The 16-time world champion averaged just 92.73 in a match where Painter missed opportunities to make it a closer contest but despite the victory, Taylor has acknowledged that he was pleased to progress through to the last 16.
The 56-year-old told PDC.TV: "I won four-nil but it was winning ugly. I'll move on and get ready for the next round and I know I will have to play better but I got the win.
"It's a scrappy win but I'll be practising tomorrow to make sure I improve."
Taylor will face Kim Huybrechts for a place in the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace.