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:

img_3388

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. says

    I don’t use painter’s tape either. I also find it to be very unreliable. Every time I would pull the tape off, I would either have paint all over the trim that I would have to touch up with a brush anyways, or the tape would peel my fresh paint off the wall. I love cutting in using my trusty Purdy angled paint brush. I have been using Purdy for a few years now, and I won’t use a brush of any other name. Although your little brush sounds like it works great. Might have to give it a try sometime.

  2. Beatrice says

    Perfect timing, Sherry! I just had my bedroom painted this morning (*blushing – yes a painter did it*) with Behr’s Pale Cucumber and I was totally shocked at the color that came out! I’m staring at a Seafoam Green room! So, now because my husband won’t let me pay to have it painted again, I have to repaint it myself, trim and all, but I have no idea how long it will take… It’s a 13’x11′ room. Can you give me some insights on how you guys pace yourself, please? In addition, what greenish color would remedy my little mess (ceilings are sloped with exposed original brown beams). Thanks so much!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Beatrice,

      Try Benjamin Moore’s Par Four. The key is having enough khaki or grey in the tone so that it’s not too minty or pastelly (of course you’ll want to take the swatch card home and look at it in your room morning noon and night before picking up a gallon to be sure that your lighting situation supports it). Fingers crossed that it does the trick. As for painting your 13 x 11 room, it should take no longer than an afternoon if you set your mind to it. Rolling the walls and painting the edges will go faster than you think and you’ll step back and be done in no time! Good luck…

      xo,
      s

  3. says

    A 2″ brush is a beautiful thing. We don’t use painter’s tape much anymore either. To the readers who are wondering, the key is to push the brush down and go across the edge/molding/trim in one straight motion and you’ll get a straight even line. The angle keeps it straight. Also, I find it easier to paint the trim first, then the edge the wall with the paint color.

  4. Julie says

    Wow, sometimes your posts come just at the perfect time. I’m getting ready to paint a bunch of trim in my home next week (we painted the walls when we moved in almost five years ago, but didn’t take on the trim b/c we didn’t want to tape everything off again!). I called my local Sherwin Williams store this morning and they have the brush. I suspect that you just saved me a bunch of time – thanks!!!

  5. Rebecca says

    I have brand new carpet in my home, and while the carpet turned out beautiful, the baseboards got a bit banged up during installation. Is there a trick for painting the baseboards without getting paint on the new carpet?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Rebecca,

      Eeks be careful with the new carpet! You can either lay down a tarp or use a piece of cardboard to block the carpet as you go- but be careful not to get paint on the back of the tarp of the cardboard or you’ll be dragging it around! Using a small brush (even the short handled one above) will help you stay in control and avoid any drips or carpet mishaps. Hope it helps! Good luck…

      xo,
      s

  6. Carly says

    Hi Sherry,
    I found your blog a few months ago, and have been a regular reader since! We just bought our first home (a little 1956 rancher) and are in the midst of updates.

    I saw a kitchen update from last week or so in which the couple used Valspar’s Ultra White on their cabinets. We are painting our cabinets white, and so we grabbed a couple gallons of that color for the cabinets and all the trim in the house. In your opinion, should this work, or would BM Decorators white be a better choice? I am still really unsure on how to pick the “correct” white. :)

    Thanks!

  7. says

    Yeah, I actually stopped taping, too, after seeing all the pros on HGTV just using a brush. Taping is a pain and a waste of paper. I use a high-quality 1-inch angled brush – it was like 7 bucks or something at Home Depot. I get high accuracy with the 1 inch. I just do the trim part and then come back with a 2 inch (angled or not) brush to get the part in between the roller and the 1 inch brush area.

  8. Sam & Jacci says

    Well, I feel much better about “cheating” by skipping the taping step :) Sam and I quit taping with painter’s tape several years ago after being **frustrated** too many times by paint seeping beneath the tape and ruining the finish. I have a fairly steady hand with a normal 2″ angled brush, but it does take more time than I’d like. Sounds like maybe I need to run down the road to the local Sherwin Williams ;) I’m gearing up to paint the entryway and kitchen trim after we finish the exterior painting, so this is a great tip for us right now!

    Thanks :)
    XO,
    Jacci

  9. says

    One of the best tips I ever learned from a Pro painter was to paint the trim first. In fact, paint the trim first and allow the paint to get onto the wall a bit. Typically you paint trim with a semi-gloss paint. Now when you paint the wall it’s much easier to free hand a clean line along the trim that was previously painted. Next time you paint give it a try, trust me you’ll be sold! Have fun painting everyone!

  10. says

    Years ago, while standing in line at the Lowe’s paint center, a lady suggested this very paint brush to me and I have never looked back. I started by just using them for the cutting in, but I quickly learned that they are great for nearly every project involving a brush. I used them to not only paint all the trim and windows, but also our kitchen and bathroom cabinets because the tiny handle really reduces hand fatigue that you get from gripping around the handle of most brushes. These things are terrific!

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Amy says

    Carly and Sherry,
    We used Valspar’s ultra white on our kitchen cabinets and they look great! We’ve used in on the trim in a few rooms as well.
    I was a little worried it would be too “white” but it’s not, and it’s a great contrast with our wood counters and slate floor.

  12. Kylee says

    Thanks so much!!! I went and bought a little short handled Purdy brush and used it when I painted the kitchen this weekend. The edges look great and I didn’t use a single piece of blue tape!