❀ How-To: Paint Color Edges on Your Books


If you are a lover of unique and pretty books, like myself. You might be interested in painting the edges of your books to give it that extra special detail. If you love the look of painted edges, but are unsure how to start, you have come to the right place. I will teach you, step-by-step, how to paint your own book edges. This is an inexpensive method of personalizing your books.

Make sure to read the whole tutorial before you start painting your books. Please check out my general tips page to make sure you get the best possible outcome.

Good luck and have fun!



  • Hardcover Book (that you wish to paint)
  • Acrylic Paint (in the color you wish to paint the edges)
  • Sticky Notes
  • Washi Tape
  • Paint Brush
  • Weight (or any heavy object)
  • Newspaper



Step 1: Prepare your work area by placing down newspaper so you do not accidentally paint your work surface.

Step 2: Take the dust jacket off the book and wipe away any excess dust on the edges of the book.

Step 3: Cover all the edges of your book with sticky notes or paper, taping down the paper so it will not move during the painting process. Use a washi tape or a low-adhesion tape because stronger tapes can damage the book when you take the tape off. Make sure to tuck your protective paper inside your book for the best protection.

Step 4: Lay your book on a flat surface, where the edges are facing you.

Step 5: Place heavy weights on top of the book. This ensures that the paint will not seep into your pages. It will also make it easier to paint.

Step 6: Take your brush and apply small amounts of paint onto one edge of the book. Try not to use a lot of paint as this will make it easier for the paint to seep into the pages and harder to separate the pages later on. Make sure to paint gently in one direction.

Step 7: Let the paint dry before starting the second round of paint. After that repeat step 6.

Step 8: Allow the book and paint to dry completely. This can take 20-30 minutes.

Step 9: Gently remove the protective paper and tape from your book.

Step 10: Start at the beginning of the book and separate each page, one-by-one. This is tedious, but take your time during this part because you can accidentally rip the pages if you are not careful when separating the pages.

Step 11: Put the dust jacket back on and you are finished!


General Tips

  • Use matte acrylic paint, this will be the best quality for your book.
  • When separating the pages, you can use a ruler to insert into the pages for a clean separation.
  • Black paint does not look the best when it comes to painted edges, I would recommend a light color.
  • Do not use scotch tape or duct tape to tape the papers. These tapes are too strong and can rip off the paper in the book. If you only have strong adhesion tape, you can try sticking it to a pillow a couple times to make it less sticky.
  • Count your pages when you are separating them, you do not want to accidentally miss a page.


This concludes my tutorial on how to paint color edged to your hardcover book. I hope this was informative and easy to follow. I love doing this to add a nice and fun detail to my books. Please let me know how your books turned out in the comments!


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