fudge and we’re tackling the guest room tomorrow, that will be a handy baby to have! Thanks for the tip.

  4. Sarah says

    Brush cleaning tip:
    BEFORE you start painting, wet the brush with water completely, then squeeze it out. Starting with a wet-ish/damp brush means it absorbs less paint and makes washing easier. It won’t mess with your paint either.
    THIS DOES NOT WORK WITH ROLLERS. Don’t even try.

  5. says

    You must have a steadier hand than me b/c it doensn’t matter what brush I’m using – I always make a mess. I just carry a wet rag with me everywhere.

    • YoungHouseLove says

      A wet rag is a fantastic tip! Thanks for that reminder Mrs Limestone. For those who just can’t stand taping off, it’s a great little quick-fix if you stray from the lines (one swipe with a wet rag and off you go).

      xo,
      s

  6. erin g says

    I also swear by the Shur-line edger (http://www.amazon.com/Shur-Line-01000-Paint-Premium-Edger/dp/B000WOMYIU) mentioned by a previous commenter… if you haven’t tried it yet, you absolutely have to… words do not describe it’s power. anything that has a slight edge (ceilings, doors, windows, moldings, baseboards)… just slide it along and it covers evenly and crazy fast… i can’t imaging painting without it. of course, a small angled brush is still a must for corners and the actual baseboards or molding.

  7. becky says

    Seriously? I’m painting trim tomorrow. How did you know? Now I am not dreading it so much. Off to Sherwin Williams I will go. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Tracie says

    Hi Sherry,
    I’ve been so enjoying your blog for a couple of months now. Any tips for rolling paint, selecting colors, finish (flat, egg shell, satin, semi-gloss)? Perhaps an upcoming post? I am in the middle or painting our living room and hall. Initially I planned on a tan and chocolate color combination. Tan in the hall and on two living room walls and chocolate on the other two living room walls. I will also be bringing in light blue accents (pillows, vases, etc). I bought what I thought was a tan creamy color and it looked lavender on the walls. I freaked out. Not at all what the paint chip looked like. Thank goodness I started in the hallway. I went back to the store and had more tint added to the paint. Now I have a mocha color. This is okay for the hall but not the living room. I may have to consider the Valspar Honey Milk you used in your bathroom for the light tan color. I also have a problem with the roller lines showing (perhaps a some wallflowers are needed).
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I’ve lost my confidence but am learning from the experience. Making sure I get colors I really like is taking more time than I like so I was hoping to get a bit of advice. I hope to share the finished room with you. Your site has been so inspiring! Thank you.

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Tracie,

      First a word of warning about the colors you mentioned: Valspar’s Honeymilk looks almost white (it’s the lightest cream ever) so if you’re looking for a tan you should go a bit darker. As for finishes, we always go for flat in all rooms except for the bathrooms/kitchen (flat paint hides imperfections best, but in the kitchens and bathrooms we do semi-gloss for wipe-ability). As for your roller lines showing, you either need another thin and even coat of paint since you might just not have enough on the walls to hide the inconsistencies or you’re putting too much paint on the roller and applying way too much pressure which is causing the lines. The roller should glide over the wall so you shouldn’t have to press very hard which will always result in those annoying lines. But don’t dismay, anyone can paint like a pro with a bit of practice! You’ll definitely get there and you’re learning so much as you go! Good luck with everything.

      xo,
      s

  9. Lisa says

    SERIOUSLY. . . .you seriously posted this the DAY I finished 3 rooms of trim? How disheartening. A week ago would have been much better!! :-)

  10. says

    Thanks so much! I am in the middle of painting horizontal stripes in our laundry room now! Well, actually I had gone about half way and just about given up until I saw how great your results came out! And… now that I know your secret tool, I am inspired again!

  11. rebecca says

    This is a very amateur question, I’m sure, but do you have to sand down the baseboards before applying a new coat of paint to keep it from peeling (like with refinishing furniture)? What about interior doors?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Rebecca,

      No it’s a great question and we’re so glad you asked! There’s no need to sand baseboards or trim like you do when you’re refinishing furniture (unless the paint is already peeling or cracking and you’d like to smooth things out before applying fresh paint). Most likely your baseboards are in great condition and you can just repaint them for a totally crisp and updated look. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  12. says

    I will run out and get one of these babies…
    Now, do you have any tips for painting stripes on a wall textured by a 3 year old (yes, I do have a fixation on the mess the previous owners left us, why do you ask?)
    Every single time, the paint seeps through the tape.

    I am planning to try Lindsay’s idea above, but I am not sure even that will work with wonky texture ;-)

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Sophie,

      Lindsay’s tip is actually one I’ve heard many times so I would definitely recommend it. Plus if there’s any minor seepage you can always use a small brush or even a flat paint pad to touch things up afterwords. Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  13. Alicia says

    Thank you so much for the post! I’m looking to paint my medium wood colored window trims and baseboard trims white. Do you use this particular brush to paint hard to reach places like behind the toilet tank (do you take down the tank to paint)?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Alicia,

      I actually used my little short-handled brush to get behind the toilet with absolute success. It’s super versatile and works almost everywhere. I would definitely give it a go!

      xo,
      s