How to Touch Up Chipped Paint and Maintain Painted Cabinets

A year after painting my kitchen cabinets with Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations they still look great! For the most part. They have a couple minor chips all the way down to bare honey oak. Of course I don't want that to show and I've figured out an easy way to fix these chips.
Here is a picture of the island. It gets beat on the most and surprisingly has only one small damaged/chipped corner.
This bad boy and one small toddler (you would think we had a clumsy elephant that smashes everything in his path living here) named Jackson are the culprit for the nicks and chips. Jackson circles around the island about 50 times a day on that motorcycle and sometimes his car. So really we have put cabinet transformations to the ultimate test and in my humble opinion a couple small chips as the result of continuously running a motorcycle and other toys onto the painted surface is pretty amazing!
Here's a picture of a small chip on the cabinet door below the kitchen sink. I'll show you all how easy it is to fix this so you can't even tell it was there!
First I grabbed my paintbrush with white paint on it out of the fridge.

Yes that's right, the fridge.

Many years ago Cory found out that you can wrap your wet paintbrushes in Saran Wrap and store them in the refrigerator and then use it again another day without the paint drying up on the brush. This genius trick has saved us countless hours (and probably paintbrushes) since we don't have to clean the brush every time we're exhausted and done painting for the day.

Since I'm currently working on another painting project with pure white cabinet transformations I already had a wet white brush in the fridge. I found out you can put the wet brushes in ziploc bags and it works just as good as Saran Wrap at keeping the brush nice. I store wet brushes sometimes for weeks at a time. Yes, I know, I'm totally lazy and sometimes the brush does get a little too dried out and caked with paint so I have to wash it before I start painting, but I have yet to ruin a brush by using this technique.

This particular brush could really use a good rinsing since I think it has been in the fridge for a couple weeks (shame on me) but for touching up nicks on cabinet doors I really only need a tiny amount of paint and honestly a "dry" brush works better for this.
Before you do anything with paint you could lightly sand the chipped area with very fine sandpaper. Maybe it's because mine are glazed, but I find that I don't need to. If you don't have glazed cabinets, I would highly recommend sanding!

After I took my brush out of the Ziploc bag I dabbed on a very slight amount of paint, so slight I used the paint that was already on the brush (really lazy of me, buy hey, it worked). What I try to do is only get paint on the gouged out area. I wiped off the paint that got on the already painted surface with my finger and that also helps to push more paint onto the chipped area I want to cover. I want the edge of the painted surface and the gouged out surface to be flush with each other so you cannot tell that it's been repaired.
I let that dry for a couple minutes then I grabbed my foam brush with glaze/stain on it from the fridge (yep, I put that in the fridge too). Of course f you don't have glazed cabinets, you would skip this step.
I just put a dab of stain right over the fresh white paint and wiped it off almost immediately (just enough time to snap a picture) with cheesecloth.
Here's the finished product, before the protective clear coat of course. You can't even tell it's been repaired or that a chip was even there! It really is such an easy fix (made easier by having my brushes ready to go in the fridge!). I discovered how to repair any chipped paint on the cabinets when I was initially painting them. Before the clear coat is painted on the surface is extremely delicate. You can scratch the paint off with a fingernail. I had a couple areas that I had to fix because I was apparently reckless and handled the cabinets with wild abandon or well, who knows really, but after that I handled the cabinets with kid gloves until the clear coat was dry.As for maintenance, honestly it is the same as with unpainted cabinets. I wipe up any spills with a damp sponge. That's it, nothing special. I almost feel like painting these cabinets made them more durable because of how hard the protective clear coat dries. You can even paint on an extra clear coat and that would make your cabinets even more durable! To see more on this post check out my blog :)
Thrifty Artsy Girl
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Kim Kim on May 15, 2017
    What is the name of the clear coat you used?

  • Deb Deb on Aug 19, 2018

    How can I repair divots on my hardwood kitchen floor created from accidentally dropping heavy objects like vans, lids, etc. I don’t want to replace boards since it is floored throughout the first floor. Our floor color is a light winter washed color with a light clear coat that gets many complements. Attached picture.

     Thank you for any help!

    Deborah T.

  • Misty Misty on Aug 29, 2019

    I painted my kitchen cabinets the exact same color as above. It has been a year now and I would like to remove some one the glaze. It looks like it has darkened more over the past year. I have went over them with dish soap and warm water to remove any dirt but that didn’t help lighten the dark areas any. Do you have any ideas?


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4 of 9 comments
  • Yvonne Smith Angus Yvonne Smith Angus on Mar 23, 2018

    I read to put them, wrapped in plastic or foil, in the freezer, but you do have to let them thaw. Think I'll try the fridge next time.

    • See 1 previous
    • I have left a brush in the fridge for literally months(forgot it was there), and it was just fine.

  • Harry Andersen Harry Andersen on Feb 27, 2019

    Buy paint brushes from the Dollar store and throw them away-no cleaning !!!!