How to paint edges of paper?

I was wondering about the process of edging paper with the same ink color that I am printing with… say on a set of invitations for example.

What is the typical process for doing this? Any tricks or tips?

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If you are referring to printing over the edge of the paper, there is a common procedure for this. Normally, printers will start with an oversized paper stock, print a bleed and then trim down once the ink is dry. See

If you are trying to print on the actual edge of the paper, keep in mind that it is less than .010 inches thick, even for an invitation stock. You won’t be able to do this well (if at all) on a deckled edge. However, if your entire stack is precisely trimmed, you might try clamping the stack in a book press, then taking a very hard brayer lightly covered with ink to the side of the stack. I have only played with finishing the sides of already-bound books, but perhaps this might work for you as well.

Another interesting video shows traditional marbling:

Tell us how your project turns out!

yes… I guess I am talking about painting the edges. I am not sure what the proper term is since the edges wouldn’t be gilded but would have a similar look just with paint/ink rather than gold leaf….

Any other suggestions?

I saw an ad in a wedding magazine for letterpress invitations and the edge was colored. My Professor and I tried it a couple of weeks ago. I know that there is a better way… but this is what we did: Jog the paper until you’re perfectly square. Clamp the stock together with “C” clamps, making sure to put junk stock on top and on bottom as to not indent your good stock. Then we just took a roller off of the press after a job and rolled it right along the edges of the paper. You could acheive this with a brayer too, I’m sure. Not very glamorous - but it worked! If you’re looking to do this for something small this will work like a charm.

You may recall that we did not clamp the stock directly with the C-clamps, but rather used a board on top and bottom of the stock, and then clamped the package.

Inky is my Professor…and He’s right… we used boards :)

I thought that might be the way…. I would be so nervous to do this on a wedding job after I had spent time printing all the invites… in case I messed up. Perhaps I will try with some cutoffs…… And I would guess I should go lightly on the ink. ;)

Yes, practice on some extra or scrap or spoiled stock.
For the invitations, color the edges first, allow them to dry, separate them to dry further. Then print the piece.

A padding press would make short work of this problem. Instead of glue, use ink!