This is really confusing, as I looked the whole chapter not finding anything she cut off or out or whatever,nor did she interrupt anyone. I could understand the whole passage except this "cutting in", that she redecorated her room and her dad feels proud. Could any one help me with this "cutting in" please?

Here is the sentence:

……I went to the DIY store and bought paint and new blinds, as well as a new bedside light and some shelves, which I assembled myself. It’s not that I’m good at that stuff; I guess I just wanted to see if I could do it.

I set about redecorating, painting for an hour a night after I came home from work, and at the end of the week even Dad had to admit I’d done a really good job. He stared for a bit at my cutting in, fingered the blinds that I had put up myself, and put a hand on my shoulder. ‘This job has been the making of you, Lou.’

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

No special context here, all the passage.

  • it suddenly occurred to myself, may be she cut her self? and the cutting in refers to her wounds??
    – user86301
    Dec 19, 2018 at 2:44

1 Answer 1


In the context of painting, "cutting in" means:

Cutting-in is the practice of manually drawing straight lines of paint alongside elements that do not get painted, eliminating the need for masking tape or painter's masking film.

A scenario is described below:

One scenario: you want white trim around your windows and darker colored walls. First, you paint the trim. Then, when you paint the walls, you need to bring the paint line right up to the edge of the trim. You can mask off the trim with tape.

Here's a guide if you want for information and here's an illustration.

  • So, can I understand it in this way: it is a technical term used in painting, that the cutting-in practice requires no mask off or mask tape during painting, (I wonder it needs higher skills, techniques or controls of the painters themselves )
    – user86301
    Dec 19, 2018 at 3:13
  • @user86301 Yep, I guess it doesn't require specific skills other than a steady hand so anyone can do it if they follow the guide
    – user86610
    Dec 19, 2018 at 3:14
  • Ha, yes a steady hand. I just saw a video showing that.:)
    – user86301
    Dec 19, 2018 at 3:16

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