Joanna Gaines shares her top tip for a seamless finish when painting around door and window frames

Once you've heard this cutting in tip, you'll never go back

Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

Whether you're much happier with a roller or find the more intricate parts of painting around door and window frames weirdly satisfying, cutting in is a key stage you simply can't avoid. 

Luckily, Fixer Upper star and interior designer Joanna Gaines has shared a really simple tip to make your paint job look more professional – whether you're using one of the best kitchen paints or the best bathroom paints.

Speaking in a YouTube video, Jo shared her top tips to keep your paint job looking neat. Her tips are essential reading when painting around the edges of the room - door frames, window frames, trim and skirting boards.

hand painting using the cutting in technique

(Image credit: Alamy)

'You want to start with your two-inch angled sash brush, but before you start painting, you want to condition your brush first,' Jo says. 'So simply dip it in some water and shake the water off.

'What this does is it makes the paint come off the brush easier and makes the final clean up a lot simpler.' 

This stage needs to be done carefully, so that you can admire your handiwork for years to come rather than kick yourself for imperfections each time you dare to look more closely.

a clean stylish living room with an alcove sofa, a sofa, a chair and two tables, by joanna gaines

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

Joanna points out that you should only dip the brush into the can of paint about an inch. Avoid getting paint on the metal area of the brush, as this can cause bristles to fall out.

If you're trying to decide on the best white paint, take a look at our roundup. Struggling to decide on a color in the first place? Find out how to choose the perfect paint colors for every room.

'Hold [the paintbrush] like a pencil, so you have a really good grip,' Jo continues. She then shares a simple piece of advice to make sure the paint job is perfect.

an archway just ahead of a modern and neutral living room

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

'Once you've trimmed the edges you're gonna want to roll the paint on the wall while this is still wet, and that will make for a seamless finish.' So, if you can, you should do your cutting in and then meet the wet paint with your roller, and then extend the paint across the wall.

This will also encourage you to get more of the job done quickly, rather than cutting in, then carrying on with the job the next day. Check out our wall paint ideas before you begin - from ombre to wood paneling.

bedroom with wood paneling painted dark blue, with a wooden bed frame in the middle

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

Jo advises buying a selection of good-quality paintbrushes that will last, and recommends getting five different sizes and shapes. A three-inch, wide, flat-edged brush for larger areas and a two-and-a-half-inch flat brush is good for medium areas. 

She also suggests getting a two-and-a-half-inch angled brush also known as a sash brush - for cutting in and painting mouldings, borders and trims. 

A one-and-a-half-inch brush is handy for fine work. Finally, Jo also keeps an artist's brush to hand for particularly small details.

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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