Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Apt528 Review: Shur-Line Pro Edger

Shur-Line Pro Edger (for latex paints)

Apt528 Rating: 3.5 out of 5
If you're careful, this tool can be an awesome time saver.  Paint loading can be a pain.

The Review

For years, I've been a hater of Shur-Line's edger.  In theory, it's supposed to save you from time-consuming painting tasks like taping your lines or cutting in by allowing you to simply dip the edger in a little bit of paint and roll it at the top of your wall giving you a nice, crisp line.  In reality, the previous Shur-Line edger left much to be desired.  The wheels were constantly getting covered in paint and tracking it all along the ceiling. It was a mess that left you spending all your time scrubbing paint off your ceiling.  After my last run-in with the Shur-Line edger a few years ago, I swore to never use one again.

But I found myself in a tough situation when we moved into our new apartment and started painting.  We have tall ceilings that are about 18 feet high above the staircase.  While we could paint the walls along the stairs using a roller on an extension pole, we didn't know how to edge the ceiling line on our own.  Cutting in and taping weren't options since we don't have a tall ladder that works on stairs and even if we did, I'm terrified of heights!  We considered hiring someone to come out and line the ceiling but didn't like the thought of paying someone to do something so small.

So we headed to Home Depot where I gave in and decided to get another Shur-Line edger.  What other choice did I have?  Thankfully, the powers that be at Shur-Line heard the grumbles of us DIYers frustrated with their previous design and decided it was time for a change.  They've now come out with the Pro Edger which, though not perfect, is a HUGE step up from their old edger.  The new tool comes with a button that lets you raise the wheels when you're reloading the paint so they don't get covered.  Ingenious!

Of course, this doesn't mean the Pro Edger is without faults.  You have to be EXTREMELY careful about loading paint onto it.  I strongly recommend trying your edger on a spot you can easily reach/clean the first time you use one.  I experimented with a few upstairs walls first, that way I could clean up any mistakes and figure out all the tricks of the new edger before doing the stairway walls where I wouldn't be able to reach any mistakes I made.  Two messy ceilings later, I finally figured out exactly how much paint to put on the pad.  I found it best to dip the edger in paint, then remove the excess from the pad by scraping it along the side of the paint tray or on a paint roller. Then I used a wet towel to wipe along the edge of the pad and do a once over on the wheels to make sure absolutely no paint was where it shouldn't be.  After this, it should all be smooth sailing!

It took some trial and error but now I've definitely come to like my Shur-Line!  It's must quicker than cutting in (my method of choice) and gives you a cleaner line than taping (which I'm not a fan of).  It was also helpful for lining the bottom of the wall along the trim and for edging a corner where I had two different colors meeting.  My only mishap came when I was trying to reach the far wall of the staircase.  Even with the pole, there was one spot I could barely reach so I leaned out just a little bit more and ended up with a spot of paint on the ceiling.  It's one of those things no one else will notice but I know it's there!

For cleanup, Shur-Line added a nifty little button that pushes the pad off the holder.  Pad removal was never a gripe of mine but the button is a nice option, though I often forgot it was there and ended up removing the paint pad manually most of the time.  Still, it's nice to have.  Of course the same features you're used to are still there like the ability to attach it to an extension pole for high ceilings and a swivel handle so you can work from all different angles.

Keep in mind there will be a small gap between the wall and the ceiling.  No matter which edger you use, you have to allow the gap in order for there to be space for the tool to run along the ceiling without getting paint on it.  Also, if your ceiling's uneven, your paint line will be as well.  Again, this isn't a problem with the tool, but something you'll have to do deal with no matter which edger you use.  All-in-all, the Shur-Line Pro Edger is a great redesign that anyone can use, as long as you're VERY careful.

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