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crisp ceiling lines, 2.0

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mikejurasw

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Hey everyone, I watched a Youtuber say one way pros get crisp lines between wall color and ceiling paint is to 'run a bead of clear caulk" in the joint as you prep. What gives? How does this result in a neat line? Do you paint only to the caulk on both sides?
Help me understand!
Thanks,
Mike M
 

slownsteady

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Never heard that myself. If you remove the bead afterwards, you'll have a small gap without paint. If you leave it up, you still would have to paint neatly enough to get a straight edge. I've tried a couple of different edging tools over the years, nothing is outstanding. You could use an edger (thin plastic or metal strip) which you hold up to the corner with one hand while painting. But if you don't keep that clean, you could just drag wet paint with you. If you want to try an edger, go to the local HD and ask the folks who cut the blinds if they have any cut louvers laying around. The cuts from vertical louvers are pretty good edgers.
Probably best just to use an angled paint brush and work carefully. That's what the pros around here do.

Edit: Oh yeah, there's also painters tape
 

Jeff Handy

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Yes, just good technique is how you do it.

Careful painting with an almost dry brush as you cut in.

A quality angled brush, no stray bristles on it, a two inch size is good.

Paint ceiling first, and bring the ceiling color about an 1/8 inch down onto the top of the wall, to fill the often bumpy corner where they meet.

Then paint the cut in, just brush on the wall color with a very low paint load, on the tips only, painting carefully and slightly brushing upwards as you paint parallel to the ceiling.
 

mikejurasw

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Thanks, guys! Great stuff. I agree, no real short-cuts to good technique. I had wondered about a stiff window squeegee for an edger. Like any edger it has to be wiped clean, but the slight give in the rubber against the wall might create more of a 'seal".
Thanks again...
MM
 

Jeff Handy

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They make painting edgers, look on Google.
They usually have a metal edge.
They need constant wiping off.
I have only used them when painting baseboards a different color, or painting a wall and not getting paint on the baseboards.
 

havasu

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I've seen the paintable caulking in the corners, and if fills the void. Once the caulking dries, run a blue tape line down the center of the caulk line, and you will have a perfect, straight transition from wall to ceiling.
 

Jeff Handy

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Yes, especially with special masking tape like Frog Tape.
It swells up if paint sneaks under it, so it gives a better straight line.
But not cheap.
 

Jeff Handy

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Another painters’ trick,if the ceiling/wall transition is bumpy or beat up, is to bring the ceiling paint color down almost a quarter inch onto the top of the wall, and create a false line that your eye thinks is the real corner line.

Then it is easy, if you are a good painter, to paint right to that nice new straight line.
 

tomtheelder2020

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I think the original post missed part of the technique. The idea is that Frog tape helps but isn't perfect so you first place frog tape, a small bead of clear caulk on the side to be painted, and then wipe the caulk to to a thin film with your finger. The caulk activates the Frog tape and where the caulk does seep slightly under the tape it is invisible (clear) leaving a sharp line. As a homeowner, taping AND caulking would take me much longer than just carefully painting a sharp line. A professional painter, on the other hand, can rip this out:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=paint+life+tv+cault+your+tape
and
 

ekrig

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The video example shows on a really rough wall and I guess it would be needed in that case. I like my walls smooth so I usually sand and prep quite a bit. From that point on, a good brush, going slow, and progressively gets the job done. And, in case you're wondering, I don't have really steady hands but the result is still better, and faster, than using tape.
 

Johnboy555

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Another trick is to run a small "straight" screwdriver to scratch a shallow line into the corner of the paint. The fact is that the paint brush bristles will follow the line and provide a straight paint line. Although Frog Tape is a little expensive it's a lifesaver when using different colors. Just make sure that you use a rag to firmly press it into the wall.
 

mikejurasw

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Thanks, everyone! It seems lately the jobs I've been doing have involved dark-toned walls and snow-white ceiling paint...so it really bothers me if it's wonky.
MM
 

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