For many people, the part of the painting that is the most troublesome is brushing a straight line. Many people try to get around this by taping off any place they don’t want to get paint on. Sometimes this does work if there is a clean smooth line being taped. However, when trying this method on a textured or uneven surface, it is a waste of time, for the most part. Rarely do professional painters tape off what they are painting next to. With experience comes the ability to brush a clean straight line. You can do the same with a few tips and a little practice.
The first step in brushing a straight line, of course, is the brush. It is difficult, if not impossible, to paint a straight line with a $2.00 brush. While a beginner doesn’t need an expensive brush, they should buy a quality 2-inch angle sash brush to start out with. Take the brush out of its cover, and without any material, draw the brush lengthwise leading with the short end of the angle and following with the tip across a smooth surface. Watch the edge of the brush as you change the amount of pressure you apply to see how this and the angle of the brush affects the line of bristles and what creates the straightest line. You can even practice with some water on a surface that shows the results (such as masking paper) as a way to practice your technique.
Now it’s time to try some paint. Ideally, you should have something you can briefly practice on. A board or piece of drywall with a strip of tape is good for practicing a straight line. One mistake beginners tend to make is wiping most of the paint off their brush after they have dipped it in the paint. This prevents you from creating flow at the edge of the brush. I recommend dipping to 1/3 the length of the bristles, then tapping the brush against the inside of the paint container to gently flip off the excess, leaving sufficient paint for proper flow on each brushstroke. Now you place the brush on the wedge heel to tip and draw the brush along your line, and when the flow of paint stops, you turn the brush flat. With a little practice, brush the remaining paint below your line out evenly. This process will have you making straight lines in no time at all.