I bought some satin finish paint for my walls (Sherwin Super Paint) (for the color I wanted, my only other choice was flat, and I didn't want a flat finish). The problem is that because I used a roller for the big surfaces, and a paint brush for the edge work around casings, it's very easy to notice the sheen difference when the light catches the wall at certain angles.

I thought I had feathered out the paint sufficiently, but that seems to have made it worse. I did the edge work with the brush after the roller work had dried.

What technique should I use to ensure I end up with an even sheen on the wall, even right up to the casing?

5 Answers 5


Putting on paint with a roller adds a texture to the paint as you may have noticed. This is controllable to some extent by the choice of roller used.

Cutting in around windows and ceiling corners almost always wants to be done before doing the roller work. (The professional painters I have seen painting at the place I work always do it that way too). After the cut in painting has dried then you do the roller work and allow the roller to come up as close to the corners as you can without getting too close. This allows the roller texture to cover over the cut in painting.

Using a pad painter or foam brush as recommended in another answer here has good merit toward reducing the brush marks. However a brush, especially one with a beveled angle edge, gives a lot more control over the painting in corners and along ceilings than you can get with a typical foam brush. I have found that planning for multiple coats of the cut in painting and the putting on each coat in a light manner will greatly reduce brush marks as opposed to getting over exuberant with the paint.

  • I'd argue that actually, to avoid the marks from cutting in, you should do precisely the opposite; You cut-in, and then roller as close as possible to the edges whilst still wet. Also, feather the cutting in, so there's no noticeable 'edge'. Leave it to dry before rollering, and you're almost guaranteed to have visible brush-marks.
    – SiHa
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 14:09

As a professional painter the answer is the cut in painting is done first, then when rolling the walls you roll over the edge of the cut in to blend in it. When applying an eggshell or satin finish paint on walls it is important to roll back over the cut in while the paint is still wet, this is called rolling wet on wet. Otherwise if you let the cut in dry, not only are the brush strokes very visible, but the cut in and the rolling may have different tones to their color.

Also it is best two always apply tow coats of paint to get the best tone and finish of the color especially if you are changing colors. I only apply one coat if I am painting the same color as the existing color over fairly clean walls. The big box stores may advertise one coat coverage but that is deceptive and really false advertising.

  • U can also add to ure paint a product that extends dry time so u maintain a wet edge
    – user56653
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 1:24

Rolling (the walls) over a wet "cut in" edge will help blend in the brush marks up to a certain point. The roller can only go just so close to the ceiling and etc. Although it takes much longer, I immediately roll over my brush lines, in the same direction AS the brush lines, with a very small 3" roller to blend in the lines. The type of roller I use for this allows me to blend within a fraction of an inch to the ceiling or wherever the cut line is that I am blending. One typically would not suggest rolling horizontal such as blending in the brush line on wall to ceiling and above doors and window casing since rolling the walls will be done vertically but it does blend in better than vertical cut lines from a brush.

  • This is how I avoid the hatband effect that some paints leave visible where brush strokes meet roller texture.
    – Kris
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 12:02

The primary reasons for unacceptable brush marks are:

  • Poor quality paint
  • Poor quality brush

The paint you used is decent quality, make sure you use a high quality applicator. As for the sheen issue, follow the advice of @Michael Karas and always do your "cut-in" brush work first, then roll up as close to the molding as possible to cover the brush work.

In the end, you are likely to be the only person to notice (I see my own mistakes daily when nobody else does... unless I point them out). I am slowly learning that "good enough" is OK.

  • Im using a decent quality Benjamin Moore soft nylon + poly brush, but since I did my cut in work AFTER roller work, that is likely my problem. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 6:01

You can use a small sized roller to paint over the edges immidiately after you cut them so they'll not show lines. Most of these things nobody really sees them, except for professionals, so they don't need to be 100% perfect except if it's an highclass job

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