How To Repair Chipped Paint On Kitchen Cabinets? With 8 Easy Steps

It’s a common problem to have painted kitchen cabinets chip and sometimes peel. But, it’s not a significant issue as people have already discovered solutions to these problems.

To repair chipped paint on kitchen cabinets is not a difficult task until you find the matching color. It’s an easy DIY; you need to do some touch-ups with the right products and procedures.

The only difficulty is finding the right color that will match your cabinet. If the color does not match, you have to color the entire cabinets but don’t worry; we will help you find the right products.

I will come to the procedure but first learn to choose the color or the materials required for the project.

Table of Contents

Finding The Right Color and Composition

If you are aware of the exact color, it is good because it will save you a lot of time and work. 

If you have painted them yourself, you will know the exact color; if you haven’t or have bought it pre-painted from the store, you can contact them to get a paint sample to know the exact color.

If you are the new owner of the house and have no idea about the color, then you can contact the previous owner if you have the contact details or if you don’t, then take a small cabinet door to the shop and ask him/her to give the exact match or composition.

Either way, you will get the exact match, but it will take a little more work to get it. But, if you don’t want to do all these, you have to bring home lots of paint chips to find the closest match possible.

Choosing The Right Paint Sheen

After choosing the right color, now you have to choose the right paint sheen. 

The kitchen is a high-traffic area, and due to this, the cabinets are usually painted with a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish to protect them from water and stains.

But, this can be different in your case. So, to identify the right sheen, you can make an educated guess by looking at your cabinets. 

If they are very shiny, then it’s a high-gloss paint, if they are pretty shiny, then it’s a semi-gloss paint, and if they have a hint of shine then, it’s a satin finish.

If they don’t shine at all, then it’s a matte finish that is not ideal in kitchen cabinets as they are prone to stains.  

As you have got the right color and sheen, now it’s time to repair the chipped paint.

How To Repair Chipped Paint On Kitchen Cabinets? How To Touch Up?

The best way to repair chipped paint on kitchen cabinets is to clean the chipped areas with a soap solution and then wipe it with a towel. After drying, lightly sand the damaged areas with high grit sandpaper (240-320) to smooth the surface, and finally, apply the primer and paint it to match the color.

How To Repair Chipped Paint On Kitchen Cabinets

Let’s discuss it step by step:

Materials Required

  1. Sandpaper (240-320 grit)
  2. Cleaner (mix dish soap and water)
  3. Towel
  4. Wood Filler (if required)
  5. Primer (if required)
  6. Paint
  7. Paint Brush (take small brush)
  8. Screwdriver (for unscrewing the knobs or handles)

Steps To Prepare The Cabinets

Step 1: First, you have to prepare your cabinets for the painting so, remove any handles or knobs to clean the surface properly.

Step 2: Now, clean the chipped areas with a soap solution (fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% dish soap) and wipe them with a towel to dry. Cleaning is essential as the paint will never stick to dust or grease.

Step 3: After that, take high grit sandpaper like 240-320 and lightly sand the chipped areas to smooth. 

Don’t go so hard; otherwise, you will remove too much paint, but it is fine enough to smooth the damaged paint lightly.

Step 4: After sanding, you will notice the chipped areas will become more prominent, which is fine. The touch-up paint will fix it completely. 

Step 5: If your chipped areas are deep, you have to fill them with a wood filler. But before that, make two or three ½ inch holes with a driller to hold the filler properly.

Step 6: Let the wood filler dry for some time. For better results, keep it overnight.

Step 7: Again, sand the wood filling areas with 240 or 320 grit sandpaper and try to make it a smooth surface.

Step 8: One final time, clean the damaged areas with a dry towel to remove the dust particles.

It’s done. Now, you can move to the next step, i.e., painting.

Steps To Paint The Chipped Kitchen Cabinets

Before painting, check whether your paint requires primer or not. If you are using paints like chalk paint, milk paint, etc., you can skip the primer and go straight to painting.

But, if you are using paints like latex paints, you have to use a primer before painting to get a perfect blend and smoothness. 

Step 1: Take a small brush and apply a light coat of primer first. If you are using milk or chalk paint, you can skip this and apply a light coat of the paint.

Step 2: After 5-6 hours, when the primer will dry, apply the second coat of primer and let it dry.

Step 3: When the second coat of primer will dry, you can now touch up the chipped areas with the paint. I like to use these small brushes for touching up and love the smooth finish they give. First, please give it a light coat and let it dry.

Step 4: When the first coat of paint will dry, check the paint is perfectly blended with the previous color. If it is blended, then no need to apply the second coat; if not, then apply a light coat of paint again.

Step 5: Most of the time, it gets blended with the first coat, but it depends on the cabinets or how they are damaged. 

After the second coat, you will notice the color will blend adequately; if not, then you have to apply the paint again. Repeat this process several times to get the perfect blended color.

Always apply a thin layer of paint, don’t make it thick. It is ok to coat several thin layers to get the perfect blend.

If your chipped areas are tiny, you can skip the primer and directly touch up with the paint but, if it is large enough, you have to use primer for extra protection of the paint.

If you have messed up the work, then you have to paint the entire cabinet or you can also update the kitchen cabinets for under $100 (Click to learn more).

Your chipped cabinets are repaired, and you have got a perfect blend. Now, some questions may arise in your mind; let me clear them.

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Final Words

You have seen how easy it is to fix scratched or repair chipped paint on kitchen cabinets. One can easily do it without calling the painter.

The main thing is to get the exact match paint. If you got it, then you are good to go. If not, then you have to struggle a little bit. But, at last, it’s exciting and fun work to do.

I love to do DIY whenever I find the opportunity. You can share your exciting stories while doing such DIY in your home.

If you like the article, then please share it with your friends and family.


1. Why Are My Painted Kitchen Cabinets Chipping?

There may be many reasons for cabinets chipping, but the main reasons are:
1. Damaged by Impact
2. Not Preparing the Cabinets Before Painting.
3. Damaged by Water
Damaged By Impact: If the hardware becomes loose, then due to friction, it can cause paint to chip, tear, and peel, even if you’ve used the best paint.
It can also happen due to your fingernail. Chipping usually happens around knobs or at the ends of a drawer or door because there is no hardware to use.
If you have trash inside like cans, plates, etc., it can also damage the cabinets.
Moreover, the metal utensils, cabinet tools, toys (if you have children), or even the dog may be responsible for your chipped kitchen cabinets.
Not Preparing the Cabinets Before Painting: This is one of the main reasons for your chipping or peeling cabinets.
If your cabinets are not prepared before painting, then this is usual to happen. Before painting, you must sand it properly and apply two coats of primer. After that, you can apply paint and try to give a minimum of 2 coats. Priming helps to bond the color properly with the cabinets. 
If you fail to do this, then your cabinet’s paint will start chipping or peeling off.
Damaged by Water: It is a usual case because everyone washes their kitchenware, vegetables, chicken, etc., in the kitchen, and also, during cooking, water may splash and gets into the cabinets. 
When this is repeated again and again, in the long run, your cabinets get chipped. But, it can be prevented by applying water repellent paints. 
Regularly tighten hardware to prevent it from contributing to a paint chipping problem.   

2. How Do You Fix Chips In Wood Cabinets?

To fix the chips in wood cabinets, you have to follow the below steps:
1. First, sand the damaged areas properly with 180-240 grit sandpaper.
2. Make 2-3 holes of ½ inches with a driller in the chipped areas. It will help to hold the wood filler properly.
3. Now, clean the area with cleaner or soap water and rub with a towel to dry.
4. With the help of a putty knife, apply the wood filler to fill all the gaps in the chipped kitchen cabinets.
5. After drying the wood filler, sand the damaged areas again to get a smooth finish.
6. Now, apply the first coat of primer with a small brush and let it dry.
7. After drying, apply the second coat of primer and wait for it to dry.
8. Now, you can apply the first coat of paint and let it dry.
9. When the paint will dry, check if it is blended or not.
10. If the paint is not blended correctly, give a second coat and repeat this process till you get a perfect blend.

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