How To Touch Up Chipped Cabinets With A Paint Pen

March 24, 2017


How To Touch Up Chipped Kitchen Cabinets With A Paint Pen DIY
When people look at my kitchen they often assume that it's new. Well, it's not. As a matter of fact, we added this room over a decade ago and not much has changed in all that time.

Yes, I have swapped out the curtains and removed the rug.

Red and White Farmhouse Kitchen Decor

Yes, I have had to replace the original dishwasher, stove and refrigerator.

Never Buy Bisque Appliances

And yes, my style has changed.

Home Decorating Styles Through The Years

However, other than those few cosmetic alterations, everything else has been here since the initial construction.

While most of it has held up remarkably well over the years, which is amazing considering I have had toddlers, teens, dogs and cats in and out of this room and nothing is especially high quality, there are a few minor scuffs and marks that are easily hidden in pictures.

Smoke and mirrors if you will.

A stove that is dirty more often than not, a water stain on the ceiling from a leak in the roof and windows in desperate need of a wash.

And a few kitchen cabinets that have chipped.

Painted cabinets are my absolute favorite, but after many years of being opened and closed with wet hands, the finish breaks down...even on factory finished doors. To be honest, it was only happening on two lower cabinets and I really didn't notice it.

They were down low, I rarely wear my glasses in the kitchen.

But the other day, I really looked and I was horrified. Not only was it super ugly, the wood was getting destroyed.

I needed a fix.

Immediately.

When the cabinets were purchased the manufacturer sent us a paint pen to touch up any damage or wear and tear that may occur. I'd honestly forgotten that they had sent it to us. So I called the company to order one and they told me that they no longer made my color...but if I wanted to wing it I could try a close touch up paint.

Yeah, I passed.

I was all ready to take the door off and bring it to the hardware store for them to match the paint, when miraculously the touch up paint pen literally fell out of a closet! Unbelievable.

I was honestly a little nervous to use it, because it was so old and I was afraid the paint inside had turned or dried up. Perhaps it would be gloppy, perhaps it wouldn't be the same color anymore, perhaps it would ruin the cabinet and I would be stuck with a big mismatched mess.

So I made my husband try it. 😉

Kraftmaid Cabinets Paint Pen Touch Up

It was actually super easy to do and the paint was fine. 

Of course, I always recommend getting fresh if you can. If you know your cabinet manufacturer and finish they are easy to reorder. They do sell generic paint pens and wood tone ones in hardware stores and online.

The screaming disclaimer here is always, always, always test your color in an inconspicuous spot.

That's what we (okay, he) did. He spot tested it on the inside of the cabinet and waited for the paint to dry to make sure it cured the same color. 

Once convinced it was going to match, he removed any loose pieces of paint with a light sanding. He did not use an emery board, like me. What? It works. 

To start, he shook it very well and applied it in long, thin strokes. If the coverage was not sufficient, he went back over it when the paint was dry.

It took several coats, but when he was finished, this is what my cabinet looked like...

How To Touch Up Chipped White Painted Cabinets

Good as new in under thirty minutes.

Fabulous. I should've done this years ago.

You'd never guess they were so old.


Thank goodness for smoke and mirrors.


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55 comments:

  1. WOW! kudos to the pen. AND your darling husband. :)

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    1. Thanks Tammy!! I'll pass your wow along... ;)

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  2. Hi Kim. Lucky you found the paint pen and it worked like a charm. Your kitchen sure does look brand-new in any pic I have seen. Chalk up one for your housekeeping!! When we redid the kitchen recently, I thought I would need to re-paint the cabinets. They had finger prints and stuff on them. This is a little different from your story, but I picked up a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and wow, what a great little piece of equipment. Even hubby said they look and feel like they had just been sanded and repainted. It leaves them smooth to the touch. Only thing, be careful around edges as they will do a little distressing if you are not careful..Happy Weekend..Judy

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    1. I have a few finger smudges that won't budge, Judy, but they are not bad enough for the pen. Maybe I need a Magic Eraser. I used one years ago, but then forgot all about them. Thanks for the reminder...and my cabinets are slightly distressed so that is just fine! Great tip!

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    2. Do be careful with the Magic Eraser. It's a very fine sandpaper, and can take the shine off of some surfaces. Try it in an inconspicuous place first.

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    3. Thanks Nancy! I will keep it in mind...

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  3. Wow that is genius! LOL I wish I had a pen that could take care of my face like it did those cabinets too.
    Happy Friday. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. If only, Kris! I think we'd all be running for that kind of pen! ;)

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  4. Yay for the paint pen! Yay for Hubby! Yay that your beautiful white kitchen is still beautiful and white. Yay that your face is beautiful, too. Paint pen not required! Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Haha...your resounding round of yays just made me giggle!! Thank you my friend!! :)

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  5. Yes, I *had* to smile reading of your (rather, your husband's) wonderfully successful efforts. People are dying to give an old and distressed look to their furniture while you went and made a naturally-distressed cabinet look new! I like it because I'm that 'certain' age.

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    1. Thanks Shailaja! I can appreciate a distressed finish when appropriate, but this was just downright damage. I am glad that the pen worked, otherwise I would've been in for a bigger job. Kind of like self care at a 'certain' age, isn't it! ;) Thanks so much for the comment and popping by! :)

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  6. Thanks so much for the tip, Kim. I have a few bathroom cabinets/vanities that need some help. Who would have thought? :)

    Love, love, love your kitchen!

    Jane x

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    1. Thanks Jane! It’s an easy fix if you have the right color pen. Good luck.

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  7. What is this miracle pen Kim? Can you imagine not having to repaint the whole piece from the beginning?
    They should pay you to talk about it because I've never heard of one. I've only heard of those that are for wood.

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    1. Oh Mary, it's awesome and a super quick fix. The key is getting the right color, but once that is nailed down, you're good to go!

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  8. Dear Kim ... Wonderful job. Also, as I have said so many times before, I love, love, love your kitchen and dining area. So, so pretty. Have a HAPPY SPRING weekend! Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. Thank you so much, Teri! You are always so kind. It's nice to see our spaces through someone else's eyes every now and then. :)

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  9. I really don't understand why bloggers seem to have to have new things like cabinets. There are so many ways to fix things. Dents add character. And somehow I just never got that chippy paint thing. If I'm going to paint something, although I know that's not what you did here, so I digress, but I don't want to then rough it up. I love how you fixed your problem. Living with kids in the house means things get dinged.
    Brenda

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    1. The house certainly does get dinged...and I'm with you, I don't get the new, new, new all the time. That's not really real life, is it? ;)

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  10. Great cover-up! Never heard of a paint pen. I would love one because there are 3 spots in my kitchen that need touching up, even though I just finished repainting for the 2nd time last year. I still have the can of paint but just have to get to it.....like everything else.

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    1. Thanks AnnMarie! It was a quick fix, actually quicker than expected. And it still took me forever to tackle it. Good luck with your spots. ;)

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  11. So glad to know this Kim. Our basement cabinets are white. They aren't showing any wear yet, but I'm sure they will eventually. They did not give or tell me about at ouch up pen. :( Maybe I can find one that will work. I need to try to go from more to less, but as of now it's not happening. lol!
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. The pen was wonderful, Jann. I would call the company and inquire if you can. It made the job so easy... :) Thanks for the visit!

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    1. Thanks Deanna!! So sweet... :)

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  13. Haha! Yeah, I'd like one for my face too!! Unlike you, we didn't get a paint pen. Our cabinets could use a touch up too, but the real problem is black paint is coming off the knobs revealing brass finish underneath. I know it's probably easy to fix, but won't get done till we have to do it.

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    1. Oh, yes, the knobs. I wonder if there's a paint pen for that...although you'd probably be better off with a quick sanding and a coat of spray paint.

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    1. And you're always so kind, Deb!

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  15. I needed this post! Really need to try this and we're not ready to paint.

    Now, how do you keep your floors so gleaming??

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    1. You are so nice, Dewena! I honestly just use warm water and a touch of vinegar to clean them up once a week. Nothing tricky! :)

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  16. I learn so much from you! My goodness, we were just talking about our white cabinets that need the same help. ;-) Kim to the Rescue ... thank you friend. I am off to tell my husband just what we need to do.

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    1. So glad that you found this post helpful, Carla! It was so simple I was almost not going to share it! :) Good luck with the cabinets.

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  17. it looks GREAT~!I too use the emory board but then use a tiny artist brush to touch up. NOW if ya find one of those for the face email me - Paaaaaaaaalease...
    xxOO

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    1. If I find it Sonny, I will share! I promise! ; )

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  18. I have oak cabinets - original of the house, so they're 29 years old - and they have a few dings, but not the kind of wear and tear that your white ones do. Maybe that's the upside (if there is one) of still having oak cabinets?! Have we discussed this before (I have a terrible memory) or do you have the same hardwood floors in your kitchen as I do? They look exactly the same. Bruce engineered hardwood - gunstock color?

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    1. Hi Melanie! Yes, I have a prefinished hardwood Bruce floor, it can be refinished (but I never plan on doing that!!). My box said the color is saddle. Probably very close to the gunstock…and I have the same terrible memory, so not sure if we talked about this before! ;)

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  19. It's amazing that the paint pen was still good...small, enclosed, & air-tight space must be the answer!
    Carol

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    1. I know, Carol!! We were so lucky...

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  20. I wish I had a pen like that for my whole body, much less my face ;)

    In all seriousness though, the cabinets look great, Kim! It reminds me that I need to touch mine up too. It might happen today... it might not lol

    xoxo,
    rue

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    1. Haha…I feel the same way…especially when I go shopping with my teenagers. Their dressing room mirrors are always infinitely more flattering than mine. They have the pen! ;)

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  21. Funny, I was just spring cleaning my white cabinets this past weekend, and noticed some problems where the paint was already showing signs of wear (they were only painted 1-1/2 years ago). It reminded me I need to do some touch up work on them, and then - here is your post! Hmm... wouldn't it be a nice invention if they made paint pens in the color you needed from the paint you used? Refillable ones? Would make our lives a lot simpler I think!

    And you don't need a paint pen, or smoke and mirrors either, you are beautiful inside and out :)

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    1. Refillable pens, that could make from your own paint...now that's an idea!! And thank you, sweet friend...thank you. :)

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  22. Kim,
    Great tip! Even though our home is still only 18 months old those bottom white cabinets have some dings and touch up areas. I blame it on the grands...but I wouldn't have it any other way!
    Thank you, thank you!
    Jemma

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    1. That kind of wear and tear is good for the soul and spirit, isn't it Jemma? Enjoy those kiddies! :)

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  23. What a great fix! Looks as good as new no doubt. Pinning so I will remember this tip. Thanks, Kim

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    1. Thanks Lynn. I was pleasantly surprised!

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  24. One would never know the cabinet was touched up. It was fate the paint pen fell out of the cabinet. It looks good.

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    1. Thank you, Debra. You really wouldn't know...I should've done it years ago. ;)

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  25. That paint pen is pretty fabulous! I have the wood colored ones for my furniture and they've saved several pieces through the years. :) I sometimes use a sharpie on my wood floors in the kitchen. I once dropped a very heavy box and it left a scratch. Luckily my wood floors have dark colors scattered throughout, so the black sharpie filled that scratch right in. Anyway, your cabinets look great! Your whole kitchen is beautiful, in fact. xoxo

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    1. It is fabulous!! I like your Sharpie trick. I have used markers to cover up scratches on my vanity, but I never thought about wood colored paint pens. Now you have me inspired to do it the right way! ;) Thanks for the tip!

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  26. What a great kind on the paint pen! So simple to do yet it looks fantastic!! thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks so much, Rob and Lindsay. It was so much easier than I thought it would be...don't know why I waited so long! :)

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  27. I'm afraid a paint pen won't help my kitchen cabinets. Great tip though! :)

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