How to Keep Painted Cabinets from Chipping

Having a chipped cabinet is not something desirable to see around the house or workplace. A chipping cabinet can result from the paint’s weakened bond to the surface of the wood. Frequently a warped cabinet might be due to the type of paint used and the method of preparation.

A flawed application might cause a painted cabinet to start peeling within a short period. Perhaps you don’t know what to do about your chipped wardrobe; then this article is just for you.

This article on how to keep painted cabinets from chipping will guide you on all you need to know about your cabinet, paint and apply your coat, and the pro-tips on how to keep your painted cabinet from chipping.

If the cause of the chipped paint is the weak bonding of the stain to the surface of the cabinet, then the sanding procedure alongside priming and coating will correct that and make the cabinet durable. Getting high-quality paint is very important for coating your wardrobe because it’ll form a strong adhesion to the wood’s surface, making it chip resistant.

Steps on how to prevent your painted cabinet from chipping

How to keep painted cabinets from chipping

No matter how efficiently your cabinet and furniture surface is coated, eventually, time will tell on the surface. As regards a painted cabinet, as time goes on the paint will start wearing out and eventually chip off, which disfigures your cabinet’s beauty.

Poor application of the paint and low quality of the paint will give rise to chipping. The following outlined steps will guide you on how to prevent your painted cabinet from chipping.

Step 1: Get new cabinet door bumper pads.

The first step is to get new cabinet pads and then attach them to the door and drawer corners. This will help prevent the drawers and doors from chipping when they contact the frames. You can quickly get vinyl, felt pads and small cord at hardware stores.

Also, you need to get rid of the drawers, knobs, cabinet doors, latches and all form of hardware. You can quickly gather the parts and knobs in a container nearby where you can reach it easily whenever you want to attach it back to the cabinet.

Step 2: Sand the chipped areas evenly

Get 100-grit sandpaper and use it for sanding the chipped areas, ensuring you sand the areas evenly. After the surface is smooth, dust the surface and get rid of the debris. Regarding the doors on the sides, make sure you sand them lightly and apply the method of using a wood sanding block to protect the round edges.

Perhaps you solely want to paint to change the cabinet’s outlook then you don’t have to need to sand the inner part of the cabinet. You can tape the cabinet’s internal components to give you a clean finish while painting the outer parts and showing it’s retouching. The sole aim of sanding is to give the new paint a robust and neat base to bond to.

In case a glaze was applied to the cabinet, you’ll have to deglaze to remove any form of the previous coat’s remnant. You can use denatured alcohol with fine steel to remove any form of unyielding finish. After sanding, you can vacuum the surface or use high-pressure air to blow the dust and debris from the corner or use a rag to clean the cabinet.

Step 3: Re-sand

Get an 80-grit and 100-grit sandpaper to sand the whole doors including the cabinet boxes if you notice the chipping is all over the cabinet. While sanding, the whole paint might peel off. This will only make your work more effective. To make your work faster, you can use an electronic palm sander.

Step 4: Clean with a liquid sander

After sanding the chipped paint from the surface using either a liquid sander, spray container of bottle or deglosser to clean any remaining oil, debris and grime, to Make sure all the surface and corners are clean, you can repaint the cabinet surface with a solution that consists of four parts of water and a part tri-sodium phosphate. Then after applying the solution to the cabinet, rinse and allow drying completely.

Step 5: Prime the surface

To prime the clean, sanded surface you’ll need either a tinted shellac bonding primer or an oil-based primer. The will help the cabinet to stay durable. Apply a primer preferably two coats. Let the applied primer to dry for at least an hour. Make sure it is dry then coat it with paint.

Primer sealers provide an even bonded finish including a good base for any type of solvent-based paint including water-based paint. Often people mostly preferred high-gloss enamel paint for kitchen cabinet and tea tables. It’s advisable to make use of water-based finish because they’re less complicated and equally durable.

Step 6: Apply your paint.

Low-quality paint will eventually make your cabinet to start peeling, which is why it is necessary to get high-quality oil-based paint or latex to paint your cabinet. Apply two coats of the paint on the cabinet and final coat it with a high-quality gloss like high-gloss. The gloss makes the coat on the cabinet long-lasting as it hardens the paint and makes it more durable.

Actively applying your paint, you start from the inside edges, down to the inside edges right out to the face frame openings. Applying your paint in this manner will help you to spend less time on unimportant areas and help you correct any fault of drip around the outer areas.

After the less critical areas such as the inner part of the cabinets are painted, then the cabinet doors including the drawer fronts and wood pieces are next in turn, ensure you don’t exclude the corners and crevices. Ensure the paint doesn’t store up and smudge around the corners.

While applying, don’t start up with heavy coats, it lights smudge and eventually spoils the whole process as it’ll leave air bubbles in the finish coat. Start with light coats and make sure you cover the whole area. Light coats are advisable to start with because they leave only mild brush strokes and asides that they dry faster than thick coatings.

Give the paint ample time to dry at least four hours between coats then resand the surface lightly, clean with a rag and apply the second coat. Most times two coats of high-quality paint are best for your wood surface, but when it comes to kitchen cabinets, you can use three layers of coats, the added layer will protect the cabinet from heat, oil and occasional use.

Read Also: 7 Best HVLP Spray Gun for Cabinets (2021 Reviews and Buying Guide)

Pro-tips on how to prevent your cabinet from chipping

These specially outlined tips will guide you on the necessary things you need to know and what to look out for them to keep your cabinet and furniture in a stable state. Having your paint peel off is often inevitable, and all you have to do is go through the necessary procedures of giving your furniture the perfect finish.

Tip one: Take your time

Taking your time is one of the most critical factors you have to consider when you want to paint your furniture most, especially your cabinet. Poor preparation results in poor results. Take ample time when it comes to your furniture. This will help you concentrate on giving it the desired finish.

Tip two: Get rid of the former paint

Make sure you follow the outlines and methods in details. In case the cabinet has paint on it, the first thing you have to do is get rid of the paint. Peeling of the initial paint will help the new paint to stay firm on the furniture.

After peeling off the paint, you can, and the cabinet enables the primer to bind well to the surface. Ensure any peeling part of the cabinet is well scraped even if the primer suggests you can apply it on a painted surface.

Tip three: Ensure the surface is clean

Debris, oil and dirt will affect your surface paint’s effectiveness because the grime on the cabinet’s surface will prevent the primer from bonding well, which will eventually result in your paint peeling later on.

Tip four: Know your primer

Using a primer is very important because it makes your paint stick to the surface of the wood. There are different types of primer in the DIY market, but it’s necessary you know the particular type that suits your project. Some primers are specifically made to make the cabinet less prime to peeling. How is that possible?

The primer binds strongly to the wood’s surface, most especially peel bonding primer. Whenever a new coat of paint is brushed over the primer surface, it increases the paint’s durability.

Tip five: Apply a top coat on the paint

Applying a top coat on top of the paint is more like giving the paint a protective layer, and instead of the paint coming in contact with fingers, knobs and walls, the topcoat protects the paint instead.

Tip six: use a high-quality product

Most times, what causes chipped paint is as a result of using inferior quality paints and glossers. These low-quality products find it hard to resist water and in turn, start losing their bond with the wood surface, which makes them start peeling. The least important thing is to get high-quality primer and paint; these will ensure you have a durable, quality finish.

Tip seven: Take note of details

Perhaps you’re applying your paint on metal, wood-laminate or wood cabinet. You can repaint it with less difficulty, but you have to take extra care when it comes to the plastic laminate cabinet because it goes better with light coats.

To get the appropriate paint for your plastic laminate, it is more advisable to get directives from a paint dealer and ensure you test a part of the paint on an inner part of the cabinet to know if it’ll bond firmly to the surface.

Your choice of application depends on the type of project and what is out suitable for you. There are various applications such as rolling brushing, spraying using a synthetic bristle brush, spraying system or rollers. Although their effectiveness varies still, your application depends on what suits you the most.

How to repair chipped laminate cabinets

Getting to know how to repair a chipped laminate cabinet might be tasking in the real sense. Still, the most important thing is to know the exact type of laminate cabinet you’re dealing with, as well as the necessary method of repairing the chipped cabinet.

Laminate cabinets are known to be produced from MDL, known as medium-density laminate, composite product, and medium-density fiberboard. It is made so that the modern building material has a shiny, rigid plastic laminate glued to both sides. It is then cut into the desired sizes and produced into cabinets.

Medium-density laminate has a thick center alongside a strong plastic attached to both front and back. MDL is a non-biodegradable material but eventually loses plastic, most especially along the door edges. Often what causes a chipped laminate cabinet is moisture entering the cabinet, faults in the production of the MDL, or the laminate hooks something more significant than it, which eventually pulls it out, making the paint around the hook area chipped.

Also, when it comes to laminated cabinets and doors, they differ. There are two types of laminate doors. The first one is made up of a thin, ribbon-shaped bit of laminate attached to the entire four sides of the doors, including the laminate cabinet’s edges. Its slim ribbon shape gives it a very flat surface that often has a sharp edge, which is not appropriately glued will have water seeping into the edges which weakens the cabinet making it chip.

The other type of laminate is modified so that it has a mortise, which is also known as a “slot” around the cabinet door. Its trim molding has a “T” shape alongside a rounded covering. The slot has the bottom of the ‘T” shape fitting into it to key the molding strip to the cabinet.

Laminate cabinets are long-lasting and durable that they can tolerate heavy loads and still look good as new after few years.
Often what causes a chipped laminate cabinet is when it is exposed to a lot of sunlight, moisture, and overuse, which eventually makes the laminate loosen at the edges.

How to repair chipped laminate cabinets Step by Step Guide

The following steps will guide you on how to repair a chipped laminate cabinet.

Step one: Get a putty knife, insert its tip in between the lax laminate and the sharp end of either the panel or door, then slip it around the pointed ends to get rid of any lax bunch, dirt, or chips that might hide at the back of the laminate.

Step two: Fit into the wooden wedge around the rear of the laminate to raise it lightly. Using a paintbrush, brush underneath the edges totally to clean the lax area beneath the laminate. Make sure you remove all the small chips around the particleboard to which the laminate is attached.

Step three: Get an aerosol trim cement and apply it beneath the laminate by spraying. Ensure you spray underneath the laminate, including the particleboard. The spray must access the cracks, nooks, crevices, and hollow parts, then raise the laminate as high as you can, then spray into the gaps and cracks without shattering the laminate itself. Hang the laminate for at least a minute to give ample cement time to dry.

Step four: Using your fingers, squeeze the laminate back to its initial position, then smoothen it out by pressing it down firmly. Using spring clamps, bar clamps, place them 2 inches apart anywhere across the separation distance. Perhaps your laminate is lengthy, which makes it hard to put your clamp. Get a masking tape and stretch it across the length using strips that are 1 inch apart, then leave for a day before removing the clamps.

Step five: using the side of the putty knife, scratch off any remaining glue, then using acetone, dampen a soft cloth to remove smeared cement.

Things to note

  1. Using inferior quality products gives a low-quality finish.
  2. When trying new products, always test their effectiveness and bonding ability around inconspicuous cabinet areas before trying it on the main surface.
  3. When dealing with a cabinet made with plastic laminate, make sure you get enough guidelines and directives from a paint expert.
  4. Regardless of the material, you’re using, be it glosser, paint or primer, always make sure you read the manufacturer’s instruction before use. This will guide you on the proper application of your desired finish coat.
  5. In case the cabinet surface is shiny, scrape the glaze before applying any form of coat on the surface.
  6. Two coats of paint are advisable for your cabinet and three coats for the kitchen cabinet.

Tools and equipment needed for painting a cabinet

  • denatured alcohol
  • Semigloss paint
  • steel wool
  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • sanding block
  • primer sealer
  • peel bonding primer
  • liquid sander
  • deglosser

Conclusion – How to keep painted cabinets from chipping

So far everything about the cabinet and how to keep painted wood from chipping has been discussed including the steps on how to prevent your painted cabinet from chipping be it brand new or old. Whenever a painted cabinet or furniture starts peeling it indicates two things; it’s either due to its poor adhesion to the surface of the wood or due to the low quality of the paint and primer used.

This is why it is necessary to use high-quality products and adopt a suitable method of application. The methods of applying your paint range from spraying to rolling and brushing. It is advisable to use the spraying method when dealing with large projects and adopt the other two for smaller projects depending on what suits you most.

Preventing your cabinet from chipping revolves around the three major processes which are sanding, priming and coating. The outlined steps will guide you on how to keep your painted cabinet from chipping.