Do You Cut In Before Or After Rolling?


Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

When it comes to painting your walls, one of the first questions that may come to mind is whether you should cut in before or after rolling. It’s a common dilemma faced by DIYers, homeowners, and artists alike. In this article, we’ll provide you with some valuable insights and tips to help you make the best decision for your painting project. So, let’s dive in and discover the best approach to achieve a flawless and professional-looking finish.

Do you cut in before or after rolling?

Introduction to cutting in

When it comes to painting a room or any other surface, one of the most important steps is cutting in. Cutting in refers to the process of painting along the edges, corners, and trim before using a roller to cover the larger areas. It may seem like a simple task, but it can greatly impact the overall look of your paint job. However, the question arises: do you cut in before or after rolling?

In this article, we will explore the importance of cutting in, the order of cutting in and rolling, factors to consider, advantages of cutting in before or after rolling, tips for each approach, and common mistakes to avoid. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether to cut in before or after rolling.

Why cutting in is important

Cutting in is a crucial step in painting because it allows you to create clean, straight lines and define the boundaries between different colors and surfaces. It helps achieve a professional-looking finish, even if you’re a DIYer or homeowner with limited painting experience. By cutting in before or after rolling, you ensure that every nook and cranny is covered with paint, leaving no unpainted areas that may be visually distracting. Additionally, cutting in saves time by reducing the need for tedious touch-ups later on.

Also See  How Often Should You Repaint A Wall?

The order of cutting in and rolling

Now, let’s address the main question: should you cut in before or after rolling? The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The order of cutting in and rolling depends on various factors, such as personal preference, the size of the area to be painted, the type of paint used, and the tools available.

Factors to consider

Before deciding whether to cut in before or after rolling, it’s essential to consider a few factors:

  1. Personal preference: Some people find it easier to cut in before rolling, while others prefer the opposite. Consider your comfort level and painting style to choose the method that suits you best.
  2. Room size: If you’re painting a smaller room, it may be more efficient to cut in first. In contrast, larger rooms may benefit from cutting in after rolling since it allows you to work with wet edges and avoid noticeable brush marks.
  3. Paint type: Different paints have varying drying times and consistencies. These factors can influence the order of cutting in and rolling. Quick-drying paints may require you to cut in before rolling, while slower-drying paints allow for cutting in after rolling.
  4. Tools available: The tools you have at your disposal can also influence your decision. For instance, if you have a high-quality angled brush that excels at cutting in, you may consider doing it before rolling. Conversely, if you have a roller with excellent edging capabilities, cutting in after rolling might be more efficient.

Cutting in before rolling

Advantages of cutting in before rolling

Cutting in before rolling has its advantages. Firstly, it allows you to have more control over the brush strokes, ensuring cleaner lines and precise edges. Secondly, by cutting in first, you can focus solely on the details before moving on to the larger areas, which may require less precision. Lastly, cutting in before rolling allows the paint to dry in a consistent manner, avoiding any overlapping or visible brush marks when you start rolling.

Also See  Do I Need To Prime Before Painting Over Old Paint

Tips for cutting in before rolling

If you choose to cut in before rolling, here are a few tips to help you achieve the best results:

  1. Use an angled brush: An angled brush is ideal for cutting in as it allows for precise application along edges and corners. Invest in a high-quality brush that holds a decent amount of paint and provides a clean, sharp line.
  2. Protect adjacent surfaces: Before cutting in, make sure to protect adjacent surfaces with painter’s tape or drop cloths. This will prevent any accidental paint spills or smudges on areas you don’t intend to paint.
  3. Work in small sections: Instead of trying to cut in the entire room at once, break it down into smaller sections. This will help you maintain control and ensure that the paint doesn’t dry before you have a chance to roll over it.
  4. Take your time: Cutting in requires patience and attention to detail. Don’t rush the process and take your time to achieve clean, straight lines. Remember, it’s easier to fix mistakes made during cutting in rather than trying to correct them after rolling.

Cutting in after rolling

Advantages of cutting in after rolling

Cutting in after rolling also has its advantages. By rolling first, you can quickly cover larger areas and establish a base coat. This can help reduce the time spent on cutting in. Additionally, cutting in after rolling allows you to work with wet paint, making it easier to blend the cut-in areas with the rolled areas and achieve a seamless finish.

Tips for cutting in after rolling

If you decide to cut in after rolling, consider these tips to ensure a successful outcome:

  1. Use a roller with edging capabilities: Look for a roller specifically designed for edging or one that has a built-in edging tool. This will make the process of cutting in after rolling much more efficient.
  2. Paint in manageable sections: Similar to cutting in before rolling, it’s best to work in smaller sections when cutting in after rolling. This helps ensure that the paint stays wet and allows for smooth blending between the cut-in and rolled areas.
  3. Blend the edges: When cutting in after rolling, it’s crucial to blend the edges to create a seamless transition between the two. Use a brush or a small roller to feather the edges and eliminate any visible lines.
  4. Be mindful of drips and splatters: When rolling first, there is a higher chance of drips and splatters occurring. Be sure to monitor your roller’s paint load and use drop cloths or painter’s tape to protect surfaces that you don’t wish to paint.
Also See  What’s The Maintenance Schedule For A Paint Sprayer?
Discover more about the Do You Cut In Before Or After Rolling.

Common mistakes to avoid

Regardless of whether you cut in before or after rolling, it’s essential to avoid these common mistakes:

  1. Rushing the process: Cutting in requires precision and attention to detail. Avoid rushing through the task, as this can result in uneven lines, drips, and splatters.
  2. Overloading the brush or roller: Using too much paint on your brush or roller can lead to drips, streaks, and a messy finish. Load your brush or roller with a moderate amount of paint and remove any excess before applying.
  3. Neglecting preparation: Preparation is key to a successful paint job. Clean the surface, repair any imperfections, and protect adjacent areas before starting to paint.
  4. Skipping the primer: Unless your paint includes a primer, it’s important to prime the surface before painting. Primer helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth, even finish.


In conclusion, whether you cut in before or after rolling depends on various factors such as personal preference, room size, paint type, and tools available. Both approaches have their advantages, and it’s essential to consider your specific needs and circumstances when deciding.

Remember to take your time, use the appropriate tools, and follow the tips provided to achieve a clean, professional-looking result. With proper cutting in, your paint job will be transformed, and you’ll be able to enjoy a beautifully painted room or surface. Happy painting!

Do You Cut In Before Or After Rolling,Cut In Before Or After Rolling

Looking for the perfect brush for your painting project?

Our guide, The Best Paint Brushes for Achieving a Desired Paint Job, has you covered.

Latest posts