Editor’s note: This story is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave’s On the Ground Kalamazoo series.
“When you get good at painting, you don’t need to use tape,” says Kalamazoo-native Daniel Kay.
Professionals learn to skillfully “cut in” the wall trim and moldings of the rooms they paint, without taping.
“They take a brush and ‘cut in’ the color of the paint along the ceiling,” Kay explains, “so you don’t get it (a contrasting color) on the ceiling. You’re cutting in around the window frames and around the door frames and around the ceiling.”
Painting without tape saves time and money. But stopping wall paint from lapping onto white ceilings or off-color moldings takes more patience and skill than many do-it-yourselfers have. And Kay, who has been painting home interiors for more than 22 years, says he is not 100 percent comfortable with how some professionals do it.
So the owner of Midwest Professional Painting developed the Perfect Paint Edger, a device that allows almost anyone to cut in like a master. It has a 2.5” by 2.5” paint pad with bristled edges and metal guides that prevent the pad and bristles from touching adjacent surfaces. A paintbrush handle allows it to be easily manipulated and an adjustable head allows it to be used with the right or left hand.
Kay, 53, started selling the Perfect Paint Edger online (through his website, perfectpaintedger.com) in June of 2020. On Aug. 5, of that year, he started selling it on Amazon.com. With no product reviews or outside advertising, he sold less than 10 units in that first month. Then, sales rose to more than 100 units by October after buyers provided some reviews.
Sales jumped to about 20 units per day in November of last year after an associate of nationally syndicated home improvement TV star Bob Vila bought one, used it, and declared it the best paint edger overall that he had reviewed. And sales continued to grow in December after Wiki.ezvid.com, a worldwide video product forum, ranked the Perfect Paint Edger No. 1 on its list of 10 best paint edgers.
“Sales for the product have gone through the roof and now I’m starting to work on additional websites,” Kay says. “Previous (monthly) sales business was 289 units. That was at the end of last year. This past month I popped off 446 sales on Amazon and the other sites.”
Debi Howe, the branch chairperson for Southwest Michigan SCORE (which originally stood for Service Corps of Retired Executives), says, “I think his product is great. I love when people invent things like that and are moving it.”
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