Secrets To Painting Free Hand

I’m a lazy painter, but I’m pretty good so I can afford to be lazy! I don’t always use a drop cloth to protect the floors, I rarely wear paint clothes, and I never bother with painters tape. Of course, this comes from years of trial & error, bad tape experiences, and practice. Today I’ll share what I have learned about the trick to painting without tape, free handed…because taking the time to tape everything off can double your time and work load, and who wants that? 

4 Basic Tips To Help Your Technique
First things first, you need a fairly steady hand, if you don’t have that you might want to stick with paint edgers, and tape. But I presume that was a given, so on to the actual first tip. 

Tip #1. Choose the right brush: It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be a particular brand or type. It simply needs soft smooth bristles, and a slightly angled edge doesn’t hurt either. I am using a regular Walmart brand paintbrush, the second cheapest available within these parameters. The more pronounced the angle, the easier it will be to paint corners and grooves, but an angle isn’t absolutely necessary.

Tip #2. Bead the paint: Wet the edge of the paintbrush just enough to produce small beads of paint. The beads should be predominantly on the side of the brush that will run along the surface to be painted. 

Tilt the brush into the corner to be painted. Stay about an eight of an inch away from the edge, and as you drag your brush downward, press down slightly to bend the brush just enough to allow the paint beads to run along the tip of the brush as you paint downward. Here is the main trick to painting edges free handed and getting a smooth straight line that looks as if it has been taped. It is allowing the paint beads to fill in that extra eighth of an inch rather than the brush bristles

Tip #3. Use part of the brush, rather than the whole: While you will use the flat surface of the brush for general painting, and the tip for edging, it is helpful to learn to split the brush and use part. You can use a smaller chunk of the brush by setting the middle of the brush on an edge, and pressing inward to split it and use a smaller portion to do the task perhaps too many bristles might make a mess of. 

Tip #4. Use disinfectant wipes for cleanup: Better than a paper towel, better than a wet cloth, bleach laden disinfectant wipes do a stellar job of cleaning up any accidental drips, smudges, or even over-painted edges. 
As long as you don’t wait too long and allow the paint to dry too much, these wipes will tidy up mistakes without leaving streaks or discolored areas.

Unofficial Tip #5. Use the brush as a mic to jam: Because every task is made more fun by singing at the top of your lungs, and a brush makes the perfect microphone! *grin* What can I say? I love a good project playlist!

I like to leave all my edges for last, but once they are completed, wow have I got a gorgeous finished product! Done in record time, and better than the results I get with tape (granted I’ve had some serious bad luck with tape). 


I wish you steady hands and a quick eventful paint job! 

5 Comments on Secrets To Painting Free Hand

  1. Kimm Boes
    August 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm (7 years ago)

    Ahh, a girl after my own heart! I gave up taping long ago and learned to “cut in” well with just a brush. Haven’t tried the microphone trick, though! 😉

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 5, 2014 at 6:22 am (7 years ago)

      Oh but that is the best part! Lol! 😉

    • G-Force
      May 4, 2016 at 10:47 am (5 years ago)

      I use a micro fiber damp cloth to clean up spills. It works well but I am going to try the wipes technique on my next paint job!! Thank You!!

  2. Amy W
    August 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm (7 years ago)

    You’re too funny, love tip #5!


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