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If you want the most professional results possible when tackling a DIY paint job, you’ll need more than just a paintbrush or paint roller. You’ll also want a paint edger, which allows you to create precise, clean lines along the edges of trim, doors, ceilings, and baseboards without having to use painter’s tape or a cutting-in technique, which can be challenging for many beginning painters. But while these devices are simple, there are a lot of choices on the market, so we did the heavy work for you by sorting through the best paint edgers available today.
Here are the best paint edgers for a wide variety of needs.
Best Overall: Shur-Line Paint Edger Pro
One of the biggest annoyances when using a paint edger is dipping the pad into the paint tray and getting paint onto the edger’s wheels, which then track paint onto the wall and spoil your perfect edge. To the rescue: The ingenious and yet simple design of the Shur-Line Paint Edger Pro, which lets you flip the wheels up and out of the way when it’s time to reload the 4-3/4 x 3-3/4 inch replaceable pad with paint. Add to that the smoothly rolling wheels, the single-touch pad ejection feature–no more paint on your fingers–the swiveling handle that attaches to any standard paint extension pole, the ergonomic design that’s easy on your hands, and the soft pad that lays down paint without lint or brushstrokes, and you have a paint edger that helps even a beginner paint around trim, baseboards, and other obstacles like a pro.
Best for Ceilings: Shur-Line Edger Plus Premium Paint Edger
Painting the ceiling can be challenging, but with the Shur-Line Edger Plus Premium and your favorite sturdy paint extension pole, you can quickly and easily get perfectly cut lines around the edges; no more frustrating spots of paint on the walls. The smoothly rolling wheels won’t catch or skip, and the woven pad applies paint evenly on smooth or lightly textured ceilings. Once attached to your extension pole, the edger easily pivots or swivels as needed, making it a breeze to work your way around air vents or lighting fixtures. The 6-1/2 x 5-3/4 inch replaceable pad is large enough to get the job done quickly, which means a lot less strain on your arms, neck, and shoulders from working overhead.
Best for High Walls: Wagner Smart Edge Paint Roller
Painting high walls presents a predicament: You either need to balance your paint pan on your ladder, or you need to step down to reload the roller or brush with paint every time it runs dry. However, the Wagner Smart Edge Roller eliminates both scenarios, and instead, holds up to six ounces of paint right in the handle, letting you cover up to 96 feet before needing a refill. That means you can work with fewer interruptions, all while creating smooth, perfect lines along the tops of walls, over windows, around trim, or even in hard-to-reach spots over doorways with the 3 x 3/8 inch roller’s built-in edging guides. And once you finish the project, the roller is washable and reusable, so it will be ready the next time you need to paint.
Best for Textured Walls: Emery Edgers Paint Brush Edging Tool
It can be tough getting a clean, straight line on a textured wall. Some foam pad edgers don’t glide smoothly over heavy texture, leaving bare spots that mar your project’s appearance. But missed spots and skips won’t be a problem when you use the Emery Edger Paint Brush Edging Tool, even on heavily textured surfaces. Unlike most paint edgers, this one isn’t a wheeled pad or roller. Instead, it’s a traditional 1-1/5 inch nylon-bristle paintbrush with an attached plastic two-piece edge guard that creates precise lines around doors, windows, trim, and other obstacles. A foam pad between the two halves of the plastic guard keeps paint flowing smoothly over the brush bristles, even on rough surfaces, textured walls, or popcorn ceilings. While you’ll need to replace the pad, you can easily clean the paintbrush and plastic guard for use on future projects.
Best Budget: Whizz Painter Edger
Sometimes, all you need is an inexpensive paint edger for a small painting project or to touch up scuffs or other damage on an already painted wall. For those times, the Whizz Painter Edger is inexpensive enough to toss without regrets once the job is finished–although the pads are replaceable if you want to keep the edger for future use–yet it still applies paint smoothly and quickly, leaving no lint or track marks behind. At 3-1/2 x 7-5/8 inches, this edger is larger than most, so you can cover a lot of wall without spending a lot of time. On the downside, you cannot attach an extension pole to the edger, and the small handle is not as easily or comfortably grasped as the handle of other paint edgers featured here.
Best for Corners: Shur-Line Premium Corner Painter
If you’ve ever painted a room, you know one of the biggest challenges is getting full, even coverage in the corners. Regular paintbrushes and rollers tend to either miss spots or deposit paint unevenly in a corner’s tight confines, which leaves your paint job looking sloppy and unprofessional. Luckily, there’s a solution: The Shur-Line Premium Corner Painter. Instead of the usual rectangle, this ingenious device has a V-shaped head with just enough swivel to easily reach into corners and lay a smooth, neat application of paint without seamlines, gaps, or drips. Attach an extension pole to reach corners way up high or grasp the ergonomic handle when working down low. The edger takes regular 4-3/4 x 3-3/4 inch Shur-Line refill pads, so you can use it over and over again.
Best Roller: Accubrush MX Paint Edger Jumbo Kit
Most paint edgers are flat rectangular pads, which do a fine job, but require slow and careful work. Some painters, however, are in a hurry. If you are one of them, it’s hard to beat the Accubrush MX for creating perfect edges while still keeping up a quick pace. This handy device has a 4 x 2 inch poly-blend roller with a 3/8-inch nap that evenly covers both flat and textured surfaces. But the real secret is in the combination of the plastic side guard and tiny underlying brush that lets the roller glide right along the edges of corners, ceilings, baseboards, and trim without the need for protective painter’s tape, and without smudging paint where you don’t want it to go. Instead, you’ll get a perfect line of paint that would make even a professional proud. The rollers are washable and reusable.
The Shur-Line Paint Edger Pro (view at Amazon) solves the annoying problem of wheels tracked with paint by letting you flip the wheels out of the way while dipping the pad into your paint tray. That, along with its smooth performance and mess-free pad ejection feature make it our top choice. But if you’re painting a room with high walls, you might prefer the Wagner Smart Edge Paint Roller (view at Amazon), which holds paint right in the handle, eliminating the need to climb up and down your ladder every time you need more paint.
What to Look for in a Paint Edger
Pad or Roller
There are two basic types of paint edger: those with pads and those with rollers. Paint edgers with pads basically smear on the paint; the pads are fabric with a bit of texture, so you dip the pad into the paint and then slide it across the wall.
Paint edgers with rollers are much like full-size paint rollers; a flocked roller rotates as you move it across the wall. As a general rule, pads are less expensive than rollers, but pads are likelier to leave lines in the fresh paint.
Ease of Movement
Ideally, your paint edger glides along the wall without catching or dragging. Some have small wheels to make movement very easy, but you’ll need to take care not to get sloppy with your work.
Extension Pole Adapter
Most—but not all—paint edgers have an attachment point for an extension pole. If you’ll be working up high on the walls or ceiling, this is a must-have, so be sure to check the specifications before purchasing your edger.
Size and Shape
Most paint edgers are fairly small, but some are larger than others. If you’ll be working in tight corners or on a small stretch of wall, a correspondingly small paint edger is your best choice. If you have lots of wall to cover, however, a larger edger will shorten your worktime. And while most paint edgers are rectangular, you’ll find triangular edgers for tackling corners.
How do you use a paint edger?
Using a paint edger is not that different from using a paint brush or roller—all apply a smooth coat of paint if used properly—but it’s easier to make mistakes with an edger, leading to smeared or blotchy results. Here are the basic steps to using your paint edger correctly:
- Pour your paint into a tray or plate. You don’t need much; a deep pool of paint will lead to sloppy results.
- Dip just the pad of the edger lightly into the paint. Take care not to get paint on the edger’s wheels; this is the #1 mistake made by DIY painters. Paint on the wheels will track on your wall, leaving paint smears where you don’t want them.
- Gently wipe the edger pad against the edge of your paint tray to remove excess paint.
- Place the edger in position on the wall so the front of the edger is against the trim, corner, or other object you don’t want painted, and roll the edger slowly and smoothly down the wall. Repeat once or twice until you have full paint coverage.
- Reload the paint edger as needed, taking care not to get paint on the wheels or overload the edger.
How do you clean a paint edger?
If you want to use your paint edger for future painting projects, you’ll need to clean it after each day’s use.
- Start by rinsing the edger pad and holder with clean water.
- Squeeze and work the pad to release paint. Rinse again.
- If paint is still present, add a couple of drops of liquid dishwashing soap to the pad, work up suds by pushing and kneading the pad with your fingers, and then rinse thoroughly.
- Wash off paint on the edger’s holder with your fingers or a sponge. Rinse thoroughly.
- Let the paint edger pad and holder air dry completely before storing or using for another paint job.
How long does a paint edger last?
The cheapest paint edgers are disposable; use for one paint job and then toss. But paint edgers with replaceable pads can last through quite a few paint jobs if cleaned thoroughly between each use. Note that once the pad becomes frayed, loaded with dry paint, or worn, you’ll need to replace it.
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs.