How to Fix Paint Chips on a Wall

How to Fix Paint Chips on a Wall – Achieving a Flawless Finish

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Learning how to fix paint chips on wall surfaces can be a headache, especially if you have just painted the surface. However, before you can fix the problem, you will need to identify where it is coming from. The good news is that chipped paint repair is quite simple once you have a good grasp of the process. Below, we have provided an informative guide to fixing chipped paint with a flawless finish!



Understanding Chipped Paint

Touching up a paint job is not always as easy as picking up a brush and slapping on a coat of paint when you have many coats of paint on your woodwork, walls, or trim. Whenever old paint chips off, it often leaves a crater on the surface. The numerous coats of paint that have accumulated over the years have thickened the surface, so once the paint ends up chipping, you are left with what appear to be pockmarks.

Chipping Paint Will Get Worse

When it comes to repairs, painting over chipped paint will not end well. You will still end up with the pockmarks and this will lead to an unsightly finish. Chipped paint can be caused by a variety of factors, be it water damage, age, structural problems, poor paint application, environmental factors, and so on. Below, you will find out why there is so much more to consider than simply painting over chipped paint.



The Importance of Fixing Paint Chips

We could list a variety of reasons for fixing paint chips, but the most important factor is that your surface, regardless of the material, will never look completely smooth. Learning how to repair paint chips on walls or furniture surfaces is a great way to save time and money as it is not advisable to completely strip the surface.

Sure, it works, but we are here to work smarter, not harder.



Identify the Cause of Paint Chips

Before you learn how to fix paint chips on a wall or any other surface, it is very important to understand why the paint has chipped before you can learn how to repair paint chips on wall surfaces. The reason for this is to get to the root of the problem or else the issue will start once again. Some of the most common issues include environmental factors, damage to the structure, poor paint application, the age of the paint, and water damage. We have explained these issues in greater detail below.

What Causes Paint Chips


Water Damage

This can be one of the most damaging issues that you can have and getting to the root of the problem is needed. If you have a leaking pipe then you will need to get it fixed as soon as possible and if it is behind drywall then you will be better off replacing the damaged section.

However, in some cases, you will be able to pop the water bubble and then remove and reapply the paint.



Paint will not last forever and with time it will begin to chip and peel. With old paint, it is best to scrape off the loose pieces before you apply a new coat. Old paint will begin to chip and peel off the wall when there is a high level of humidity or if you have a leak. Heat might also cause a paint to expire too soon. As a result, it is critical to carefully verify the color and consistency of the paint prior to application. However, even a high-quality paint job will fracture and flake over a long length of time. When you learn how to fix paint chips on walls, it is very important to use the correct paint.

Moisture Causes Paint Chipping

If the structure was constructed before 1978, there is a chance you are dealing with lead-based paint. Since lead paint deteriorates and may trigger lead-contaminated particles to be discharged into the air, it is most harmful when it is cracking, blistering, or peeling. This can cause health concerns in people of every age, so it is critical to take safeguards.


Incorrect Application

Painting without proper preparation will almost always result in bubbling and flaking of your new paintwork. If the walls are unkempt before applying a coat of paint, it is almost certain that they will peel soon.

Before commencing the painting process, the walls must be thoroughly cleaned with warm soapy water.

It is also critical to use a high-quality primer. This ensures that the paint adheres properly to the wall. Some do-it-yourself painters will entirely skip the primer, while others may choose the wrong primer for their respective paint as well as walls. This is a proven method to make your paint peel.


Structural Issues

Aside from being unsightly, cracking and chipping paint may also be harmful or an indication of something deeper going on inside your walls. Cracks might also indicate the presence of issues under the exterior of your walls. Cracks that are greater than a regular, thin hairline fracture might indicate a structural problem, especially if they are jagged and do not run in a straight line.

Structural Flaws Cause Paint Chipping


Environmental Factors

Paint does not adhere effectively to surfaces when temperatures rise over the normal ambient range. High temperatures force the paint to cure quickly, preventing strong connections from developing between the layers. Oil paints become delicate and shatter when exposed to direct sunshine.

When subjected to sunlight, both elastic and latex paints expand and compress, reducing their adhesive bonding.



Tools Needed to Fix Paint Chips

When learning how to repair paint chips on wall surfaces, it is important that you have the proper tools to ensure that you can do a proper job. Below are some of the most important tools that you will need when it comes to learning how to fix paint chips on wall surfaces.

Paint Chip Repair Supplies


Paint Scraper

A paint scraper is a must-have home item. Each residence has a paint scraper, which is not an overstatement. Even though the tools are well-known, you may not know how to utilize them effectively. To use it, run your scraper over the spot where the paint has to be removed. Then, using a blunt instrument, begin scraping the paint away. If the paint features a raised edge, use the sharpest blade to ensure that the paint peels off.

After that, you are finished, and you should wash the scraper to avoid rust.



Sandpaper is crucial when it comes to chipped paint repair as it will allow you to get the smoothest finish. However, you will need to sand the surface before and after filling the uneven surface of the wall that you are working on. You will need a rough grit that gradually increases to a smooth grit, but it is vital that you do not make significant jumps in smoothness as this can ruin the finish.

Sand Off Chipping Paint


Spackling Paste

Spackling paste is perfect for filling the uneven spaces left behind by chipped paint. However, you need to play the waiting game as it needs to completely dry before you start sanding it or applying more layers.


Putty Knife

The putty knife will be your tool for applying the spackling paste and we believe that it is a great multipurpose tool as you can also use it to scrape off loose pieces of paint. However, because it has a blunt edge, it will not be the best tool for paint that is struggling to come off.

Fix Paint Chips With Spackle



The quality of your paintbrush will have an impact on the finish of the wall once you have finished painting over the chipped paint. There are plenty of different paintbrushes to choose from and we suggest that you use a soft bristle brush.



One of the most important materials that you will need is paint as you will be trying to restore the surface to its former glory. If possible, try and use the same type of paint that you initially used on the surface.

Using Old Paint Will Cause Chipping



Steps to Fix Paint Chips

Fixing paint chips is not a colossal task; however, it can take a few hours if it is done correctly. Before you decide to ask if you can paint over chipped paint, we will tell you that it is not a good idea and it is better to do the job properly the first time around.


Prepare the Surface

Scrape away the painted area’s loose edges with a sharp paint scraper or you could use a 5-in-1 tool. Stop scraping when removing the paint becomes excessively difficult. Also, avoid gouging or damaging the wood or drywall with the scraper’s sharp edges.

Tips for Fixing Paint Chips


Scrape Away Loose Paint Chips

Sweep away any residual material from the area using a wire brush. Work the damaged area’s margins once more. If additional paint starts to peel, use the paint scraper to pull it off. You should be able to remove all of the paint chips during your first pass with a paint scraper, so this is more of an extra step.

Once this is done, sand the surface with a rough grit sandpaper of around 80-grit.


Apply a Spackling Paste

Apply a small amount of spackling paste on a putty knife and apply it around the damaged area. Make sure the spackling paste reaches slightly beyond the damaged area’s edge. This surplus spackling will be sanded away later once it has hardened. Sand down the repaired section with fine-grit paper until it is level and smooth with the rest of the paint. Avoid sanding all the way down to the bare surface.

Repair Chipping Paint


Paint the Surface

Once the surface has been cleaned and the spackling paste has fully cured, you can repaint the surface to match the rest of the paint. However, before you start painting, it is important to apply a primer to help the paint adhere to the surface.

Once you have painted the surface, you should wait for it to fully dry.



Tips and Tricks for Fixing Paint Chips

Like any other DIY project, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use when learning how to fix paint chips on walls and other surfaces. Below you will find some of our favorite tips and tricks when repairing paint chips.


Match the Paint Color

It goes without saying that you should match the paint color when you are repainting a wall. The last thing you would want is for the surface to have lighter or darker patches. If you cannot match the paint, then we would suggest trying to get the closest possible match, particularly if the paint has been discontinued.

Match Color for Fixing Paint Chips


Apply Multiple Coats If Needed

One coat of paint will rarely be enough, so we suggest that you apply up to three coats to ensure that you get the best finish. Depending on the color that you are using, you could get away with using two coats.


Use a Touch-Up Pen for Small Chips

If you are dealing with small paint chips, you could get away with using a touch-up pen. This is as easy to use as a marker, so you do not need to worry about doing a professional-grade job. Overall, it is a great solution for a quick fix.

Spot Repair Chipping Paint


Now that you understand how to fix paint chips on a wall, you will never need to worry about the complexity of this task again. A lot of the job depends on the time spent on preparation and if you skip that step, you could end up doing a bad job. Regardless of this, this is an easy enough task for the most novice of DIY enthusiasts, so good luck!




Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Paint Over Chipped Paint?

We would not advise doing so because you are essentially masking what could be a bigger problem. Instead, prepare the surface by scraping off the loose paint and sanding it flat. Once this is done, you can then paint it for the best possible results. So, can you paint over chipped paint? Yes, you can, but there are better options available.


Will You Need to Redo the Entire Wall If There Is Water Damage?

Unfortunately, this is the best option. Water damage can be very difficult to work with because you cannot see the entire extent of the damage. To be on the safe side, we recommend replacing the entire drywall.


When Should You Use Putty on Chipped Paint?

Putty is best used on wood, so if you need to repair chipped paint on wood, then putty is a great option.

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