Cutting in and Avoiding ‘Picture Framing’

What is Picture Framing? “Picture Framing” is when the “cut in” strips on the borders of a painted area become visible upon drying.

What Causes Picture Framing? The visual effects of Picture Framing are normally due to an excessive or uneven build-up of paint. This can be due to the cut in area drying before being worked in and leaving an excessive film build in the border area. When dry, the thicker film appears glossier than the main wall area.

This problem is also exacerbated by painting when the air or wall temperature is too hot and rapid drying occurs. Not using a primer where it is necessary to use a primer may also aggravate the problem and contribute to rapid drying because the coating is absorbed by the substrate.

Tips on Avoiding Picture Framing When Painting Textured Coatings

  • When painting textures with a roller it is important to use a mini roller, 8cm wide or less rather than a brush. Use a brush only as a touch up measure for difficult sections where a small roller cannot be used.
  • Apply paint sparingly on the cut in border area. Use a short nap 10mm pile roller. There is no need to go to a larger roller.
  • Do not to paint in hot weather (above 35ºC) and never paint in direct sunlight.
  • Minimize the width of the cut in border areas where possible.
  • Plan the job and keep a wet edge throughout the application. Work in a team of two or more and minimise the time between cutting in a border and working in with the main wall area so that the cut in area is not allowed to dry. Consulting the weather forecast can be helpful in planning ahead.