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How to paint a straight line

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

How to paint a straight line.jpg


Painting a straight line might sound tricky, but with the right tools and some practice, you can achieve clean and precise results.


Below are expert tips that can help you paint a straight line.


Use painter’s tape

Eric Lara, one of Bunnings Workshop resident D.I.Y. experts, recommends using painter’s tape when painting straight lines.

“Painter's tape can help ensure a professional finish for your D.I.Y. painting projects, with sharp lines along edges,” he says. “Tape can protect specific areas you don't want to paint such as glass windows and architraves and ensure well-defined straight lines.

He lists step-by-step instructions in his guide How to use painter’s tape.

Steve Spillard, Bunnings team member and paint expert, says using painter’s tape is “the ultimate cheat tip” when painting straight lines.

He stresses it’s important to choose “good quality” painter's tape that matches your particular needs.

“Bunnings sells several types of painter’s tape,” he explains. “The blue and green coloured tapes are specifically designed for masking edges and for achieving clean lines. You can use low tack tapes when painting delicate surfaces like wallpaper, including the purple Scotch Delicate Surface and Yellow Frog tape. High tack tapes like Scotch Rough Surface are good when painting rough surfaces like render or brick.”

Steve also recommends using Edge-Lock tapes like the ScotchBlue Sharp Lines as these “help achieve straight lines by preventing the paint from creeping under the tape.”

He adds that while white coloured tape is good for taping drop sheets and covering, it “generally unsuitable for painting sharp lines and for long-term adhesion.”

Practice brush control

Steve says it’s key to keep your hand steady when painting.

“Learn how to hold your brush like a pen as this will give you much greater control,” he advises.

“Turn the brush sideways when you are cutting in so the smaller edge is leading. Press the brush down lightly until the filaments spread and align with the edge you are cutting into.”

It's also a good idea to practice controlling the brush before tackling your main project. “You can practice by drawing a guide line on a piece of cardboard and see how well you can cut to the line,” Steve says.

If you don't have a steady hand, he suggests using a pad edger tool to make things easier.

“You can always cheat a bit by using a pad edger tool that gives you a foolproof straight line every time,” he says. “Just load it up with paint like you are buttering a piece of toast. Keep a rag with you to wipe any excess paint on the little wheels on the device. A good painter always has a rag nearby.”

Eric adds it’s also important to practice the right technique before painting.


“Rest your arm on a stable surface to minimise shakes, and use slow, deliberate strokes,” he advises. “This technique enhances your ability to maintain control and precision.”


Choose the right paint and brush


The right paint, brushes or roller can go a long way in making your painting job easier.

“Experiment with different types of paint to find one that suits your needs,” Eric advises. “Some paints are thicker and easier to control than others. Acrylic paints, for example, are often more forgiving and easier to work with when aiming for straight lines.”

He adds investing in quality tools is also a good idea.

“Invest in high-quality brushes with fine bristles, as they provide better control over the paint. Consider using brushes with a straight edge for more precision in creating straight lines.”

For more expert advice on choosing a paint brush and roller, check out How to choose a paint brush and roller.


1 Reply
Community Manager
Community Manager

Painting is really one of the most cost effective ways you can transform your home. Invest in quality paint and accessories and your hard work can last a long time and really make a dramatic difference. I also love how easy painting is - it just takes a little bit of practice.






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