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Brush & Roll Painting Learning Center


5 Reasons Kitchen Cabinets are Chipping, Scratching, and Peeling & How to fix it

5 Reasons Kitchen Cabinets are Chipping, Scratching, and Peeling & How to fix it

How many chips, scratches, dents, or nicks do your cabinets have? Is it too many to count?

It is usual for cabinets to experience some natural wear and tear. However, it is not normal if your cabinets have chipped, scratched, or peeled in large amounts or if they were recently finished.

Cabinets should be able to withstand normal wear and tear for many years. Accidents do happen. No cabinet is indestructible, but the finish should be durable to withstand normal use. You should be able to open and close your cabinets regularly without seeing a new imperfection. 

Since 1996, at Brush & Roll Painting, we have been refinishing cabinets that were once poorly finished and turned them into durable and protected cabinets. 

Read this article to discover reasons why cabinets chip, scratch, or peel. By reading this article you will be able to determine any reason for imperfections on your cabinets and how to fix it. 

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Reason #1 There is not a clear protectant coat on the cabinets

A strong protectant coat is essential to having durable cabinets. A clear protectant will save your cabinets from any harm. A clear protectant can be put on any type of finish or mixed into the paint.

Investing in a protectant product has three main benefits.

1. Protects the wood

A clear protectant is a key layer between you, your finish, and the wood underneath. It is not possible for the exposed finish to be protected from chips and scratches. 

2. Makes the cabinets easy to clean

Smooth finishes are seamless to wipe off any dirt or residue. It makes cleaning easy, which extends the life of your paint.

3. Resists chips, scratches, fading, and peeling

A clear protective coat fights against any contact that could be damaging. It helps prevent damage from moisture, water, or dirt. 

At Brush & Roll Painting, we use and stand by Milesi. Milesi is a clear or pigmented poly that uses a two-component (2K) water-based technology.

Milesi is chemical, moisture, and abrasion resistant. Milesi leaves a fine and durable finish for years.

We have spent years of trial and error searching for a product that can withstand wear and tear while still looking great on top of any finish. We have found that any other type of cabinet or woodwork paint is not as durable and breaks down easily. 

Clear finishes found at hardware stores also get soft after a while, which makes the finish peel and chip off within a few months of applying.

Reason #2 The cabinets were not prepared thoroughly for a finish

Odds are, if your cabinets are scratching and chipping, it is because there was not much if any, prep work done on them while they were being finished. From the beginning, your cabinets need to have a thorough process until the final coat for them to be durable. 

Proper prep work involves taking the time to clean, sand between each layer, caulk, and apply a resurfacer.

Reason #3 Heat & steam in your kitchen

When areas have high humidity levels, the moisture in the air causes the wood to expand and contract. The paint on the wood will break down, blister, and crack, ruining the finish. 

Causes of high humidity in homes are boiling or steaming on the stove, warm baths or showers, and overusing humidifiers. When humidity starts to rise inside it is best to open a window or turn on a fan. 

A heavy-duty clear protectant coat that is moisture resistant will help prevent this from happening. Maintaining a 30-50% humidity level in your home will keep the paint from cracking.

Reason #4 Not cleaning your cabinets

Over time, oil, dirt, and grime build up on your cabinets from everyday use. All that buildup over a long time will eat at the finish of the cabinets, even going down to the wood.

Having a weekly or monthly routine installed for you to clean your cabinets will protect the finish. Damaged cabinets will need extra caution while cleaning to prevent any further chips.

Poorly finished cabinets being cleaned with the wrong materials is harmful as well. If your cabinets are already peeling and chipping, it is best to stay away from any chemicals. Soap, water, and a microfiber cloth with gentle rubbing should get the dirt off.

If you are having trouble cleaning your cabinets, it is a sign that the other factors are damaging the finish. 

Reason #5 Water-damaged cabinets

Like oil, dirt, and grime, water, in large amounts, can cause extreme damage to your cabinets. When water absorbs into the wood, it begins to expand. Water can cause the paint to bubble or peel, ruining your cabinets' quality. 

It is unavoidable to keep water from touching your cabinets, especially in areas around kitchen sinks or inside bathrooms. However, a clear protectant coat and wiping the water off of your cabinets right away will keep them looking fresh

The best solution for damaged cabinets

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This may not be the answer that you want to hear, but if you’re experiencing, chipping, scratches, nicks, or dents, your cabinets need to be refinished. 

Cabinets that are chipping by the minute are not substantial or add any value to you or your home. 

To ensure durability and resist more chips and scratches, your cabinets need to be repaired, have proper prep work, potentially a new finish, and a strong clear protectant coat on top. A clear protectant coat needs to be chemical, moisture, and abrasion resistant to be effective. 

There is good news. Refinishing your cabinets the correct way will help you save money in the long run. This is because you would not have to refinish your cabinets for a second or third time in a few years.

Refinishing cabinets is also a more affordable option than replacing them entirely. Your cabinets can be repaired and repurposed to look good as new.

Ultimate guide to cabinet refinishing.

If you are ready to refinish your cabinets, we can help. Schedule an estimate on our website or call us at (402) 932-9764. We stand behind our work with a 9-year warranty that covers any natural wear and tear imperfections. 

If you’re not ready to have your cabinets refinished, learn about the different types of cabinet finishes, from affordable options to unique and personalized ones to fit your style.