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Step by Step Painting a Room Without Tape

I’ve painted my home from top to bottom, so I learned a few tricks to paint a room and trim without tape to save a ton of time. I am sharing my step by step painting tips, so you can paint a room like a pro!

I may have went a little nuts with the gray paint color trend because my whole house gray, but my paint lines are on point!

Messy Paint Lines Are The Worst!

I’m not crazy about painter’s tape because it takes a while to line up tape and I do better painting a room without tape.

Since I painted my entire house from top to bottom, I learned some painting tricks along the way.

If you are like me, you will find those imperfect lines while you are laying on the couch.

step by step painting

These sloppy painted lines will keep staring back at you.

Okay, so if you didn’t notice I am a bit “Type A” personality when it comes to my paint projects.

Read on to learn how to paint a room without tape using my step by step painting guide.

Step by Step Painting Guide to Paint Along Ceilings

The key to achieving a clean line when painting a room without using tape, is to have an angled brush.

An angled brush gives more control, and allows you to easily follow along the area that you are cutting in.

I prefer an angled brush with a short flexible handle because it fits in my hand nicely.

Cutting in along the ceiling can be intimidating because this is the line that is the most noticeable.

With the right tools and a few tricks, you can paint your room like a pro!

How to Cut in Along Ceiling

Now that you have the right brush it is time to start painting along your ceiling.

Lightly dip your brush into your paint and wipe excess paint back into the can.

You do not want your brush to be overly saturated or it will drip all over. Even if you are the cleanest painter it is never a good idea to use a soaking wet brush.

Apply a light to medium pressure and work your way up toward the ceiling to use any excess paint before dragging the brush along the top of the wall.

When cutting in along ceiling, make sure to leave a little space along the top near the ceiling.

how to paint trim

I like to work my way up to the ceiling then drag my brush over along the top of the wall.

The reason I work my way over, is to gain control and use excess paint so when I reach the ceiling my paint is almost dry.

This prevents paint drips and will avoid getting any paint on the ceiling.

Now that you worked your way up toward the ceiling, dray your brush along the top of the wall very slowly as shown below.

how to paint along ceiling without tape

Continue to work your way up toward the ceiling to use excess paint then drag your brush over along the top of the wall.

The most important thing is to take your time and beware of the angle of your brush.

Work with the brush, so that it feels comfortable in your hand and you aren’t leaning too much.

If you find that you are leaning then you should move your ladder closer to avoid messing paint lines and falling.

Additional Tip To Painting Along Ceilings

If you find yourself in an awkward spot of a room then you may need to switch hands.

I am right-handed, but occasionally I switch to my left hand to get the best angle to paint certain areas.

Sometimes there will be a tight space that you can’t quite position yourself comfortable, so it is best to use your other hand.

This might sound crazy, but you will actually have more control over the angled brush if you switch hands in this awkward space.

When using your non dominant hand make sure to go very slowly to avoid paint smudges on the ceiling.

I also, recommend using as little paint as possible when using your other hand.

My favorite brush to paint a room is the Wooster Angled Brush because this made cutting in, so easy and the brush is so cheap.

I typically buy 5 or more of these brushes because I use them so much.

step by step painting
Just look at those clean lines!

Step by Step Painting Along Baseboards

When I paint baseboards, my favorite painting trick is to use a 3 x 5 index card.

I use my favorite angled brush and paint the center of the baseboard first to use excess paint.

Then I work my way along the floor and top portion of the baseboard.

I drag the index card along the floor against the baseboard to avoid getting paint on the floor.

how to paint trim
Use index cards to cover the floor

Make sure not to use a paint brush soaked in paint against the index card.

The index card is only used to catch any light brush strokes that might have brushed against the floor.

Make sure to wipe off excess or start painting toward the middle area of the baseboard to use the paint.

how to paint trim

To achieve a clean line along the top of the baseboard, I only drag a few bristles of the angled brush along the top of the baseboard.

If you get a little paint on the wall while you are painting the trim, it will usually wipe off if you get it right away.

How to Paint Trim Without Tape

The key to achieving clean lines is a good quality angled paint brush and a few painting hacks.

There is no need to spend time trying to get tape in the right place.

With these tips on how to paint trim without tape, you can grab a brush and start painting.

When I paint trim without tape, I use the same Wooster angled brush and the paint that I used for the baseboards.

I dip the angled brush into the paint and start in the middle of the trim to use the excess paint.

Then I work my way to the inside and outside of the trim.

how to paint trim

To paint the trim without tape, dip the brush in the paint and wipe off some of the excess.

Then I lightly drag the angled brush along the side of the trim making sure not to overlap the white part of the trim.

Occasionally you may need to switch hands when painting trim because of an awkward angle in your room.

how to paint trim without tape
Painting along trim

If you slightly drag too much paint, try to pull the brush back in against the side of the trim and finish painting the rest.

How to Paint Trim Without Tape- Step Back

Step back and see where you exaggerated the line and take the angled brush and go back against the line to try to blend it.

If the line is just not blending, let the paint dry and go back in with the paint that you used for the wall to try to cover the area.

If you haven’t noticed, I am a paint fanatic!

I’ve painted my vanity, kitchen cabinets, furniture, every room in my home, and much more.

It’s safe to say I am also particular with my products (after a lot of trial and error) so I listed my favorite ones here.

How to Paint a Room with a Roller

Painting with a roller is simple, but there are a few things that you want to avoid.

First purchase a good quality roller, I recommend the Wooster rollers or Purdy Marathon rollers.

Also, make sure that your roller is not too saturated in paint or you will splatter paint.

Once you have a roller that is lightly dampened it is time to paint those walls.

Use a W Motion

Begin rolling in an up and down motion then a “W” motion.

Painting in a “W” motion allows the paint to be evenly distributed on the wall without creating any paint lines.

Painting up and down can cause lines and drip marks on the wall that are hard to smooth out.

Also, make sure to apply a light to medium pressure when using the roller.

You do not want to push too hard or you will create lines with the paint.

If you have to apply a heavier pressure then you probably do not have enough paint on the roller.

For areas that are tight and you cannot make a “W” shape, you can roll in an upward and downward motion or side to side.

Make sure that you do not have a lot of paint on the roller when painting these tighter areas.

I typically will dampen the roller than roll in a larger area where I can use the “W” motion to use up some of the paint.

Then when the roller has a little paint left, I go into those tighter areas with the roller.

paint brush roller
Roll Paint in a “W” Motion to prevent any paint lines

How to Reuse Brushes and Rollers

To reuse brushes and rollers for the same project, place the brushes in a plastic zip lock bag or wrap rollers in a couple of plastic shopping bags.

I do not rinse brushes or rollers before placing them into the bag.

You can leave whatever paint is left on the angled brush or paint roller, and put them in the airtight bag.

The brush or roller can last up to a week in the airtight bag.

step by step painting

If the roller will not go on all the frame all the way then you may have dried up paint stuck at the end of the roller.

To get this dried up paint off, lightly scrape the paint to get the paint to loose.

Once the paint is loosened, you should be able to peel the rest of the dried up paint off.

how to paint a room
Save brushes up to a week!

Now that you’ve learned how to paint a room, check out one of our other posts on paint color ideas!

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to send us a message with any questions or tips yourself.

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