When you have dozens of coats of paint on trim and woodwork, touching up paint is not always as simple as grabbing a brush and going to town. When old paint chips off, you’re likely left with a crater in the surface.
The layers of paint that have built up over the years have made the surface thicker than it originally was and when the paint chips, you are left with what looks like pock marks. So, how do you fix chipped paint?
Sure, you can strip the paint down to bare wood and start over with a smooth surface, but that is a lot of work and not always feasible for a little touch up.
Simply touching up the paint hides the color difference, but does nothing to hide the big hole in the surface of the paint. You have to level out the surface and I’ll show you how right here with one of my favorite products, MH Ready Patch.
Ready Patch works just like spackle, but is intended for use patching wood and other materials instead of drywall like regular spackle. It is inexpensive, needs easy water clean up, and dries pretty quickly.
Whether it’s baseboards, casings, doors, or windows, this patch works great for any piece of trim with caked on paint. It’s by far the simplest way to fix chipped paint.
Step 1 Fill Surface
Using a putty knife, scoop out some Ready Patch and smooth it over the surface of the crater left by the chipped paint. Work it in several directions to fill any nooks and crannies.
Also, make sure to overfill the area a little so that when you’re ready to sand, you can sand it down to a completely level surface. Don’t go crazy, but leave the spackle a little proud of the surface.
Step 2 Sand Smooth
Ready Patch will be ready for sanding in anywhere from just a few minutes for small patches to an hour or more for very large patches. You’ll notice the color changes from a grayish to bright white once it’s dry
Once the patch is completely dry, then sand it smooth using 120-180 grit sandpaper until everything is smooth and level.
Step 3 Prime & Paint
Touch up the patch with a little bit of oil or latex primer, and then you’re ready to re-paint the surface. And this time, the finished product will blend in perfectly with the surrounding trim or woodwork.
One coat of primer and one coat of paint later and I’d challenge you even know there was a repair done at all. Simple tips like this can make your next paint job go from good to great!
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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.
36 thoughts on “How To: Fix Chipped Paint”
You are such a lifesaver, Scott. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to strip or purchase new trim!
I’m chipping away at layers of paint on a outdoor porch ceiling. It’s a 100 year old California Bungalow. On parts of the ceiling I’ve exposed to the original plaster or stucco, leaving uneven spots. It is definitely a hard surface with a sand like texture. Can I use Ready Patch on this to fill the voids and crevasses in order to paint over, or am I better off using a plaster/stucco repair mixture? The exposed plaster/stucco is pretty solid with some cracking here and there. I don’t want to have to try to scrape the paint that is solidly attached.
Hi I have a house built in 1928 with a screened in porch. Will Ready Patch work to fill chips on the painted floor? Sanding is not a good option because of underlying lead paint. Thanks!
Ready patch for the floor is not great and sanding is an option with lead but you have to use proper lead safe work practices. Search my sit for “lead safe” and you find help.