01 of 05
Are Paint Edgers an Alternative to Cutting-In and Taping?
Interior painting is one of those home improvement projects that can actually be called fun. With immediate results and dramatic changes, painting is a long-favored activity by do-it-yourselfers. But paint edging isn't so fun.
Bringing paint to the edge of ceilings, trim, or wall corners, all while keeping it razor-sharp, can be a nerve-wracking experience. How do you do this?
Cutting-In and Masking Techniques
Professional painters typically opt for the freehand cut-in technique. Yet most do-it-yourself painters do not have enough experience or a steady enough hand to successfully use this freehand technique to paint without slopping onto the other side.
The other alternative is masking off the unpainted side with painter's tape. But masking is time-consuming. It may take as long as half an hour to mask a small room with one door and one window. If the room has complexities like crown molding and wall fixtures, you can easily double the amount of time it takes to tape. Cost is an obstacle, too: quality tape such as ScotchBlue or Frog Tape will still set you back a significant amount. And when taping a room, painter's tape disappears fast.
Paint Edger Basics
Enter paint edgers: tools designed solely for the purpose of drawing straight lines along the edges of field (or main) areas. They completely eliminate masking tape and masking film by allowing you to run paint directly alongside areas that you do not intend to paint.
Edgers are typically used for wall painting, such as above baseboards, below crown molding, around window and door trim, and at the juncture between two walls (for accent walls).
Paint edgers come in two types, roll-on or spread-on. Roll-on edgers lay down the majority of the paint with a small flocked paint roller. Some include a metal or plastic shield to prevent paint from slopping over to the other side. Spread-on edgers employ a pad that spreads (or more likely smears) the paint across the surface. Paint may feed from a tube or the pad may need re-loading from the paint can.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Accubrush Paint Edger
Accubrush XT Paint Edger is a roll-on edger with a tiny brush for the edge. Accubrush is one of the newer paint edgers on the market and one of the more innovative ones. The large roller actually lays down paint on the surface with a roller, rather than smearing it. A large shield prevents paint on the roller from smudging across areas that you do not intend to paint. Also, this bigger surface rides over bumps in the tracking surface better than tiny wheels do. The most unique part of the Accubrush XT Paint Edger is the tiny detachable brush that runs along the side of the roller. The brush is intended to draw a precise cut-in line.
- Accubrush has a larger roller that carries a decent amount of paint.
- The large paint shield protects the user from paint splatter.
Continue to 3 of 5 below.
- Accubrush is relatively expensive for a one-use tool.
- This tool can be difficult to use in tight corners.
03 of 05
EdgeMaster Self-Guided Paint Edger Kit
EdgeMaster Paint Edger is a roll-on paint edger with a metal shield to reduce paint splatter on the non-painted side. EdgeMaster paint edger is a middle ground between the Shur Line and the AccuBrush. It shares basic qualities with the AccuBrush, such as the big roller and shield. In the end, the EdgeMaster is little more than a 4-inch paint roller with an attached shield. The shield is not nearly as big as the AccuBrush shield.
- EdgeMaster is a roller type of paint edger that will not smear.
- EdgeMaster's paint shield keeps the other side free of paint.
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
- The paint shield can cut into the wall surface.
- The paint shield is often too small to block all of the paint splatter.
04 of 05
HomeRight Quick Painter Edge Painter
HomeRight Quick Painter Edge Painter is a spread-on edger with paint that feeds from a tube in the handle.
- With the feed tube, there is no need for continual re-loading of paint.
- The feed tube is large enough for 50 linear feet of painting.
Continue to 5 of 5 below.
- HomeRight's paint pad is thin and does not carry much paint.
- The spring-loaded lever is finicky and difficult to use.
05 of 05
Shur Line Paint Edger
Shur Line Paint Edger is a spread-on style paint edger with plastic wheels to reduce friction as the paint edger runs along the wall surfaces. The Shur Line is the ubiquitous paint edger, found at practically all hardware stores, low in price and quality. The two wheels along the edge that are supposed to track along the trim, ceiling, or other non-painted surface often do not turn and get clogged with paint fast. The paint pad doesn't hold much paint and can be considerably messy. Still, it is a very cheap item and can work if precision is not your goal.
- The Shur Line is so inexpensive that it might be worth trying.
- Because it is a small item with few moving parts, you can conveniently recycle it or dispose of it after you are done with it.
- Shur Line's wheels clog up and stop moving or may not even roll in the first place.
- The paint pad is messier than other spread-on style paint edgers.