So you want to know how to edge paint business cards?

When is comes to business cards, everyone is looking for that little something to set their cards off and make them stand out. Edge painting businesses cards is a great way of introducing a jolt of color and adds extra interest to your cards. Unfortunately, having your cards sent to a boutique printer or finisher for edge painting can be time consuming and expensive. So, here’s a step-by-step guide on how I painted the edges of my business cards.

Edge Painting Preparation

Before I started painting my cards, I took the cardboard backer from an old note pad to use as a mat. I’d recommend using a sturdy card as a mat for your cards to sit on. Newspaper or wax paper is very thin and wax paper is not absorbent at all, so you’ll likely have a lot of wet paint or ink sitting at the base of your card stack while you wait for your painted cards to dry.

Next, I knocked my cards into a block by holding them in a small stack (around 10-15 cards) making sure all my edges were as even as possible. This is probably the most important step. If you don’t get your cards knocked into a uniform block, chances are your paint will bleed and seep onto the faces and backs of your business cards.

business card stack to be painted

I set a scrap piece of cardboard on top of my business cards to prevent any paint from getting on the face of my top card. I also used the card to help me press down on my stack of business cards when painting them. This distributed the pressure a little more evenly and helped me get a better end result by stopping me from getting any paint where I didn’t want it.

Edge Painting Your Business Cards

Once you have everything ready, grab your paint or ink and have at it! I decided to use a foam brush for applying the paint to my business cards as they give greater coverage than a regular paint brush. Start small with just a little paint at first. You can always add more or apply more coats if needed.

When I had all of my edges painted, I let my cards sit for about ten minutes, then did another coat checking for any areas that I may have missed, and touched them up as needed.

wet edges patient business cards

I left my painted business cards to dry for about an hour, then checked to see how they’d turned out. The cards had stuck together ever so slightly, so I gave them a gentle twist to free them up, then began inspecting them all. They turned out great! There were two or three cards that had some very minor bleeding on one side, so I took an eraser and gently rubbed over the acrylic paint to remove it before it had fully cured. I’d recommend doing this if you get any little areas where your paint slips over the edge of your cards as it cleans them up perfectly.

The End Result

After separating my cards, I laid them out on a table to let the painted edges fully dry overnight.
They looked even better after the paint had dried as the color had brightened up a little and the uneven tones had faded into a solid vein of bright orange.

orange edge business cards final result


  • The thicker your cards, the more obvious your edges will look.
  • Don’t try and paint a huge stack at once. This will lead to paint bleeding onto the faces of your cards.
  • Use a bright color that compliments your card design, or a contrasting color that stands out

I hope this post was useful to anyone that’s attempting to edge paint their business cards. If you’ve painted your cards, let me know how they turned out. Or upload an image in the comments section, i’d love to see them!