How to Use a Paint Edger (Guide)

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Ever wondered how to use a paint edger? They can be difficult to use for beginners but once you get the hand of them they can save you a lot of time. While, having just finished a project where I used a paint edger around my floor boards and window trim, I wanted to take the time to break down my process for you.

Hopefully with this guide you can learn how to update your cutting-in process and shave some time off your project. As well as achieve a high quality paint finish, a pro would be proud of!

First off we will give you a quick run down on how the typical paint edger works than we will dive into a step-by-step process on how to use it yourself.

How Paint Edgers Work

Your typical paint edger will have a pad with bristles on it and two wheels on one side of the unit. The idea is, you load up the tool with paint and align the wheels and pad along the edge of the respective trim or moulding you want to paint. Once you have the unit prepped and in place you slide the unit along the trim applying the paint.

This if done properly allows the paint edger to apply a straight line of paint guided by the wheels along the trim or edge. Now that you have a little bit of insight into how paint edgers work, I’ll outline step-by-step how you can use one on your next project.

Make sure to read until the end as we will provided a couple suggestions on paint edgers worth checking out.

Shur-Line Edger Tool

Use a Paint Edger in 5 Steps

When using a paint edger the tool is everything and their are a couple different types of paint edgers out there to choose from. Our team suggests the Shur-Line Paint Edger or the Accubrush MX Paint Edger. Both of these paint edgers differ slightly in how they work, but are solid and will help you get the job done.

1. Prep Your Painting Area

Prepping area before painting with painters tape

Before you begin painting, whether with a paint brush, edger, roller or paint sprayer make sure that you prep your area. This means laying down a drop cloth to prevent any paint spillage from wrecking your floors and taping off any areas that you think may need it.

Don’t overthink this step, it’s just to ensure you don’t get paint on anything you don’t want to.

2. Set-Up Your Paint & Paint Edger

setting up paint edger with paint
photo credits (AnnaAdventureBlog)

Now that you’ve prepped your area and laid out a drop cloth to prevent any unintentional damage you can get your paint edger ready for painting. how you set up will depend on how much work you have to complete with the paint edger but for a small home project I suggest getting the following supplies.

Supplies Required for Set-Up

  • Paint Edger of Choice
  • Rolling Tray for Paint
  • A Paper Plate (Simple To Clean Up – You Just Throw it Away!)

Once you have acquired the following supplies you can get started on your set-up. This is relatively simple. I typically uses the paper plate to hold the paint (makes for easy clean up) and the rolling tray to remove any excess paint. Once you’re read with your tools head on to the next step.

3. Paint Desired Areas

photo credits (

This step is straightforward, first place your paint edger in your plate with paint and ensure it is liberally coated. Once the paint edger is coated use the ridges on your rolling tray to remove any excess paint.

Now that the edger is ready for painting you can align it with your trim and roll, making sure to keep a steady hand so the paint goes on evenly.

And that’s really all their is to it, not only is it simple to do but it also saves a lot of time. Time you would of had to spend taping out your area and cutting-in manually with a paint brush or roller. Though this may be the last step for the most part their are a couple additional steps I wanted to touch on.

4. Apply Second Coat

If you feel like your first application didn’t go on thick enough or you are painting over a dark colour I suggest going in for a second coat. This just involves repeating the steps above until you have achieved your desired finish.

Our team would like to note though that you should ensure you are giving each coat enough time to dry between each application. This ensures your paint application will last for years to come and not bubble or flake off.

5. Clean Your Paint Edger

So you’ve painted your trim or edge and you think you’re done? While not so fast. Before you call it a day make sure to give your a tool a good cleaning. Just like cleaning your brushes or rollers after use, this will ensure you can use your edger for future projects and not have to go but a replacement pad or unit.

It should really only take a couple minutes under some hot water with soap or paint thinner to get the paint edger back to new again. And thats really all their is to it when using an edger.


As you can probably tell by now it’s really not that hard to use one of these tools. The key to success is taking your time, following a process and making sure to properly apply your paint.

That means you need to ensure you prep you area and paints first. Set up your paint edger properly (with the right amount of paint) and ensure your coats are even and not to thin. This will give you a final finish that will make it look like a professional took time with a paint brush and painters tape. But the best part is, they didn’t and it cost a lot less!

Our team hopes you found this guide helpful, if you are looking for other articles on painting, including how-to’s and some reviews on select paint edgers, check out the links below.

Suggested Reading & Tools:



Ryan is a writer for He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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