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How to Repair Paint Chips on Wood Trim

Kimberly Johnson

Wood trim around windows, doors and at the top and bottom of walls seals gaps and gives the room a more attractive appearance. You can paint trim to complement the wall color of the room, but over time, the paint can chip and scratch revealing the underlying wood color. Repainting the wood trim will restore it to its original state. However, you must remove the existing chips to create a smooth final paint job.

Repainting wood trim makes it look like new.
  1. Fill a bucket half full of clean water and set it near the wood trim. Fill another bucket with 1 gallon of water and 1 to 2 tbsp. of a non-sudsing floor cleaner. Insert a scrub brush into the cleaning solution bucket and shake it to remove most of the water.

  2. Scrub the surface of the wood molding to remove scuff marks, stains and loose paint chips. Rinse the brush in the bucket of clean water and scrub the trim again to rinse away the soap residue. Continue until all of the wood trim is clean and then wipe it dry with a towel.

  3. Sand the wood trim lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 180-grit. Sand the trim until the surface is no longer shiny. Concentrate on areas of chipped paint until you can rub your hand over the trim and it feels completely smooth.

  4. Look for chipped areas in small crevices, such as raised portions of the trim and scrape any paint chips loose with the edge of a putty knife.

  5. Wipe all the wood trim with a clean cloth to remove most of the sanding dust. Attach a brush attachment to the end of a vacuum hose and vacuum the trim to remove the remainder of the dust particles.

  6. Apply painter's tape along all edges of the wood trim, butting the edge of the tape up as close to the trim as possible. Press the tape down firmly with your fingers to make sure there are no air bubbles.

  7. Apply one coat of a latex-based primer to the wood trim using a small 2-inch-wide or smaller paintbrush. Allow the primer to dry completely until it is no longer sticky to the touch.

  8. Apply a coat of latex paint to the wood trim using a fresh, or cleaned, 2-inch-wide brush.

  9. Allow the paint to dry completely for 24 hours and then gently pull off and discard all of the painter's tape.