Cutting in is a task that home improvement projects usually require. It’s the practice of painting small areas, such as where walls meet a ceiling or around an electric socket.
This task is usually the first thing you need to do when you paint something, and it can also be difficult to achieve precision with a roller in tight areas. This is where you need just the right paintbrush to get the job done.
What are the best paint brushes for cutting in? You will want to get an angled sash brush that allows you to achieve highly precise results. The size and the material of the brush will depend on your type of paint as well as what you’re painting.
In this article, let’s take a look at what you need to know when buying a paintbrush for cutting in and some great options on the market.
Best Paint Brushes For Cutting In – Buyer’s Guide
Cutting in is the process of covering the areas that are too small to reach with a roller, as well as areas that need a precise application: around crown moldings, edges around an electric socket, and cabinets.
When it comes to getting the right paintbrush for this job, here are some of the things you should consider:
Depending on the type of paint that you’re using, you might want to look for a different type of brush for this task.
Brushes with natural bristles usually work great with oil-based paints. They are good for smoothing out the edges and giving oil-based paints a nice and even finish.
On the other hand, synthetic bristles are good when you use latex paints. They can provide smooth coverage of the area without losing the brush’s shape.
Some people also like using foam brushes for cutting. Although foam brushes tend to absorb a lot of paint, they are good if you don’t want to risk leaving brush marks on the surface.
Paintbrushes also come in a wide variety of sizes that are suitable for different projects. A paintbrush that’s too big or too small can prevent you from properly cutting in the paint, causing mistakes and making cutting in the paint quite inefficient.
Smaller paint brushes range from 1″ to 1.5″. These are very small brushes that are suitable for small cabinets and really small areas.
Brushes sizes 2″ to 2.5″ are ideal for cutting in most projects. They are big enough to make painting efficient while still offering precise application for small corners.
Alternatively, you can opt for 3″ brushes, which can efficiently cover large areas like around crown moldings or where a wall meets the ceiling.
As mentioned, the best type of paintbrush for cutting in would be an angled sash, which has slanted bristles that allow precise and ergonomic application.
You can get traditional angled sash brushes, which are great for painting straight edges, or you can get a thinner version of the angled sash brush, which has thinner bristles that allow a more precise application.
You can also get angled foam brushes, which won’t leave brush marks and allow greater control of smaller edges. Keep in mind that foam tends to absorb a lot of paint, so this option should only be used when necessary.
Foam brushes also tend to be single-use, so if you want a quick fix, then this is a really good choice since you don’t need to worry about cleaning the brushes.
Ideally, you’ll want to get a paintbrush that you can use over and over again, so you can use it in multiple projects. This is why getting a paintbrush that is easy to maintain and clean is very important.
One of the most important things to look for is a rust-resistant ferrule that secures the bristles and keeps them from shedding. The ferrule is a metallic band that holds the bristles of your brush together, so if the ferrule isn’t secure, your bristles will shed after a few uses.
Another important thing to consider is that the paintbrush should be easy to clean. Depending on whether you’re using synthetic or natural brushes, you’ll need to pay attention to how to clean them properly so that they don’t fall apart after cleaning.
One of the reasons why people have to replace their paintbrushes is that they start to shed off some of their bristles or even come apart at the ferrule, which means that the glue that holds the bristles together is becoming loose.
To avoid this issue, make sure that you clean your brushes properly and never dry your brushes vertically with the bristles up. Water can get into the ferrule this way, and it will start to deteriorate.
Instead, you should always lay your brushes flat to dry completely before using. That way, all the water can evaporate, and your brushes will stay intact for longer.
Tips For Cutting In Edges
We know that cutting in edges is the first thing you need to do when you want to paint something, and doing this step correctly can really make a difference in how your project will turn out.
Besides using the right tool for cutting in, here are some of our tips for cutting in edges.
Use A Paint Pail
Instead of picking up the paint straight from the can, try pouring a small amount of paint into a paint pail. This method will prevent the brush from picking up too much paint, which will prevent paint from dripping and spilling.
A paint pail is also more portable, which means if you’re covering a large area, you don’t need to lug around a big paint can to get the job done.
Use The Right Amount Of Paint
Along the same line, you should really avoid picking up too much paint, which can cause uneven textures and paint dripping. It’s commonly done to dip the paint into the paint can and wipe it off, but this method is quite inefficient.
Instead, you can dip the bristles into the pail and pat the brush against the pail to remove the excess paint on the brush. This way, you can pick up just the right amount of paint for a smooth and even finish.
Wiggle Into Small Corners
When you need to cut in small corners, instead of squeezing into the corner multiple times to cover the entire area, it’s better to wiggle the brush to cover the entire surface with paint without having to squeeze into the corner multiple times.
Create Straight Edges
When creating straight edges, such as the edge between the wall and the ceiling, you can start about an inch below the line, and on the second pass, you can spread the paint in a straight line to meet the edge.
This way, the line will be super straight, and you don’t have to worry about smoothing out the brush marks, as the marks will be smooth on the second pass of the paintbrush.
After cutting in, you’ll need to fill in the rest of the blank area with a roller brush. This is where feathering comes in.
This technique will prevent the look of a ‘stripe’ where the rolled-on paint meets the brush-on paint. You can do this by using your brush, without picking up any more paint, to go over the edge where the cut-in paint meets the area that needs to be painted.
This way, you can create a ‘gradient’ that you can cover later with a roller, which will create a super smooth transition between the cut-in line and the rolled-on paint.
Even when you are super careful, mistakes can still happen. When you get paint on an area that’s not supposed to be painted, there’s a way to fix it.
All you need is a damp cloth wrapped around a putty knife. Then, you can glide the putty knife across the area that needs to be cleaned up when the paint is still wet, and the cloth should pick up the wet paint without a trace!
Keep in mind that this only works when the paint is still wet, so it’s always good to have these tools handy when you start painting, so you can fix mistakes right away without having to hunt down the tools.
Best Paint Brushes For Cutting In
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to pick up the best paintbrush for cutting in. The best brushes for cutting in would be an angled sash brush or angled foam brush that allows you to precisely apply the paint where needed.
Let’s take a look at some options for angled sash brushes and foam brushes that would be suitable for cutting in below.
1. Pro Grade Paint Brush Set
This set of 3 professional quality, premium angled brushes are artist-quality tools for heavy-duty use, but anybody can appreciate their convenience. This paintbrush set is designed for ultimate performance, making it perfect for your next project.
These paintbrushes are 2″ – the most versatile size for a variety of projects, and they sport the perfect angles to get the job done right.
Ideal for cutting in walls and trim, these brushes feature thicker quality synthetic filament blend bristles that can hold more paint, applying it faster and with fewer streaks. They are secured on a sturdy wooden handle and won’t fray or shed when you paint your project.
This type of synthetic brush is suitable for oil paint and latex paints, and they also feature heavy-duty solid wood handles designed for comfort and control.
2. Wooster Brush Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush
This 2″ Angle Sash Paintbrush is perfect for cutting in around molding and other objects. This brush has a short and flexible Shergrip handle, a length that offers maximum control and allows you to get into very tight spaces, but the 2″ brush can still cover a large area.
The soft, white nylon and gold polyester blend allows you to use it with all types of paint, from latex to oil base.
There is an extra-smooth solid handle that provides a good thumb and finger grip for fatigue-free painting. The secure, stainless steel ferrule is rust-resistant, ensuring the longevity of the brush.
This is the perfect brush that will deliver the smooth finish you desire, regardless of the project.
The soft synthetic bristles can hold a high volume of paint for excellent coverage and control. The design also prevents the dreaded “paint build-up” on the end of the brush, so when you dip back into your paint, you’ll get the smoothest, cleanest release with every stroke.
3. Wooster Brush Softip Angle Sash Paintbrush
Painting trim, corners, or cutting in before rolling is a breeze when you choose the right brush. This 1.5″ Angle Sash Paintbrush from Wooster features a special angle sash design that gives you an effortless experience when painting hard-to-reach areas.
The premium-quality white nylon and gold polyester bristles set in a rust-resistant brass-plated steel ferrule are designed to hold more paint and provide a smooth finish with all latex and oil-based paints. The ferrule is also designed to hold the bristles securely, so the brush won’t fray or shed after one or two paint jobs.
This brush is ideal for cutting in corners and around trims for quick and easy application, even around the toughest corners. The long handle offers flexibility, while the small 1.5″ size of the bristles makes this brush suitable for painting furniture or window sills.
4. Grip Tight Tools Professional Orange Plus Angled Paint Brush
The Grip Tight Tools 1.5″ angled brush is perfectly designed for the job with the right stiffness and shape to get the job done right. The soft grip provides comfort and helps prevent fatigue, allowing you to work longer. If you need a new trusted sidekick, this brush is it.
The corrosion-resistant stainless steel ferrules ensure that your bristles don’t fall out at an inopportune time – which, if you’re painting, means they could never have fallen out.
This 1.5″ angled brush made of polyester bristles is ideal for getting smooth lines and cuts on virtually any surface. The angled polyester bristles are flexible and will hold their shape project after project.
The soft-grip handle means you’ll be able to paint with confidence and comfort, while quality ensures you get a long life from your tool.
5. ROLLINGDOG Angled Paint Brush
This angled paintbrush with an ergonomic short handle features sturdy, rust-resistant stainless steel ferrules and a short wooden handle for easy handling.
This paintbrush gives you a firm grip while you work. The handle fits perfectly in one hand, which allows you to comfortably get into small corners and create precise details when cutting in.
The synthetic bristles perform well with latex or water-based paints. The bristles are perfectly smooth, designed to minimize brush marks for smooth and finish with zero shedding thanks to the corrosion and rust-resistant ferrules that secure the bristles to the wooden handle.
6. Purdy Glide Angled Sash Paint Brush
The Glide brushes are designed to increase your productivity and efficiency so you can get more done in less time.
The bristles are a unique blend of Satin-Edge nylon and Orel polyester with a hand-chiseled design that provides maximum paint lift and smooth application; these brushes are the perfect choice for all paints and stains.
Featuring a round edge brushed copper ferrule for increased durability, as well as an angular trim and fluted natural hardwood handle for comfort, each brush is built to last.
They’re perfect for cutting in paint and sweeping paints or even sealers, stains, or varnishes when an ideal finish is required. This brush is designed for a smooth finish, preventing brush marks and paint drags that help you achieve a perfect result every time.
7. Purdy Adjutant Angled Sash Paint Brush
This 100% natural white China bristle paintbrush is perfect for oil-based paints, stains, and varnishes.
The smooth tapered bristles deliver superior paint pick-up and release, allowing the user to create a very smooth finish when cutting in small corners.
Made with long trim natural finish wood handles and square edge, stainless steel ferrule, they are durable enough to hold up project after project. This angled sash paintbrush has an extremely smooth finish and gets into the tightest corners of your walls, ceilings, or trim work.
The natural filament means that these are the softest bristles that will hold more paint to produce a smoother finish. These natural brushes are recommended because they are produced with the highest quality materials, resulting in unsurpassed performance and value.
8. Richard Goose Neck Angular Paint Brush
Designed for precision and comfort, this Richard Angled Paint Brush with a Flexible Soft Grip handle makes painting a breeze. This brush is ergonomically designed with a bendable handle to provide comfort and better control to make painting easier for the do-it-yourselfer.
This paintbrush is perfect for easy painting in tight corners and difficult angles. The flexible gooseneck handle bends to any shape, allowing one to paint from any position, while the 2.5″ angled brush makes cut-ins easy and precise.
This brush is excellent for use with all latex or oil-based paints. The synthetic bristles are durable, allowing you to apply paint quickly and smoothly with excellent paint pick-up and release.
This brush is great if you have a lot of awkward angles you need to paint, so you don’t have to bend over backward or twist your hands to get into the areas you need to paint.
9. Richard Angled Paint Brush
The Richard 1-inch angled paintbrush is perfect for intricate corners and precise cutting-in.
This brush has polyester bristles that are great for use with all types of paint, from oil-based paint to latex. The dense polyester bristles also hold more paint, making it easy to quickly build a solid coat for your projects.
The ergonomic soft-grip handle provides added stability and comfort as you move around a large area like walls or trim boards. The angled edge design helps you draw clean lines when you need them, and the durable construction ensures this brush will work as hard as you do.
Ensuring that all of your paint projects are completed to a high standard, this 1″ angled brush is perfect for cutting in and painting moldings and trim.
This size is perfect for small projects where you need precise detailing, but you can also find bigger brushes under the same product line for projects that demand a bigger size.
10. Bates – Trim Brush
Although this is not an angled brush, it is still a notable candidate thanks to its unique design, suitable for detailed work.
Bates paintbrushes make painting as easy as it gets with professional results. Designed to make the job easier, they are lightweight and easy to hold.
This high-quality plastic handle brush is designed with adjustable comfort grips that allow for the best quality control while painting cabinets or furniture.
The bristles form a round tip, offering excellent precision, while the brush is quite natural to hold thanks to its petite size.
With exceptional design, these synthetic filaments are designed to hold more paint than most paint brushes allowing you to save time and worry less about running back and forth to the paint tray. The synthetic bristles are also very durable and long-lasting, perfect for any project you have in mind.
11. ROYAL BRUSH Foam Brush
For those who love the control and precision that foam brushes offer, this is a great set for you.
This set of three high-density foam brushes is the perfect addition to any painting project. With three convenient sizes included (1, 2, and 3-Inch), these brushes are great for cutting-in and areas where you need a lot of precision.
The comfortable grip is designed for paint projects and offers great control. This set of foam brushes is great for use with paints, stains, varnishes, polyurethanes, enamels, and more.
Since foam brushes tend to absorb a lot of paint, you should use the appropriate size foam brush to avoid wasting paint. These brushes are suitable for single-use.