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Paint around built-ins

When repainting a room it isn't always possible to remove fittings from walls, especially built-in fixtures and fittings. We offer an easy way to paint around built-ins.


This home office is in the process of being redecorated. This involves painting the entire room and ceiling. There are several wall-mounted cupboards on one wall that cannot be removed, and where this is the case it is far easier to paint around these. The walls were scrubbed down with Polycell Sugar Soap and wiped dry before painting. This is important to ensure that new paint coats will properly bond with the surface and not flake or peel off later on.





If the walls are not in good condition, or if there are any signs of damp, you will find helpful advice on the Prominent Paints website.

To paint around built-in fixtures and fittings you use a method called 'cutting in'. This means that you use a paintbrush to cut in around the fittings themselves. Using this method of painting around built-ins means that you avoid getting any built-ins covered with paint from the paint roller, and provides a neat, professional finish.

It isn't necessary to apply rolls and rolls of masking tape to the edges once you master the method of cutting in, but if you aren't handy with a paintbrush, you can apply a strip of masking tape to where you will be working and re-use this over again for other areas. You can also use the cutting in method on corners and where the walls meets the ceiling, where you can't reach with a paint roller.

Tips for cutting in:

- Load the paintbrush with paint

- Apply a liberal line of paint next to where you will be cutting in - about 2cm away from the cut in line.

- Hold the paintbrush at a slight angle and let the bristles flatten and spread out.

- Slowly guide the paintbrush along the edge of the cutting in line, applying an even layer of paint.

I found a perfect video that demonstrates the best method for cutting in.

Apply 2 or 3 coats of paint using the cutting in method, or enough coats to cover up walls. For this project we used Prominent Select Sheen and applied 3 coats to cover the ugly yellow walls. This paint is low VOC and offers a high quality velvet smooth finish for interior and exterior walls.

After allowing the paint to dry you can start using a paint roller to paint the walls and ceiling.  If you are painting over the top of built-ins, place newspaper over the tops to protect from paint spatters.