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Hatbanding or Picture Framing

“Hatbanding” is the appearance of a highly textured or a non-uniform color shading in a certain area. This gives a picture frame-like look and hence the term picture framing.

The Cause
Hatbanding occurs when you cut-in with a brush in areas that a roller can’t reach. The overlapping areas look highly textured and the brush-painted areas look darker. It could also occur when you are exclusively using a brush and when you cut-in too often especially around the corners, trims and the ceiling areas.

Using a roller cover with improper nap length can also produce high texturing. Applying a wet coat over a dry edge can also produce non-uniform coloring and high texture.

The Solution
Experienced painters know the right way to cut-in without producing hatbanding. If painting at edges with a roller is a problem, use the roller as close to the edges as possible, and cut in with the brush in an area of just one to two inches.

You must learn to use the “feather-edge” technique whereby you do not leave a thick edge to make way for consecutive wet strokes of the brush or roller. So when you apply the consecutive parallel stroke of wet paint, the earlier layer will merge well with the current layer.

Also do not allow the previous stroke of wet paint to dry before applying the next stroke. In this way you can maintain a “wet edge” and prevent darkening and texturing of the overlapping areas.

Always use a roller cover with a half inch or smaller nap length when using high-gloss paint.