How to Paint Corners – DIY Guide [2023]

Whether you are painting your house’s interior or exterior, there’s a very good chance that you have to paint corners.

But if you are a novice painter, you are most likely to get the paint scrambled across the corners or mismatch the paint with the existing wall.

Don’t worry!

While painting corners and edges, you can get crisp, sharp lines with proper taping, tools, and stroking methods.

In this guide, I will show you how to paint corners in under 90 minutes!

At the end of the guide, you will also find 8 additional tips for ‘cutting in’ or painting edges like an expert.

How to Paint Corners in 6 Steps

Let’s delve into the detailed steps for painting corners and edges like a pro.

StepsEstimated Time
Prepare the Area10 minutes
Corner Painting Prep Work15 minutes
Begin Painting20 minutes
Keep Brushing in Short Strokes25 minutes
Switch to a Roller15 minutes
Remove Painter’s Tape10 minutes

Step 1: Prepare the Area

  • Place a plastic sheet on the floor right under the corner that’s in for a paint job.
  • It stops paint from dripping onto the floor and creating stubborn spots.
  • Make sure the sheet covers the surrounding area and the furniture.
  • That way, the paint won’t wander where it shouldn’t.
  • Grab some painter’s tape and use it to protect edges that should stay paint-free.
  • If the corner meets a wall or trim, tape that connection too.
  • For an even smoother experience, get a putty knife and gently press it against the tape.
  • This helps the tape stick well and keeps paint from sneaking underneath.

Required Tools

  • Plastic sheet
  • Painter’s tape
  • Putty knife

Step 2: Painting Prep Work

  • Take your step tool and place it beside the corner.
  • Take a clean piece of cloth and dip it in water.
  • Squeeze the water out of the cloth so it’s damp and not fully wet.
  • Using the damp cloth, wipe from top to bottom.
  • This gets rid of any dust or dirt that may be there.
  • A clean surface will also help the paint stick better.
  • Get the painter’s tape and cut a few pieces, each 1 foot long.
  • Put it over the baseboard that is at the bottom edge of the corner.
  • Run your fingers over it to make sure there are no trapped air bubbles and the tape is snug.

Required Tools

  • Step tool
  • Clean cloth
  • Water bucket
  • Painter’s tape

Step 3: Begin Painting

  • Make sure to drip the extra paint off the brush.
  • Now, gently put the brush right along the corner and keep it pressed lightly.
  • Start moving the brush upwards and downwards alongside the corner.
  • Make sure you are spreading the paint evenly.
  • Keep the bristles smoothly and lightly touched against the surface.
  • Before you switch places, make sure you have at least five layers of paint.
  • This ensures even coverage of paint all over the corner.
  •  Once in a while, redip your brush in the paint.
  • Keep on painting up and down the height of the corner to smoothen out uneven surfaces.

Required Tools

  • 2½-inch paintbrush
  • Paint

Step 4: Keep Brushing in Short Strokes

  • Continue making these short strokes until you’re sure that you have covered the whole corner.
  • Most of the strokes will be parallel to the corner’s edge during the process.
  • However, you may also need to make perpendicular strokes to even out some areas.
  • Make sure these crossing paint layers blend seamlessly.
  • This method ensures there are no bristle marks left on the new paint.

Required Tools

  • 2½-inch paintbrush
  • Paint

Step 5: Switch to a Roller

  • Take your paint roller and make sure it is clean and free of any old paint.
  • Now, take the paint and pour it on a paint tray.
  • Place the roller on the tray and start rolling.
  • Make sure the paint is evenly spread all around the roller.
  • Shake the extra paint off.
  • Position the roller over the edge of the corner gently and start rolling up and down.
  • Follow the same 5-layer rule as the brush for completing one area before you move upward or downward.
  • While painting, make sure the paint doesn’t get off the corner and is blending nicely.
  • This method ensures that the new paint mixes really well with the brush paint.
  • Once you have covered the whole corner, give the paint some time to dry.

Required Tools

  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Paint

Step 6: Remove Painter’s Tape

  • Wait until the paint in the corner is completely dry before removing the tape.
  • This stops the paint from peeling up when you pull the tape.
  • Use a putty knife with a thin edge to gently press on the tape.
  • Press where the tape touches the painted part.
  • This helps the tape come off without pulling the paint with it.
  • Hold the end of the tape and start peeling it off.
  • Pull it off at a 45-degree angle.
  • This way, the tape won’t tear or leave bits of paint behind.
  • Take your time and peel the tape off slowly.
  • This ensures the corner looks clean and neat after removing the tape.

Required Tools

  • Putty knife

8 Tips for Painting Corners Like a Master

Now that you know the basic steps of painting corners and edges, it’s time for some additional tips that will make your paint job look like a professional finish.

  • Cover and tape the surrounding and the corner adjacent walls so that you get a crisp and sharp paint line.
  • Prepare the surface by thoroughly cleaning it and chalking any damaged surface to smoothen it out.
  • Take your time and paint one corner at a time.
  • Give the surface ample time to dry up completely after every cleaning, wiping, and painting job.
  • Always match the paint color with the existing one on your walls before you start painting the corners.
  • Once the paint has dried, always go back and examine the surface for any patching opportunities.
  • Turn on all the lights and inspect the corner from every angle to ensure seamless paint blending.

Bottom Line

Painting corners may sound like an easy task, but it can get really messy really quickly.

One mistake and you have to do over the whole process, which may break your wallet.

That is why you must follow every step described in this guide to the teeth.

Happy Painting!


What is the best roller for corners?

You can use roller covers made with high-density foam or smooth-pro blended fabric for painting corners.

Do you paint corners or walls first?

While painting your house’s interior, always start with the corners and edges.

Start from the wall edges and corners near the ceiling, and gradually make your way down.

Once you have completed painting all the corners, then you can move on to the walls.

Do you paint the corners twice?

Yes. It is recommended to cut in twice for every paint layer.

First, you paint them with a paintbrush.

Once the paint is dry, cut in with a paint roller for the second time.