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How to Repaint Chipped Kitchen Cabinets

Updated April 17, 2017

Kitchen cabinets go through daily wear and tear, whether it be grease from cooking, scratches and dents from plates and bowls, or water damage. After a few years, you might think you need to replace them as the paint starts to chip and the scratches multiply, but that can cost too much. You can paint them to make the cabinets look good as new and give the room a fresh look at the same time. A little preparation and some paint time is all it takes to get your kitchen cabinets back in shape.

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  1. Take apart any hardware connected to the doors of the kitchen cabinets. Gather the cabinet doors and place in one spot for now. Place the hardware pieces together so you don't misplace them.

  2. Clean the kitchen cabinets and doors with a liquid deglosser and a clean cloth. The deglosser will remove any grease that has accumulated from cooking and will clean the cabinets at the same time.

  3. Scour the cabinets and doors with 120-grit sandpaper until the chipped paint is gone and the cabinets are smooth to the touch. Rub each cabinet with tack cloth to remove any sandpaper dust. It will leave a tacky, bondable surface.

  4. Lay a dust sheet on the floor and on the counters where the cabinets will be painted. This protects them from paint spills or splatters.

  5. Use a paint brush to do the cutting in of the corners and hard to reach areas of the doors and cabinets. Once you have cut in the areas, you can use a paint roller to coat the flat surfaces of the doors and cabinets. Let the first coat dry according to the instructions on the label.

  6. Review the cabinets, looking for an even coating throughout. Bad areas include the inside corners of the cabinet where paint may be thin. You can add a second coat if needed. Paint the cabinets the exact same way as the initial coat. Let the second coat dry.

  7. Apply a protective coating such as varnish to the door and shelves to protect them from water damage and wear. This will also seal in the paint, giving a chip-free finish.

  8. Warning

    Paint and varnish in a well-ventilated area. Wear a protective mask to avoid harmful fumes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tack cloth
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Dust sheet
  • Cleaning rags
  • Paint tray
  • Paint (Indoor)
  • Varnish (Optional)
  • Screwdriver
  • Deglosser
  • Roller


About the Author

Larry Pishko began writing for "The Herald Standard" and "How You Spin It" newspapers and has painted since 1980. Pishko has attended AIU (American Intercontinental University) and received his associate's degree in liberal arts and is currently enrolled at Penn State University to achieve his master's degree in journalism.

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