In Photoshop I've taken Magic Wand as far as I can, I think. Now I'm left with this grayish edge around the coffee saucer. How do I remove it? I've tried altering tolerance in Magic Wand but don't seem able to get it. Any suggestions please?

enter image description here

  • 1
    What other tools have you tried? What have you searched for? There's a lot of stuff beyond a Magic Wand 1-button solution..
    – Ryan
    Mar 23, 2015 at 14:33
  • Try to turn on the anti-alias option.
    – Rafael
    Mar 23, 2015 at 14:33
  • Thanks! Anti-alias option helps a little bit but still leaves a grayish edge. Have tried every option I can with Magic Wand including all settings in "Refine Edge" but still not able to solve this one!
    – Scott
    Mar 23, 2015 at 15:02
  • You can also try using Layer Masks. There is more flexibility with with the edge options and it's non-destructive to your image.
    – Rsiel
    Mar 23, 2015 at 16:08
  • 1
    All good background removals require a brush and manual painting on a mask or painting to erase.
    – Scott
    Mar 23, 2015 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


For better, fast, results use Defringe


But ultimately if you want it exact you need to get dirty with either Marquee or Pen tool and clean it up yourself.

  • I didn't even realise this existed! to do that technique I would use select the item then choose select > modify > contract then inverse selection and delete. This is so much easier :)
    – SaturnsEye
    Mar 23, 2015 at 16:21

It depends a bit on the background of the image, but here's how I usually go about:

  • Use Magic Wand and/or Quick Selection tool to do the rough work (play around with the options to see how far you can take it)
  • Now expand the Marquee with Select > Modify > Expand and grow your selection by one or two pixels (actual values will depend on how large your original image is, in pixels) The result you're looking for is that you've just selected the first pixel of what you don't want to delete, i.e. the mug in your case.
  • Optional: Smooth the selection out with Select > Modify > Smooth
  • Now Feather the selection by 1 or two pixels with Select > Modify > Feather
  • Now you can hit the delete button

This will give you a nice, soft border that won't clash with any color of background. Admittedly, this works better with hi-res images, since the feathered area will be smaller compared to the total image. In the past, this technique has served me well cutting things out, so I thought I'd share.

Play around with the settings and pixel-values a bit until you're satisfied. (Protip: you can save a result in the history, then go back and experiment. If you can't get a better result, you can go back to your first result.)

  • Thans PieBie, good answer!
    – Scott
    Mar 23, 2015 at 22:30
  • You are more than welcome. I stumbled across this method by trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment in Photoshop to get a 'feel' of what does what.
    – PieBie
    Mar 24, 2015 at 7:43

You can select the background area and then expand the selection the pixels needed to cover the unwanted border, then simply delete the contents of the selection and you have eliminated the border

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.