How to Make Steel Landscape Edging Look Better


Separate different garden areas or keep your grass lawn in check with landscape edging. Cheap, inferior-quality edging is often made from plastic that degrades over time. For a truly durable edging material, choose steel. Unfortunately, steel may be durable but its shiny metal appearance can detract from your backyard's ambiance. Treat the steel edging with various techniques to disguise its appearance and keep its shine from being overpowering.

Step 1

Paint the steel landscape edging with a color that matches your home or garden structures, or a discreet black or brown to blend in with the ground. Lay the edging out flat on newspapers or a surface that you don't mind painting or staining. Coat both sides with an oil-based metal paint with built-in rust inhibitors. Use a brush for a smooth finish or a spray can-type paint for a matte look.

Step 2

Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat. After the second coat has dried, use the steel edging as you normally would.

Step 3

Create a mottled patina as an alternative to painting. This retains some of the steel edging's metallic appearance but in a more muted fashion. Take the steel landscape edging to a blacksmith, who will heat the edging in her furnace and then allow the metal to cool to a mottled black-and-silver patina.

Step 4

Disguise the landscape edging if you don't want to take the time to paint it and don't want to pay money to have it treated by a blacksmith. Add decorative fencing, such as a white picket fence, in front of the edging to hide it. Alternatively, plant flowers or increase the height of your grass or ground cover to help cover up the steel edging.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never paint steel with a paint that doesn't have rust inhibiting chemicals mixed into it. The wrong paint can trap moisture against the metal and cause rust, quickly eroding the steel.

Things You'll Need

  • Oil-based metal paint with rust inhibitors
  • Paint brush
  • Newspaper (optional)
  • Decorative garden fencing (optional)


  • "Backyards: A Sunset Design Guide"; Bridget Bradley; 2009
  • "Step-by-Step Landscaping"; Better Homes & Gardens; 2007
Keywords: steel landscape edging, hide steel edging, disguise steel edging

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.