How to Fix Paint Chips on Walls: A Step-by-Step Guide from a Qualified Painter and Decorator

Bob Thomas


Paint chips on walls can be an eyesore, especially when you've spent time and effort creating the perfect interior space.

As a qualified painter and decorator, I've encountered my fair share of paint chips and have learned some effective techniques to fix them.

In this article, I'll walk you through the step-by-step process of fixing paint chips on walls, so your walls can look as good as new.

Quick Summary

In this guide, we'll cover the materials and tools needed, and the step-by-step process of fixing paint chips on walls. The method involves cleaning the area, scraping away loose paint, patching the hole, sanding, priming, and repainting.

Materials and Tools

Mild detergent
To clean the chipped area
Soft cloth
To wipe the surface
Putty knife
To remove loose paint
Sandpaper (120-grit)
To smooth the patched area
Spackling compound
To fill the chipped area
To prepare the surface for painting
To apply primer and paint
Matching wall paint
To touch up the repaired area

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix Paint Chips on Walls

Clean the chipped area: Start by wiping the chipped area with a soft cloth dampened with mild detergent and water. This will help remove dirt and debris, ensuring a smooth repair process. Allow the area to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Scrape away loose paint: Using a putty knife, carefully remove any loose or peeling paint around the chipped area. This will create a smooth surface for the spackling compound to adhere to.

Apply spackling compound: Apply a small amount of spackling compound to the putty knife and carefully fill the chipped area. Smooth the compound with the knife, ensuring that it is flush with the surrounding wall surface. Allow the compound to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Sand the patched area: Once the spackling compound is dry, use 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the patched area. Be sure to feather the edges, blending the repaired area with the surrounding wall surface.

Prime the repaired area: Apply a thin coat of primer to the patched area using a paintbrush. This will help the paint adhere better and create a more uniform appearance. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Repaint the repaired area: Finally, using a paintbrush, apply the matching wall paint to the primed area. It may be necessary to apply two coats for complete coverage. Allow the paint to dry between coats, and be sure to blend the edges of the painted area with the surrounding wall for a seamless finish.

Preventing Paint Chips on Walls

Proper maintenance and care can help prevent paint chips on walls, ensuring that your home stays looking its best.

Here are some tips to minimize the chances of chipping paint:

  1. Choose high-quality paint: Investing in high-quality paint can make a difference in the durability and longevity of your paint job. Look for paints with good adhesion and flexibility properties to withstand daily wear and tear.
  2. Prepare the surface: Before painting, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and free of any dust or debris. If necessary, prime the walls to create an even and smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.
  3. Apply paint in the correct conditions: Temperature and humidity can affect the way paint dries and adheres to the wall. Ideally, paint when the temperature is between 50-85°F (10-29°C), and the humidity is below 70%.
  4. Use the right tools: Using high-quality brushes and rollers ensures a smoother application and helps prevent brush marks, which can lead to chipping.
  5. Avoid excessive moisture: Moisture can cause paint to peel or chip. Address any issues that may cause excessive moisture, such as leaks or poor ventilation, to prevent damage to your paint job.

When to Call a Professional

While fixing paint chips on walls can be a DIY project, there are situations when it's best to call in a professional painter and decorator:

  1. Extensive damage: If your wall has multiple chips or peeling paint over a large area, it may be more efficient and cost-effective to hire a professional to repair and repaint the entire wall or room.
  2. Lead paint: If your home was built before 1978, there's a chance that it may have lead-based paint. In such cases, it's crucial to call a professional with experience in handling and removing lead paint to ensure the safety of your home and family.
  3. Difficult-to-match colors: If the paint color on your wall is difficult to match, a professional painter may have better resources and expertise in finding the closest match and blending the repaired area seamlessly.
  4. High or hard-to-reach areas: If the chipped area is in a high or hard-to-reach spot, a professional painter will have the necessary equipment and expertise to safely access and repair the area.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Can I use caulk instead of spackling compound to fix paint chips on walls?

  A: While caulk can be used for filling small cracks or gaps, it is not recommended for fixing paint chips.

Spackling compound is specifically designed for filling holes and dents in walls, providing a smooth surface that can be sanded and painted over.

Q. How do I find the exact paint color to match my wall for touch-ups?

  A: If you don't have any leftover paint from the original job, you can try to find the exact match by bringing a small chip of the paint to a paint store.

Many stores have color-matching technology that can create a custom paint color to match your existing wall.

Q. How long should I wait between applying primer and painting over it?

  A: The drying time for primer varies depending on the product and environmental conditions.

It is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying time, which typically range from one to three hours.

However, some fast-drying primers can be painted over in as little as 30 minutes.

Q. Can I use a hairdryer or fan to speed up the drying process?

  A: While using a hairdryer or fan may help speed up the drying process slightly, it is not recommended, as it can cause uneven drying, leading to an uneven paint finish.

It is best to allow the primer and paint to dry naturally, following the manufacturer's recommended drying times.

Q. How can I ensure the repaired area blends seamlessly with the rest of the wall?

  A: To blend the repaired area seamlessly, make sure to feather the edges when sanding and painting.

This means gradually tapering the paint or spackling compound at the edges to blend smoothly with the surrounding surface.

Additionally, applying multiple thin coats of paint and allowing each coat to dry before applying the next will help create a more uniform appearance.


Fixing paint chips on walls can be a simple and straightforward process when you follow the steps outlined in this guide.

With the right materials, tools, and a bit of patience, you can restore your walls to their original beauty.

As a qualified painter and decorator, I've found that these methods produce excellent results, and I hope you find them helpful in tackling your own paint chip repairs.

Suggested Products:

  1. DAP DryDex Spackling Compound: A versatile, fast-drying spackling compound that is perfect for filling paint chips and small holes in walls.
  2. 3M Patch Plus Primer 4-in-1: This all-in-one product combines a spackling compound, primer, putty knife, and sanding pad, making it easy to fix paint chips in a few simple steps.
  3. Purdy 2-inch Putty Knife: A high-quality putty knife is essential for removing loose paint and applying spackling compound smoothly.
  4. 3M SandBlaster Pro 120-Grit Sandpaper: This sandpaper is designed to work well on walls and provides a smooth, even finish when sanding patched areas.
  5. KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain-Blocking Interior/Exterior Primer: A reliable primer that can be used on various surfaces, ensuring proper adhesion and a uniform paint finish.
  6. Wooster Brush 2-inch Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush: This paintbrush is perfect for applying primer and paint in tight spaces or around edges, ensuring a precise application.
  7. Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Paint: A high-quality, durable paint that provides excellent coverage and long-lasting results for touch-ups and repainting.
  8. Krud Kutter Prepaint Cleaner: This cleaner helps to remove dirt, grease, and grime from the wall surface before fixing paint chips, ensuring proper adhesion of the spackling compound and paint.
  9. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape: To achieve clean lines and protect surrounding areas while painting, use this high-quality painter's tape.
  10. Wooster Brush Pelican Hand-Held Paint Pail: This convenient paint pail makes it easy to hold and transport paint while you work on fixing paint chips and repainting areas on your walls.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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