Paint Edgers

Painting the inside of your home can be a long and frustrating process. But a number of products claim to make the job a lot easier -- like the EdgeMaster, and Pro-Trim. You've seem them advertised on TV. Paint rollers with an edger on them, that claim to cut your painting time in half.

First we ask a professional painter to try Pro-Trim. Jack Coleman owns JSC Painting Services in Cape Girardeau. His first impression isn't good. "It's just bulky, and something else to worry about," Jack says as he looks it over.

We try the $20 Pro-Trim around a light switch plate. It takes less than a minute, and Jack's done with the first coat. But he has to use his free hand to keep the plastic plate firmly in place -- Pro-Trim alone is not sturdy enough.

"There's a little bit of paint that's seeped through," Jack says. "What happens is, it gets on the bottom of the lip of the shield and it's naturally going to happen."

We give Pro-Trim one more try, around a fire alarm. Jack notices another annoying trend. "The shield comes down and leaves a mark in the paint," he explains. "You have to overlap, and where you've already painted, it leaves a mark or a line."

We switch to a similar product called the EedgeMaster, which also sells for $20. And right away, Jack notices the EdgeMaster shield rotates easier. But the flip side of that is, he has to press harder to keep the shield against the surface.

"It's not quite long enough," he says, pointing at the shield. "I think if the shield was longer, it would play better on a surface. But if you're not careful, this end piece will hang-up on whatever you're trimming around." And it does... several times. Also, the EdgeMaster roller tends to get more paint on the inside of the shield.

With both the EdgeMaster and Pro-Trim, you spend more time cleaning the tool, than you're supposed to save using it. The reason people are so attracted to these products is because they hate to do that prep work. "It's time consuming and takes patience," says Jack. "Prep work takes 90% of your time. But that's what makes the job look professional and complete."

Amy dared to try the EdgeMaster, and was quickly disappointed. "You can watch this roller and shield, and actually see it wiggle and wobble against the trim."

We don't feel the EdgeMaster, or the Pro-Trim live up to their claims. There's too much streaking, and cleaning up. Pro-Trim was a little straighter than EdgeMaster, and pulls a 'D.' But the EdgeMaster flunks out. Try removing light plates and vent grills, or using tape instead.