Cutting in on coving

10 Feb 2007
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

great forum and I'm hoping you can help me.

i am painting the bathroom which has coving on the walls.
I am in a will quandry as to what is the best way to get good results.

I am intending to paint the coving and ceiling first then the walls.
my problem is how best to get a nice clean "join"

I cant put masking tape on the coving as when i remove it it pulls off the new paint.

the last room i did i used this method which did work but was an awful faff:

i painted the coving,then painted the walls left it for a week and the masked the walls off to touch up the coving.

looks good but takes ages.

are there any expert opinions out there ?

many thanks

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bring the wall colour up onto the bottom lip of coving ...then whiten coving face ;) ...sequence overall= ceiling/top of cove.....wall/bottom of cove ...cove for me
Thanks for that
haddnt thought of doing the face of the coving and then doing the edge after the wall.
at the moment I am doing all the coving then the wall then touching up the coving i have smudged on!!!

problem is am doing the bathroom a dark red and i think the smudges are going to be a bugger to cover!!
do you just use a steady hand to avoid putting wall paint on the coving or some sort of implement?

thanks again

The best way is to do the coving first then do the walls.

I find it easier if when you are painting your coving, you bring the white emulsion down on the wall a couple of inches.
This will give you a smooth texture to make your cutting in with the colour easier.
When your cutting on old painted walls, sometimes you find the paint dragging, and thats when your cutting in becomes messy, but if you have like a 'film' on the walls, when you apply your colour, it glides on more easily.
Try and curve your brush as your going along the top of your wall where it meets the coving.

If this fails, then the trick of using masking tape so it dont rip the paint off, is to get as much of the stickyness off the tape, but still leave enough stickyness so it will stick onto your coving/wall

Tear strips of masking tape, then stick it on your jeans/work clothes etc, pull off and put the strips back on your jeans a few times, then place the strips on the wall/coving.

As soon as you have finished your painting, then gently take the tape off, this will minimise and peeling of the paint.

Failing that, get some old cardboard, and place the straight edges under the coving so its flush with the coving, then paint your colour, but dont put the paint on too thick.

thats all I can suggest at the moment. :(
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that masking tap tip is brilliant- so obvious but really useful!!!

did a test on my little boys room (next to be decorated) and tried several methods.

all were using pvc electrical tape ( i have loads of that and i find it really good)

tried some tape on the walls and on the coving (paint about 5 yeard old)
then did the jeans trick

the walls in both cases were fine and the "original" tape onthe coving pulled a tiny bit off. the "jeans" tape came off with no problems

due to my lack of cutting in skill I may well mask the coving edge, paint the ceilng and coving, then paint the walls, wait a week and then mask the wall to do the final edge.

just out of interes what size of brush do you use for cutting in the wall to the coving

thanks again

Your welcome, Just remember to get the tape off as soon as you have finished your coats and the paint is dry, dont leave tape on for days lol, as that will make it worse. :D
Also consider most PVC tape uses a very gummy adhesive that's far more likely to leave a residue than a proper masking tape. I'd spend the extra couple of quid on getting the right tape to save any poretntial additional time in clean up.
I'm sure you're local DIY store will have a selection of masking tapes, with varying degrees of adhesion - some in my experience don't stick to anything in the first place, depsite my desire for it to do so.

I always find it easiest to do ceiling / coving first, as has been said bringing the coving finish down and inch or two... not only does cutting in become smoother, but any small gaps you might happen to leave between coving and wall colour, tend to visibly disappear with the shodow and angle that the coving lip has adjoining it - assuming you're not painting the coving black that is...

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